It’s not that remote, but my little corner of the real world confuses GPS and sounds exotic if you think cable TV, reliable cell phones and high-speed internet are available everywhere. I’m from rural northern Wisconsin, where there are more deer than people. The occasional visitors to my studio might find me packing up materials for a workshop, brewing natural dyes, or scrambling to take down fabric hanging from the ceiling fan to dry (it’s handy). I’m a fiber artist and instructor inspired by ancient techniques like looping and nalbinding, spinning and natural plant dyeing.

What I do is put a contemporary spin on stuff that’s been around forever. Literally, forever. My work fuses ancient skills with modern materials. I teach in contemporary contexts like workshops and conferences and am working on producing a catalog of ebooks. I prep class materials and do my own web site. Then I go outside to cultivate and gather plant materials for natural dyeing. I make work for exhibitions and pieces to sell, make gifts, make messes. I’m the person who believes there’s something to be learned from everything we make, and reminds you to celebrate what you learn from the messes. I’m the person who has unfinished projects that date back to 1815 (OK, I didn’t start that one myself).

Harvesting basswood bark for fiber

In the more recent past (the 1990s), I was a professional whitewater canoe instructor. I honed my teaching skills in high-risk environments. So I’m not afraid to bring messy stuff into a nice hotel ballroom or deliver a keynote address to an audience that’s not standing on slippery wet rocks. My teaching style and approach to adult education are strongly influenced by experiential education theory and practice. But you don’t really need to know all that unless you want to discuss learning styles, gender influences on learning, or skill development progressions.

Netting workshop preparation byfiber arts instructor Donna Kallner.
Packing for a netting class.

What you may want to know is this: As a fiber arts workshop leader, you can expect me to be highly organized, skilled at course content delivery, ready to meet the needs of students with various learning styles, and grateful to teach in an environment where my hair won’t freeze. I’ll come prepared with class materials that make efficient use of class time, reference materials that get rave reviews, and a flexible plan that makes learning exciting and fun.

So are you ready to play? Click over to my Workshops page to see what’s on my schedule or book me to come to you. Or if your social calendar is a bit too crowded right now, let’s stay connected. I’m most active on Instagram, where I am donnastitches and Etsy, where my shop is donnakallnerfiberart.etsy.com. Links to other channels are in the sidebar or main dropdown menu on mobile devices.