Michelle Bowman is a Colorado native, and she’s been involved in textile arts of one kind or another for over 40 years. On any particular day, you might find her knitting, spinning, dyeing, felting, or sewing. Don’t ask her to pick a favorite from this list (although, she will say that textiles in all of those crafts must be adorned with glorious color). She is @ChelleColoradoFiberArt on Facebook, chellecolorado on Instagram, and www.chellecolorado.com on the Web.
Michelle learned to sew clothes and crochet in grade school, and continued crafting throughout high school and subsequent work years. She returned to school in her thirties to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Technical Communication (Writing and Editing emphasis), where she learned to write instructions and create presentations for many types of processes—a skill that comes in quite handy for teaching fiber arts.
Post-college, Michelle took a renewed interest in garment design and construction, and attended classes for a year at Emily Griffith Opportunity School’s Professional Sewing program. With a renewed interest in textiles, she took needle felting classes, which led to classes in wet felting and in working with wool fleeces, to textile dyeing and surface design, to an LYS (local yarn shop) knitting class, which brought her full circle back to garment construction. Through a drive to share that craft, She went through the process to become a level 1 Certified Knitting Instructor through the Craft Yarn Council.
Michelle says it’s important to take the pressure off of learning! If we move the focus from producing perfection and put it on learning and building skills, then the class sample is a celebration of skills unlocked, requiring only practice to get better and better. There’s no race to be the best, nor even a “right” and “wrong” way to do things; instead, we talk about what happens when one option is chosen over another. Also, learning a new skill can happen at any age. We are only limited by what we think we can’t do, and Michelle’s job as a teacher is to show the possibilities when we say ‘yes I can’ instead of ‘no I can’t.’