Southeast Fiber Forum Inc

The SFFA is a loosely connected group of individuals and guilds in the Southeast that is the umbrella organization for he conference, which is called "the Southeast Fiber Forum". The Fiber Forum is a conference offering 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, no- profit, non-commercial and non-political association. The states that comprise the area of SFFA are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Membership for individuals is $5.00/lifetime membership; and for guilds - $25.00/lifetime membership

As presented by Faye Russelle at SFFA2013

The Board

The Board is made up of seven people: a treasurer, secretary and three members elected at large by the SFFA members present, the Host Committee Chair, and the immediate past Chairman. The Fiber Forum Chairman is selected by the Board. The 2013-2015 Board members are :- Chairman: Kristen Nicholas, Treasurer: Angela Schneider, Secretary: Deb Bartz, Michaela McIntosh (Outreach), Walt Turpening (Communication & Membership chair), 2015 conference Host Committee Chair: Suzi Gough, Past Chairman: Judi Jetson

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's 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 newest fiber adventure, Chair of the 2015 Fiber Forum. Kristen can be contacted at

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 Fiber Forum since 2005 as well as Convergence. She has been the treasurer for the Memphis Guild of Handloom Weavers since 2006. Angelacan be reaches at

Deb Bartz is the owner/operator of Painted Swan Textiles and my studio is located in Julian, North Carolina. I have been weaving over 40 years but really became a focused weaver when I graduated from the Professional Crafts program in Fiber at Haywood Community College (HHC) in Clyde, North Carolina. I have belonged to several guilds including the Kalamazoo Weaving Guild in Kalamazoo, Michigan. My current fiber interest is handwoven rugs and natural dyes, incorporated into my weaving. Prior to attending HHC, I retired as the Director of the Center for Educational Research and Evaluation at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. ContactDeb at

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 this 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. She can be reached at

Walt Turpening changed careers to make custom fitted benches, stools and chairs and since 1997 has focused on seating with woven seats and backs using braided cotton cord made in his shop. He lives in Kingsport, Tennessee. He can be reached at

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. Suzi can be reached at

Judi Jetson weaves, spins, dyes, knits, makes paper, prints, paints and embellishes fabric for fun and also loves to teach these things. Judi recruited Convergence to Tampa in 2008 and organized 50 community exhibits, co-owned a fine craft gallery in Ybor City with her husband Gary Burge, and was 2011 workshop coordinator for SAFF. She lives in Weaverville, NC and works as a consultant to revitalize small towns throughout the mountain region and to grow the fiber economy as President of the nonprofit Local Cloth. You can reach her on Facebook or email

Non Board Member - Webmaster

Maurice Blackburn, who was born in England, had spent the greater part of his working career in the Textile Industry. He has a Master in Organic Chemistry form the University of Liverpool. Most of his work related to synthetic fibers, initially in manufacturing research and later in melt spinning equipment sales. Since retiring, he has enjoyed switching to loom building and handweaving . He has built both a 4 and 8 shaft countermarche loom but tiring of the multiple tie-ups on the 8 shaft loom, he has converted it to computer control. An article on this conversion has been published in Complex Weaver Journal. Maurice was the President of Piedmont Fiber Guild, the Host Guild for SFFA201. He can be contacted at

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

Check out the SFFA Bylaws- revised April 2013

Updated 8/22/14
Suzi Gough photo coutesy Alison Pyott