Fiber Lab

Lorena Ochoa, Studio Manager for the Art Department,oversees the Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture Labs in Moulton Hall. She recently launched the Fiber Lab – an artistic practice that spans a wide range of techniques, such as quilting, thread painting, weaving, and soft sculpture, usually to create works made of natural or synthetic fibers such as fabric or yarn.

The Voice of Wilkinson sat down with Ochoa to talk about the new space and how students are responding to it.

Voice of Wilkinson: Tell us how the Fiber Lab came to be.

Lorena Ochoa: When I arrived this spring, I observed students’ projects and joined the critiques of a few classes. I noticed that students had an interest in using alternative practices in fiber.  Since we have limited space in Moulton, I had to think creatively for a solution. I converted a storage room into a Makerspace that now houses 2 tufting stations, a cross stitch station, 2 sewing stations, and a cutting station. The Lab is modular so things can move around to fit student needs.

VoW: What projects are students currently working on in the Fiber Lab?

LO: Embroidery, cross stitching, weaving, sewing, tufting, felting, punch needle work, and much more.

VoW: Can anyone use the Fiber Lab?

LO: Anyone enrolled in a class within the Art Department may use the lab.  At the moment, it functions as a commune. The materials there are free, so it encourages exploration and inspires creativity.

“I’m thrilled about the opening of the fiber lab for Moulton students—it’s an inspiring space that provides all the materials needed for creative projects. In my book arts class, I crafted a series of felt books using the sewing machine, which were incredibly well-received. Lorena has supported my work, and I eagerly anticipate diving into more projects in this exceptional space,” said Anisa Abdulkariem (‘26 Graphic Design, major; Creative Cultural Industries, minor).

Graphic Design students used the new Fiber Lab to create felt books for Book Art Class.

VoW: What classes are using the Fiber Lab this semester?

LO: The Fiber Lab is special in the way that it crosses over with many classes. Courses such as Hybrid Painting, Bookmaking, Drawing, and Sculpture have all been using the lab.

VoW: How do you feel students are responding to this new lab?

LO: The response has been great. I am constantly thanked by students, and they share their enthusiasm which is heartwarming. They feel like their voice is being heard and that is one of my core values in this position.

VoW: Any other projects you are working on that you would like to tell us about?

LO: I am in the process of creating Digi Labs for student use [housed in Moulton Hall 165]. It will house Epson Epson Inkjet Printers, a cutting station, 3D Printers, a Glowforge, and Laser Cutter.  It will be reconfigured after finals and ready during the summer.