Instructor Bios

About our instructors:

Judy Gelzinis Donovan is a Philadelphia wearables, bead and fiber artist who has been creating art-to-wear garments for exhibitions, runway and invitational shows for over 25 years. Her work has been exhibited and published nationally and internationally and has recently won Most Innovative Design award at the Pacific International Quilt Festival (2015) and Viewer’s Choice award at the Sew Batik! Challenge at the PA National Quilt Festival (2016). Judy has been sewing for over 40 years and is also a weaver, spinner, knitter and dyer.  She has no website because she prefers creating to spending time on a computer!

Maris Krasnegor has spent many years exploring textiles, woven, printed, stitched, embroidered – and currently, handfelted!  Her work has been widely shown in area galleries, with recent felt wearables exhibited at Woven, Crafts for Living, Show of Hands, Wayne Art Center, DaVinci Art Alliance, Cosmopolitan Club.  Her educational background includes a BA in Art History from Wellesley College, graduate study in textile design at Philadelphia College of Art (now U-Arts) and additional study in techniques of feltmaking with Beth Beede, Jorie Johnson, Chad Hagen, and others.

Maryann Laverty: I was introduced to woven fabric and textiles by the women in my family early in my life. While accompanying my mother and aunt to fabric stores, like Stapler’s Fabrics in Philadelphia, I developed an appreciation for well made fabrics as well as the beautiful silks sent home from Southeast Asia in the 1960s. I discovered the art of making felt in 2004, while a member of the Philadelphia Guild of Handweavers, when I took an introductory class in wet felting from feltmaker, Maris Krasnegor. The idea of taking wool, water and soap to make anything was intriguing and magical then, and remains so today. Maris’ class opened up to me a whole new world of making fabric, art and much more. Felting never stops surprising me. Over these past 10 years felt has become my primary means of artist expression – truly a passion. I have had the good fortune to expand my knowledge of felting with some of the finest instructors from around the world including Jorie Johnson, Chad Alice Hagen, Dagmar Binder, Charity van der Meer, Martein Van Zuilen, Marjolien Dallinga and Polly Sterling to name a few – all extraordinary felters and generous teachers.

Kachina Martin is an educator and fiber artist based in Adamstown, PA.  She works in a variety of media, including collage and sculpture, but has been focusing primarily on shibori and textiles since 2002.  Currently, Kachina is working to incorporate her interest in fibers with her collaged paper pieces to create multi-layered surfaces that blend texture and color with image and text. Kachina’s wearable fiber pieces – which include scarves, wraps, and handbags – are carried in several boutiques under the label A Howling Ruth Production and have been featured in a number of juried craft shows.

Bette R. McCarron has been involved with weaving, basketry and other fiber arts for more than thirty years as a member of the PGHW and has attended local and regional workshops and won several PGHW awards. She enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for basketry through classes for childen and/or adults. A former Peace Corps worker in Grenada and certified Veterinary Technician, Bette’s work combines influences from travel, animals and fiber arts.

Maryanne McDevitt In 1973, Maryanne McDevitt took a weaving class taught by a member of the Philadelphia Guild of Hand Weavers. She immediately became enchanted, joined the guild, and purchased a floor loom. She studied tapestry weaving at the Edinburgh College of Art during a year spent in Scotland. She continued weaving while teaching elementary school, where her students all learned to weave on the ever-present loom in her classroom. While in Paris in 1990, she bought a large floor loom, wove on it during her stay and shipped it home, where it is now a part of her working studio. Now retired from full-time teaching, but busy as ever with guild outreach activities and demonstrations, she enjoys helping to spread her enduring love of weaving to others.

Deb Moloshok With a BA in art and botany, Deb Moloshok has professionally worked as a graphic designerand scientific illustrator. In addition, she has been involved with fiber and other “tactile” arts: knitting, basketry, sculpture, and pottery. She learned handspinning from friends and artisans while living in the New York Finger Lakes region, in the early 1990’s. Immediately at ease with the tactile and contemplative rhythmic process, spinning was added to her ongoing activities. She enjoys the process of working from raw fleece to finished yarns, utilizing natural dyes for color. Deb joined the PGHW in 2007 and has attended classes and workshops to expand her fiber arts experiences and skills.

Pam Pawl has been teaching weaving and dyeing since 1980 and has been a member of the Phila Guild of HandWeavers for over 30 years. She received her BS in Textile Design in 1995. Her teaching experience includes assistant professor in Weave Design at Phila. College of Textiles, senior lecturer in weaving at University of the Arts, instructor for Fibers Concentration at Penland School of Crafts, instructor at Cannonhill Studio/ Woven Fiber Art House and has taught workshops for guilds and fiber conferences nationally. When not teaching, she works in her studio in Manayunk where she produces limited edition hand woven and dyed scarves shawls and throws. Her work has been exhibited at Convergence, Gershwin Y, Woven Fiber Art House, Paley Design Center, Penland Gallery and she has sold work at local and national craft shows. She is fascinated with color and structure possibilities and still is excited by every new warp.

Nancy Shiffrin has a BA in studio art, with a concentration in Pottery. In the mid 1980’s she discovered weaving, and she has been exploring the many dimensions of fiber ever since. In 1992 she received the Certificate of Excellence in Handweaving from the Handweaver’s Guild of America. Her work has been exhibited widely, including Craftforms and Fiber National. She loves teaching weavers of all levels, adults and children, and through them is constantly exposed to the delight of discovery.

Shannon Strain is a physician and registered nurse through formal education and a fiber junky by choice. She began her journey in the pursuit of fiber nirvana learning to sew at the age of 20 from the mother of a boy she was dating at the time. She enjoys garment construction, needle and nuno-felting, embroidery design, machine and hand knitting, weaving, spinning (yarn that is) and anything else dealing with fiber. Currently Shannon teaches at two area shops. Topics include computer design in embroidery, machine knitting and needle felting.

Faith Varrone When Faith Varrone first sat down at a loom 22 years ago, she felt like she had come “home”.  That experience took place at Moore College of Art where she majored in Textile Design.  The majority of her training to become a weaver, however, took place with Pam Pawl and PGHW classes and workshops. For the past 5 years has spend time in her own home studio creating handwoven scarves and shawls which she sells at local craft shows. Her work has also been shown in several local galleries and she has  won several PGHW awards. Naturally drawn to color and texture, inspiration for her work stems from observing the natural world and architectural elements.

Shannah Warwick is a graduate of University of the Arts and Moore College of Art. She studied printmaking and textiles at UArts, which led to her love: dying fabric! The magical “reveal,” or the moment you wash the dye from your fabric, never gets old for Shannah and sharing this experience with others is the reason why she chooses to teach. Over the past ten years, she has taken various dye workshops across the country learning to improve and expand her knowledge. In addition, Shannah designs and creates a line of fashion accessories that she is currently working to expand into a full line of clothing. Shannah also works as an Elementary School Art Teacher in South Philadelphia and strives to keep active within the arts community.

Duane Weber has a BFA in Art and Design from Iowa State University and an MFA in weaving from Tyler School of Art. He is currently a full-time studio artist.