About SFFA

Southeast Fiber Forum Association

The SFFA, a loosely connected group of individuals and guilds in the Southeast, is the umbrella organization for the Southeast Fiber Forum, the biennial conference held in the spring of odd-numbered years. The Fiber Forum offers educational workshops and seminars to fiber artists throughout the Southeastern Region of the United States.

The association was established to foster cooperation among individuals and organized guilds in the fiber arts in the Southeast region and to encourage creativity and excellence of craftsmanship in the Fiber Arts. It is an educational, non-profit, non-commercial and non-political association. The states comprising the SAFF area are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Membership for individuals is $5.00 USD for lifetime membership. For guilds the membership fee is $25.00 USD for lifetime membership.

The Board

The Board is made up of seven individuals: a treasurer, a secretary, three members elected at large by the SFFA members present at the Fiber Forum, the Host Committee Chair, and the immediate past Chair. The Fiber Forum Chairman is selected by the Board. The 2015-2017 Board members are Chairman Kristen Nicholas, Treasurer Angela Schneider, Secretary Deb Bartz, Member Michaela McIntosh (Outreach Chair), Member Ruth Howe (Communication & Membership Chair), 2017 SEFF Conference Chair Ray Pierotti, and Past SEFF Conference Chair Suzi Gough.

Introducing the Board Members

Kristen Nicholas began sewing at a young age but it was her creative spirit, love of color, texture, and the smell of raw wool, that naturally led her to explore other fiber arts. Taking a raw fleece, washing it, dyeing it, carding it, and either spinning or felting it, brings her great joy. She has taught beginning drop spindle and drum carding at SAFF, the Friends and Fiberworks Retreats and the 2013 Carolina Fiber Frolic. She and her business partner Vicki Bennett started ‘Tangled Up In Wool’ a few years ago, and they’ve been tangled up in the many uses of wool ever since. Kristen is especially excited about her latest fiber adventure, Chair of the 2017 Fiber Forum. Contact Kristen at chairman@sefiberforum.org

Angela Schneider is a weaver, spinner, knitter, and enthusiast for all textile structures from the common to the esoteric. She teaches math, computer science, color theory and dance in addition to beginning weaving, advanced topics and spinning in Memphis and the region. She is the editor of the TWIST Journal (Tablet Weavers’ International Studies and Techniques) and has attended both Fiber Forum (since 2005) and Convergence. She has been the treasurer for the Memphis Guild of Handloom Weavers since 2006. Contact Angela at treasurer@sefiberforum.org

Deb Bartz is the owner of Painted Swan Textiles Studio, located in Julian, North Carolina. She has been weaving over 40 years but really became a focused weaver when she graduated from the Professional Crafts program in Fiber at Haywood Community College (HHC) in Clyde, North Carolina. She has belonged to several guilds including the Kalamazoo Weaving Guild in Kalamazoo, Michigan and is a current member of the Central Carolina Fiber Guild. Her current fiber interest is handwoven rugs and natural dyes, incorporated into her weaving. Prior to attending HHC, she retired as the Director of the Center for Educational Research and Evaluation at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Contact Deb at secretary@sefiberforum.org

Michaela Mcintosh is a retired Grade K-12 Teacher. From 2002 to 2008, she was the head weaver and fiber craft interpreter for Middleton Place Gardens in Charleston, SC. In that capacity she demonstrated weaving for visitors and talked about the historic aspects of textiles as they related to the plantation. In 2004, she and three other weavers founded the Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild and acted in the capacity of President three years, and subsequently another three as co-president or vice president. During that time she held warping workshops, demos and individual instruction with newbies. She grows and processes indigo and sweetgrass. She has Bachelor of Science in Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1966 and Master’s Degree in Special Education, Western Oregon State University, 1983. She is the South Carolina HGA representative. Contact Michaela at outreach@sefiberforum.org

Ruth Howe is the Communications and Membership Chair. Ruth can be reached at membership@sefiberforum.org

Ray Pierotti is the 2017 SEFF Conference Chair.

Suzi Gough is a weaver who also (occasionally) spins, dyes, and sews. She is a founding member and current Board President of the Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance, the host organization for Fiber Forum 2015. Suzi also served two terms as President of the Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild, spent many years as the Secretary for the Cambridgeshire Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, and coordinated workshops for both the Chattahoochee and San Antonio weaving guilds. She has a BS in Basic Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and was employed as a petroleum engineer for Amoco Production Company and as a civil engineer for both Leedshill-Herkenhoff and Chaves Grieves consulting engineers. She lives with her husband and five assorted critters in Cochran, GA and her daughter attends Centre College in Danville, KY. Contact Suzi at info@fiberartsalliance.org

Non Board Member - Webmaster

Marty Mason weaves, spins and knits when she can find a few precious hours to do those wonderful fiber things. She can't remember when she learned to knit (it was a long time ago) but she took up weaving about 30 years ago while living in Dallas TX, and spinning about 20 years ago when she moved to North Carolina. She is a member of the Central Carolina Fiber Guild. She is an architect and, currently, a graphic design student at Alamance Community College. She has a treasure trove of designed-but-not-knitted/woven/spun projects (known as unbuilt projects in the architecture world). Contact Marty at webster1@sefiberforum.org


Southeast Fiber Forum Association PO Box 241243, Memphis, TN 38124-1243

Check out the SFFA Bylaws- revised April 2013

Updated 11/28/15
Suzi Gough photo coutesy Alison Pyott