Join us for a lively afternoon exploring the experimental materials, novelty textures, and “vibrating” color palette in textiles generated by designer and entrepreneur Dorothy Wright Liebes (1897-1972), nationally recognized in her own time as America’s “First Lady of the looms.” A talk and behind-the-scenes look at Liebes’ design prototypes led by RISD Museum Curator of Costume and Textiles Kate Irvin will focus on Liebes’ revolutionary color combinations and use of new materials—ranging from wood splints to metallic Lurex and richly textured yarns—that became known as the “Liebes look.” Accompanying the talk and tour, artist Liz Collins, known for her fiber work incorporating vivid hues and dynamic patterns, will lead a design workshop inspired by Liebes’ unconventional, groundbreaking approach to the textile medium.

In this workshop we will use Dorothy Liebes’ fabrics as inspiration to make collaged art works on paper that explore repeating pattern through striping and weaving of elements. We will transform common craft materials into dazzling designs that can be used as research for bigger projects or treated as singular artworks. Through this work, participants will get a sense of the process of experimental swatch weaving for industrial fabric design.

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