Barbara Zaretsky

Artist’s Bio

Barbara Zaretsky is a fiber artist, director of Cloth Fiber Workshop and owner of BZDesign. Originally from the Chicago area, she studied textile design at Northern Illinois University and the Art Institute of Chicago, and art history at the University of Illinois. In 2001 she moved to Asheville, became a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and continued her education at the Penland School of Crafts. Zaretsky has operated BZDesign for over 20 years with a line of home furnishings and wearable accessories incorporating organic and sustainable materials.



The materials used at BZDesign include natural dye extracts, sustainable or organic fabrics and textile paints.
 The warm earthy palette is achieved by using natural dyes that are extracted from plants, including: osage orange, madder root, chestnut, and logwood purple. 
Until recently, Zaretsky only used fabric that is hand spun and hand woven using Peace Silk. This type of silk is obtained from India using a humane process that allows the silk moth to emerge from the cocoon and live out it’s full life cycle. When the moth breaks through the cocoon the silk fiber is broken into many smaller strands, so the harvested silk is spun similar to cotton or linen, instead of being reeled. The resulting yarn is soft, fluffy, and light.
 She then block prints designs with hand carved or repurposed blocks and textile paints.

Recently, Zaretsky has collaborated with The Oriole Mill in Hendersonville, NC to design and weave fabrics on their Jacquard looms. The Oriole Mill is a unique place for textile artists and designers. It is the only place of its kind in the United States whereby a textile artist can be trained to design cloth that is then woven on industrial Jacquard looms. The dress and two of the pillows in this exhibition present the collaborative results of using fabric created on industrial looms with hand dyeing and stitching. The collaboration provides Zaretsky with a wider range of options both in her designs and product.


The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design launches “Craft City”

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) debuts a new program series this summer that honors Asheville as “Craft City.” At three outdoor pop-up studios this summer (July 7, August 4, and September 1) people of all skill levels and backgrounds can make a take-home craft under the guidance of a visiting artist.


VISIT: The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design | 67 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC 28801 | map it | Phone: 828.785.1357 Fax: 828.785.1372 | email us | Gallery hours: Tue - Sat 10-6