Textiles nature inspiration

Weaving: Texture, Surface + Composition in Nature

Students in this course research objects, specimens and systems in nature for inspiration and guidance as they explore color, texture, pattern and composition in a series of experimental woven samples. Students are challenged to investigate natural processes such as growth, structure and form found in biological systems, as well as the ecosystems in which they exist. These inquiries serve as conceptual catalysts for exploration with a wide variety of “found” materials to create myriad surface depth and texture.

Students learn to set up a simple frame loom, and incorporate plain and twill weaves, tapestry and pile, as well as fabric manipulation and embellishments that can be done both on and off the loom. Presentation of historical and contemporary tapestry techniques supports students’ exploration of woven composition and imagery. Observation, research, experimentation and concept development are included in each student’s work process, and imagination, invention and personal expression are emphasized throughout. The course is open weavers of all levels. Note: Students need access to a small frame loom and a variety of yarns.

RISD degree students: This course offers 3 transfer credits with pre-approval from your department head or major advisor using the Prior Approval for Transfer Credit Form. Submit the signed form to the Registrar’s office and then complete the online course registration.

Technology Requirements:

  • This class will be taught through our online course management platform (CE Link).
  • This course requires access to the following hardware: digital camera or smartphone; color printer (inkjet or laser).
  • Please visit our Registration FAQ for additional information and resources.

Course #4092
Susan Sklarek

Online Course
June 22–July 31, 2020

Tuition $2,200
3 Credits


Susan Sklarek

Susan Sklarek has a BA in French and philosophy from UC Santa Barbara, conducted graduate work in textiles at California State University, Northridge and earned an MFA in sculpture from RISD. Her work includes the design of both apparel and interior fabrics for industrial production, woven illustrations for advertising and sculptural pieces for exhibition. She worked for many years as the in-house designer for Stanley Woolen Mills and did freelance projects for other companies. As a consultant for the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, her work involved the analysis and development for reproduction of Anni Albers’ work and was exhibited alongside Albers’ work in retrospective exhibitions in France, Italy, Germany and New York. It was subsequently produced by Maharam Fabrics. Sklarek teaches in the Textiles department at RISD and has led workshops at Duksung Women’s University in Seoul, Korea; CEDIM Design Center in Monterey, Mexico; and HGA Convergence.