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Rich Leisa, USA: Out of the Ordinary & Excitingly Exploratory!

Leisa Rich uses experimental methods on common materials, fiber art-based techniques, and 3D printing, to create art works and environments that visually delight, viscerally challenge, and tactilely engage, the viewer. She is known for unique material explorations and using traditional methods in new ways. Her childhood illnesses and resulting legal deafness, dressing Barbie in satiny, lacy and nubbly clothes her Mom made and brought to her while she was in the hospital, making tiaras and tables from wires, nuts and bolts and copper pipe in her Dad’s electrical shop, a backyard weeping willow tree that enveloped her in its rustling branches as she held tea parties for her dolls, and the “It’s A Small World” ride at Disneyland in 1965, were important and varied influences on the way she creates today. By envisioning Utopian installations that are an environment in which to escape the demands of the frenetic life led today, creating wearable art pieces that transform the body, and viewer interactive pieces and sound symphonies that experientially involve viewers as co-creators, she transports us collectively into a world of wonder. Leisa Rich holds MFA & BFA degrees in Fiber and a BEd in Art and has 42 years of teaching experience. She exhibits internationally, and has work in private and public collections including Delta Airlines, Emory Healthcare, Dallas Museum of Art, University of Texas-Pan American, University of North Texas and the Kamm Foundation. She has created designs for television shows and theatrical performances. Her work has been featured in several books, magazines, blogs, and on PBS. She has written for magazines, blogs, and more. Rich sells her work in Atlanta, Georgia at Signature Gallery; online at, on her website at, and in her studio at The Goat Farm, Atlanta. She published her first children’s book, Animal Alphabet Traveling Twisters, in 2015. She is a dual Canadian and U.S. citizen.

Out of the Ordinary & Excitingly Exploratory!

Join Leisa Rich, an artist known as an ‘Experimentalist’ for her unique approach to intuitive, exploratory art-making, for an exciting workshop that will provide you with the skills to transform assorted materials, fabrics, and art bits, using the techniques of free motion machine embroidery, sculptural sewing methods, and an incredible material called Fosshape that -- when heat is applied – magically morphs from 2D fabric to 3D form. Push your art works or wearable art into new territory. It is not necessary to have all above materials; you can bring new fabrics instead, too! 

Our workshop will begin with plenty of inspiration to get your creative juices going. There will be presentations of images of instructor and student work, slides of related contemporary work, and an on-site display of samples. A full curriculum booklet accompanies the workshop, so you will be able to refresh yourself on a technique or find a supplier after the workshop is over. In addition, demonstrations of all of the processes, intensive one-on-one time with the instructor, and an emphasis on developing your specific creative direction, will guide you. Learn several easy methods of free motion machine embroidery using a sewing machine and an embroidery foot to build up your surfaces, and create texture and visual interest with thread. You will also work with dissolvables, heat transfers, embroidery floss and elastic in the bobbin, and more. Using those finished pieces as inspiration, you will do quick sketches of ideas for a 3 dimensional form or a wearable. You will learn how to shape and form the Fosshape material using a heat embossing gun, and assemble all of your elements together into a finished piece, using a variety of hand and sewing machine construction methods. This workshop is suitable for the beginner to advanced artist, the art quilter to fiber sculptor, the crafter to wearable artist, the theatre set designer or costumer. The only important prerequisite to note is that you should have basic machine sewing experience and a clean, working sewing machine whose feed dogs can be dropped, an embroidery foot to fit your machine as well as a regular sewing foot, and have done a test run prior to the workshop to ensure that the machine performs the free motion machine embroidery function.