Course Lists

Fiber Course List

FB 200 Introduction to Fiber

Presents students with technical, historical and conceptual grounding in the medium of fiber. Students learn the basics of fiber processes, including spinning, weaving, felting, loop-construction, screen-printing, sewing, surface manipulation and embellishment. Technical explorations, supported by the study of historic precedent and contemporary practice supports individuals in exploring fiber as an expressive medium.

Prerequisite: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in FF 130

FB 205 Sewing Tech Workshop

Develops students’ technical knowledge and expertise in sewing and supports the artist sewer in problem solving creative projects. Sewing machine mechanics, accessories, and maintenance are explained and explored, including computerized functions. Students will be introduced to the different types of machines, the variety of feet, needles, their functions and other accessories and tips that may help a sewer use the best tools or notions for the task. This course draws upon the experience of a sewing technician and artist and the information from technical manuals including maintenance and technical “how-to’s.” This course is a supplement for the artist sewer who may use non-traditional materials or non-traditional sewing craft.

Prerequisite: FB 200 or permission of instructor

FB 207 Garment Design and Production

Garment Design and Production is a studio course covering the process of design and fabrication used inthe apparel industry. This course offers a foundation in the fundamentals of pattern development including flat patterning, draping and other popular methods. Garment samples and projects stress the importance of proper fit and craftsmanship. Combining both draping and pattern drafting methods, students develop a basic muslin pattern – a “sloper” – for garments including: pants, skirts and bodices. Students are taught to manipulate the sloper, allowing them to create multiple designs. Students are also introduced to free-form draping, which does not rely on patterns, and they are encouraged to change the shape of the form by adding layers and bulk. Tools, equipment and practices used to create professional garments are reviewed. Workroom and production problem-solving is covered. Patterning for finishing such as closures, lining, and hems are explained. Students will learn industry standard construction skills and how to take a garment from the design phase to completion.

Prerequisite: FB 200 or permission of instructor

FB 220 Soft Sculpture & Inflatables

Students will focus on the design, fabrication, and creative applications of sculptural forms created from soft materials. Soft sculpture and inflatables have a rich history: from early inventions such as hot air balloons and zeppelins, to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, to radical 1970s Antfarm structures, to sculptural works by contemporary artists. Students will learn multiple techniques for turning flexible, flat materials into three-dimensional forms by methods such as inflating with air, stuffing with materials, and holding with a rigid structure. Patterning will be explored extensively, including working from found patterns as well as designing and creating your own. Students will work at a range of scales - that which the body can hold and that which can hold the body. Studio work will be informed through experimentation, readings, slides, and in-depth exploration of context.

Prerequisite: FB 200 or permission of instructor

FB 227 Material Construction

Material constructions, flexible structures, lightweight structures, and the architectonic nature of cloth are explored in this course. Students develop constructions line by line and explore methods of netting, tatting, and other building structures. These are flexible structures that can be purposeful in form building. The armature and lightweight structures are addressed as support systems for pliable flexible materials.

Prerequisite: FB 200 or permission of instructor

FB 238 Woven Imagery

Offers students a sound understanding of weave structures and how they can be used to generate engaged woven surfaces that can stand as independent works of art. The three projects in this course serve as both introductions to different methods of creating imagery through effects of color and structure and to address weaving as a drawing process.

Prerequisite: FB 200 or permission of instructor

FB 244 Needle+Thread+Fabric=Quilt

In this course participants will explore the basic structure of a quilt, including piecing, layering, quilting and embroidery techniques within cross-cultural, historical and contemporary contexts and through collaborative efforts. We will study global variations and traditions while reimagining these traditional forms to explore both two and three dimensional ways of working. No sewing machine or previous sewing knowledge is required, just an enthusiasm to create. This course is a special collaboration that combines MICA Undergraduate students and members of the Open Studies community, with a limit of 6 spaces available for OS participants.

Prerequisite: FF 111 or FF 112

FB 254 Weaving: Color and Pattern

Emphasizes principles of color and pattern as applied to the making of hand-woven cloth. A variety of dye processes, weaving techniques, and finishing procedures are introduced, enabling students to create woven fabric that reflects their personal aesthetic and artistic and conceptual interests. Demonstrations, slide presentations, readings, and discussions inform students and encourage a thoughtful and committed working practice.

Prerequisite: FB 200 or permission of instructor

FB 287 Systems Thinking:Smart Textile

Computer science and textiles are two historically interwoven fields built on binary code, algorithms, patterns, and mathematical abstraction. From their common language of interconnection (Network, the Web), this course offers a critical engagement with technology through themes of systems, networks, entanglements, communication, sensing and touch. Students will be introduced to soft circuitry skills such as: working with conductive flexible and soft materials, basic electronics, introduction to Arduinos and programming, and using sensors and interactivity with the human body. Course explorations will be informed by texts, films and student’s independent research related to the history of technology and the body, interactive circuit-based artwork, the intricacies of power, public/private dynamics, and the overt and covert networks, systems and entanglements that underlie and connect us to our communities, environments, and economies locally and globally. The topics and techniques covered in class will provide a jumping off point for students’ artworks and projects.

Prerequisite: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in FF 130

FB 315 The Explored Stitch

With its many forms and functions, the stitch represents one of the most elemental and versatile verbs in the textile language. Students in this class will explore the stitch by learning the technical skills of machine and hand embroidery, needlepoint, and counted thread work to build image and pattern. Structural stitches - such as those used in mending, tucking, smocking, and pleating, will be examined as a means to synthesize elements and create texture and form. Central to our study will be a visit to an historical textile collection, where each student will choose an historical stitched textile to investigate fully. Through a multi-faceted approach of written research and multiple "re-makings" of the historical object of their choosing, concepts of labor vs. leisure, function vs. decoration, and tradition vs. originality will be addressed.

Prerequisite: FB 200 or permission of instructor

FB 316 Fashioning Cult/Readr Clothing

Fashion and clothing can be called material zeitgeists of culture. Issues covered in this studio/seminar course cover fashion's relationship with the high and low divide in art and popular culture, the power of connection and communication through clothing, ethical questions surrounding fashion and production, and the ubiquitous venue of clothing as an artistic endeavor. This course also explores questions that surround the historical significance of cloth, clothing and culture for the discourse of fashion. Coursework is structured around student-driven research and experimentation to support their artistic interests and concerns. Readings, discussions, and research enhance individual understandings of art, fashion, culture, and clothing.

Prerequisite: FF 130 A/B, Juniors and Seniors only

FB 322 Experimental Garment

An exploration of the world of costume and personal adornment through demonstrations, technical and conceptual information, and the use of historical and contemporary examples. Coursework and critiques emphasize development of the idea, personal expression, and technical proficiency. Students are exposed to a broad visual vocabulary and an array of the following materials and techniques: pattern-making and alteration, draping and fitting on a dress form, armatures and coverings, surface embellishment on pliable/flexible planes, and found objects.

Prerequisite: FB 200 or permission of instructor

FB 324 Mask + Headdress: Materials

Explores cultural traditions and contemporary practices related to masks and other head adornments. The material presence of these objects and their relationship to bodies is investigated, and the immaterial dimensions of masking practices, including disguise and transformation, self and other, hiding and revealing, protecting and belonging. The capacity of objects to hold and transmit cultural information is explored among other themes identified by the class. Technical demonstrations; movement and manipulation exercises; studio-based and scholarly research; readings, lectures and workshops with visiting artists support student learning. Individual investigations in making and performance are supported by weekly exercises that encourage play, discovery, and collaboration culminating in an exhibition and performance of works in progress.

Prerequisite: FF 130A/B Form & Space

FB 331 Silkscreening on Fabric

An introduction to methods of silkscreen printing on textiles with emphasis on the single compositional work and development of repeat pattern designs. Processes include paper and cut stencils, hand-drawing, drawing fluid and screen filler, and photo silkscreen. Dyes and pigments are used. Students examine effects and usage of single and multiple image and pattern through using a number of silkscreens and manipulating image and cloth. Direct painting, material considerations, and printing are explored.

Prerequisite: FB 200 or permission of instructor

FB 334 Surface Resist Dyeing

The application of image, pattern, and surface manipulation to cloth using contemporary and traditional resist methods is explored. Processes covered explore dyeing and mark making traditions from Japan, Korea, Central America, West Africa and Europe. A workshop atmosphere has students working collaboratively and independently to learn methods of professional production during the class. Inventive directions in altering surface, color, structure and texture are explored by means of printing, stamping, painting, dyeing, eroding, and subtractive dye work (removing color). Collage, piecing and 2D and 3D ideas are encouraged.

Prerequisite: FB 200 or permission of instructor

FB 342 Time, Material, Labor, Textile

Combines the mining of material resources with the exploration of additive processes to discover form and meaning in textiles. Traditional surface embellishment, basketry, and feltmaking techniques will be demonstrated as means of discussing metaphors of entanglement, sedimentation, and rhizomatous (network). Various methods of material procurement are presented. Both individual and collaborative work will be encouraged.

Prerequisite: 3 earned credits of 200-level 3D coursework

FB 351 Woven Pixels: Image + Form

Focus on design and weaving practices for the TC2 Jacquard Loom. By hacking Adobe Photoshop to design woven structures pixel by pixel, students communicate with individual warp threads to create unique digitally designed hand-woven textiles. Students learn how to design graphics, repeating patterns, photo-realistic imagery, and multi-color designs with woven structures. Advanced projects include creating variations in fabric density, weaving multi-layer cloth, design for dimension, unfolding sculptural forms, and garments constructed directly on the loom. Sampling and prototyping are at the heart of this course, and students demonstrate their interests and skills with a self-designed final project that intentionally combines digital and hand manufacture. A laptop with Adobe Photoshop is required.

Prerequisite: FB 200 or permission of instructor

FB 361 Digital Fab:The Pliable Plane

In her essay, “The Pliable Plane,” Anni Albers compares the utility, strength, flexibility, and bodily relationship of textile and architecture, suggesting similarities and a structural scale shift from micro to macro. Looking to garments, architecture, nature, and industry for inspiration, students will develop projects that incorporate methodologies and software for digital fabrication while considering deliberate integration of work done by hand and the appropriate technology for each operation. Demonstrations will be given in hand drafting and digital design of flat patterns, strategies for manipulation and expansion of form, systems for the creation of multiples, cutting, folding, joining, and attachment techniques across media. Through a rigorous employment of both analog and digital design, prototyping and fabrication, students will work on a range of scales to examine the qualities of flexible materials. The class community will build a critical language for discussing technologies old and new and their relation to the human body, for the creation of unique art-objects and strategies for mass-production.

Prerequisite: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in FF 130

FB 366 Puppetry & Performing Objects

This course explores the vital field of material objects in performance, including masks, puppets, sculptures and banners used in ritual, theater and storytelling. A focus on puppetry is at the core of the class, including studies in traditional, hybrid and experimental forms. The relationship of the puppet to the human body, to ideas of the living and inanimate, and the capacity of objects to hold and transmit cultural information will explored among other themes identified by the class. Technical demonstrations; movement and manipulation exercises; studio-based and scholarly research; readings, lectures and workshops with visiting artists support students in learning about traditional and contemporary practices of object performance. Individual investigations in making and performance will be supported by weekly exercises that encourage play, discovery, and collaboration. The class culminates with an exhibition and performance of works in progress.

Prerequisite: FF 130

FB 368 Collage and Sculptural Surface

Focuses on the consideration of the constructed, pieced, and sculpted surface. Students explore the interpretation and invention of cloth construction, layering, sculptural surfaces, pieced and collaged surfaces, and the multiple as possibilities. Collecting, salvaging, and mixing materials will be involved. Students respond to and attend numerous exhibitions and lectures taking place during the spring semester involving historical and contemporary textiles. These lead to discussion on the issues and ideas that have made pieced, sculpted cloth construction a relevant and vital history.

Prerequisite: FB 200 or permission of instructor

FB 390 Back to Work

Is an overwhelmingly devoted to work time and reading artists' writings. Commencing in the 3rd week of class, there will be critiques every week on a rotating basis. This course is designed directly in response to the challenges of working habitually with materials and encourages students to notice the quality of their particular relationship with discipline and practice and looks closely, through writing and studio visits, at the myriad ways that other artists manage these crucial demands.

Prerequisite: Introductory 3D course (CE 200, CE 201, FB 200, IS 200, or IS 202)

FB 397 Natural Dye Practicum

This course supports field-based work through community arts practices and practicum in human centered design. Students will review and deploy best practices for collaborating with partners. Off site, students will contribute their labor, relevant tools for researching, planning, and/or advancing work on issues identified by interlocutors. In this Design Praxis, students will work directly with natural dye farmers to understand the cultivation of traditional natural dyes and food waste dyeing from origin to end use. The cohort will engage with an offsite garden and processing facility with its owner, visiting speakers, Baltimore urban farmers, and regional natural dye artists and producers. Participants will assist with the management and economic operations to assist Baltimore‘s first natural dye space, create an active community based facility while learning the skills of farming, dyeing, and product development.

Prerequisite: FB 200, IS 200, GFA 220, or by permission of instructor

FB 399 Special Topics in Fiber

Special topics courses are developed to cover emerging issues or specialized content not offered as part of the core fiber curriculum. These courses, typically not offered continuously in the department, provide students and faculty the opportunity to explore new content and course formats.

Prerequisite: FB 200, IS 200, GFA 220, or by permission of instructor

FB 400 Sr. Fiber Thesis & Seminar I

Students develop a coherent body of work completed during the senior year for final presentation to a jury selected from sculptural studies faculty. Periodic critiques to discuss progress, content, and process are conducted by faculty and invited critics.

Senior Fiber majors only

FB 401 Sr. Fiber Thesis & Seminar II

This course is a continuation of FB 400.

Prerequisite: FB 400

FB 438 Multi Media Event I: Exp. Fash

Multi Media Event I: Experimental Fashion is the first half (fall semester) of a yearlong capstone experience for students in the experimental fashion minor. Students develop an individual or collaborative body of work inspired by garment, costume, fashion and performance. All students in the course then collaborate to design and produce a live event/performance to present their work. This course revolves around students' individual work and interests. Students develop a body of work while learning about the history and development of the fashion show, fashion history, the relationship art and design has to fashion, contemporary trends and issues and fashion ethics. Visiting fashion designers are invited to compliment reviews and critiques. This course is intended for seniors only, due to the thesis-based level of content and requirements.

Seniors only Prerequisite: FB 207, FB 316, or FB 322

FB 439 Multi Media Event II: Exp Fash

Multi Media Event II: Experimental Fashion is the second half (spring semester) of the yearlong capstone experience for students in the experimental fashion minor. This half of the course is highly collaborative and focuses on the creative direction required to design and produce/stage a live event. Topics addressed include public relations, promotions, logo and identity design, budget management, lighting design and installation, styling, photographic collaboration, model and performer auditions, and establishing community partnerships. The course concludes in a completed curatorial book to accompany the live show, and a supporting website, completed by two nominated student graphic designers at MICA. This course is intended for seniors only, due to the thesis-based level of content and requirements.

Prerequisite: FB 438