Mary Zicafoose Tapestries and Prints, Omaha, NE

Mary at Squamm Lake, NH

Arrowmont School of Craft

MAIWA School of Textiles, Vancouver, BC, Canada

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Note: Mary's workshop calendar is booked through 2025


I have been designing and weaving tapestries and rugs for three decades. My workshop curriculum is a distillation of the best of what I have learned and use, along with great tips and techniques passed onto me from my mentors in the art and weaving worlds. Everything I present is conceived to inspire the senses and revitalize the artist/weavers body, mind and spirit.


The Language of Art: Color
Are you crazy about color but are unsure of how to use it, or frequently disappointed with your results? This one-day intensive dip into color will stimulate your palette and provide inspiration and direction at the loom and dye pot. Referencing the work of legendary colorist, Josef Albers, students create a workbook of guided personal color studies using Color-Aid silk screen papers. The class is hands-on and self-paced. Experiential color theory inspires students to speak with a new frequency in their work.

Class Size: 40 
Level: All
Lab Fee: $45, includes workshop exercises and a 320 pack of Color-Aid silk screen papers of Art: DESIGN

The Language of Art: Design
How do you transform an exciting idea or a moment of inspiration into a tapestry or rug? What are the sequential steps? This one-day class will focus on the process of developing your unique visual ideas into dynamic tapestry and rug designs. The day will consist of referencing a wide variety of art & textile images, drawing and formatting, and then tweaking your ideas into mock-ups and plans for developing a cohesive series or body of work. This is an ideal “time-out” to collect your thoughts, expand your design tools, talk about your work, and transform your ideas into workable blueprints.

Class Size: 40 
Level: All
Lab Fee: $5 of

The Three C’s: Color, Content & Creativity

This trifecta of one-day workshops is designed to stimulate visual thinking and ignite and refresh our creative work. Each day will be approached as a separate self-standing unit of study accessed through select exercises involving writing & reflection, group discussion/idea sharing, and stimulating media clips. The overarching framework for the three days of study is tweaking and recharging our approach to our textile work to further develop one’s personal story in cloth.

Day #1: Color - How does your use of color define you and your work? This day of applied study will help you further develop your eye for color and your artistic confidence through exercises designed to expand your color fluency. We will focus on your use of color intuition and personal voice creating a color journal using Color-Aid silk screened papers from selected exercises conceived by the brilliant colorist Josef Albers.

Day #2: Creative Process - This is a fast-paced full day of 2-D and 3-D design exercises, individual critique, and discussions, selected to stimulate and energize your creative thinking, assist in developing  your work into a series, and stimulate a variety of approaches to create new work.

Day #3: Content - This day is devoted to strengthening and re-invigorating your public profile and studio practice. The mornings goal is to create and/or refine your personal literature: how and what you speak and write about your work through your bio, artist statement, resume, and mission. The afternoon covers systems and tools for greater efficiency, building habits for increased productivity, and short and long term goal setting.  

Class Size: 40 
Level: All
Lab Fee: $50, includes 3 days of workshop hand-outs and a 320 pack of Color-Aid silk screen papersof Art: DESI Weaving r the WOW

Rug Workshops

Rug Weaving Basics
What makes a woven rug functional, timeless, and beautiful? Fueled by many years as a rug weaver, Mary Zicafoose teaches the fundamentals of building the well-constructed rug. The workshop, best taught in a 2, 2 1/2, or 3-day format, focuses on warp selection, sett, warp calculations and measurement, dressing the rug loom, rug weaving tension, tips for impeccable selvedges, and handling techniques to create a smooth, firm handwoven surface. You will leave the workshop informed and inspired, equipped to weave rugs. 

Class Size: 20 
Level: Beginning 
Lab Fee: $25, loom with 4 or 8-dent reed required

Next Level Rug Weaving
What takes a rug from good to great? This intermediate level workshop shifts the emphasis from basic rug construction to an emphasis on design, composition, use of materials, and color. Mary Zicafoose teaches a blend of rug weaving techniques from ethnic and classical carpet and tapestry traditions.  Students will create a design mock-up, translating it into a working cartoon, culminating in a woven technique-based rug sampler.  

Class Size: 20 
Level: Intermediate 
Lab Fee: $25, loom with 4 or 8-dent reed required

Vibrant Rugs
Vibrant color creates vibrant rugs. This intermediate/advanced level workshop introduces dyeing fibers as a very powerful personal design component in the rug creation process. The curriculum provides instruction in Mary Zicafoose’s custom procedure for dyeing wool and protein fibers with Wash fast Acid dyes, including how to create smooth, evenly stepped color progressions. The class also focuses on rug design and weaving and finishing techniques for contemporary non loom-controlled tapestries and rugs. Students will learn some of Mary’s favorite tapestry and rug weaving techniques, and her system for finishing work in preparation for exhibition and sales. This is a very comprehensive class, best taught in a 3, 4-or 5 day format.

Class Size: 20 
Level: Intermediate-Advanced 
Lab Fee: $25, loom with 4 or 8 dent-reed required & Embellishment: Weft-Faced Design


Rug Embellishment: Ikat
This intermediate/advanced level rug weaving workshop teaches the precise and sequential steps required for using weft ikat as an exciting embellishment in tapestries and rugs. Students warp a loom, and learn to measure, stretch, wrap, dye, unwrap and weave sections of ikat weft as part of an integrated composition. While technically challenging, the results are dramatic and inspire many creative possibilities. This weft ikat dye process is rarely taught or explored in depth in a workshop setting. This is best presented in a 3, 4, or 5-day workshop format.

Class Size: 20 
Level: Intermediate-Advanced 
Lab Fee: $40, loom with 4 or 8-dent reed required Language of Art: COLOR

Dyeing Wool for the WOW!
Do you love the idea of creating your own color but are intimidated by dyeing? Learn to use Pro Wash Fast Acid Dyes with accuracy and safety in your home and studio. Mary Zicafoose will share methods of achieving color-fast saturated color, graduated color progressions, and ideas for surface design for wool tapestries and rugs. This one-day comprehensive workshop will provide the novice dyer with the information and tools to begin dyeing, as well as expand and refresh the skills of the experienced colorist. Record keeping, equipment comparisons, and discussion of dye systems for cellulose fibers will also be covered.

Class Size: 20 
Level: All 
Lab Fee: $10e Zen of Weaving: Getting Inspired, Staying on Track &

Ikat Workshops

The Shifted Warp Ikat Scarf
Ikat is a revered and exciting resist-dye fiber process resulting in graphically beautiful woven cloth. Ikat wrapped yarns, when dipped in an indigo vat, instantly become timeless, immersed in an ancient partnership between design and color.

This 3-5-day workshop provides instruction in four distinct ikat warp shifting techniques used to create classic patterns and high contrast design in a woven ikat scarf.  Students will learn to build and maintain a fructose reduced indigo vat, dyeing in it throughout the week. This workshop requires experience in winding a warp, warping a loom, and weaving.  Previous dye experience is not necessary. 

Class Size: 15 
Level: All 
Lab Fee: $20, loom with 15 dent-reed required

Weft Ikat: The Wool Rug
This studio workshop teaches the precise and sequential steps required for creating weft-faced Ikat embellishments to be used to enhance rug designs. Students warp a loom, and learn the sequential steps to measure, stretch, wrap, dye, unwrap and weave the Ikat weft!  While technically challenging, the results are dramatic and inspire many creative possibilities. This weft ikat dye process is rarely taught or explored in depth. This class is best presented in a 3, 4 or 5-day workshop forma.

Class Size: 15 
Level: Intermediate-Advanced 
Lab Fee: $40, loom with 4 or 8-dent reed required Language

Inspirational Workshops

The Zen of Weaving
This one-day workshop abounds with handouts and resources to nourish and nurture the busy artist, spinner and weaver. This unique fiber class provides stimulating exercises to aesthetically recharge and ample food for thought about unraveling the threads of life. Focus is on creative purpose, goal setting, stress management and staying in the flow of production and inspiration. There will be time set aside for personal Q & A, and portfolio consultation.

Class Size: 20 
Level: All 
Lab Fee: $5

Workshop Rates & Fees

Workshop daily teaching rate: $750

1/2 day teaching rate: $500

Other expenses to be covered include:

  • Round trip transportation from Omaha, NE
  • Baggage fees and workshop supply shipping costs
  • All meals 
  • Lodging, I am comfortable in the home of a guild member, with private bedroom and   bathroom
  • I am a pleasant and easy guest. I love dogs, but am allergic to cats. I am a life-long vegetarian who enjoys a cup of coffee in the morning and does not need to be entertained.

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