In this workshop Ruth Marshall teaches how to design shapes found in animal markings and the technique of color knitting using multiple yarns.

Design: Participants are taught applicable skills on how to observe, draw and interpret the markings of an animals coat. Supplying resource materials, colored pencils and grid paper Marshall demonstrates successful methods of creating original, dynamic designs.

Knitting: Intermediate knitters are shown the unconventional intarsia and fair isle techniques of knitting that Marshall has developed over the years of researching and interpreting animal pelts from various zoos and natural history institutions. This process includes instruction on how to read knitting charts and work with multiple yarns from two or three contrasting colors of yarn.

Prerequisites: Intermediate skill level – ability to knit and purl. Students bring an average size pair of knitting needles and two or more balls of colored worsted yarn.

Goal: To design and knit a square swatch based on the markings of an animal.

Duration: 2 – 3 hours.

Group size: Maximum 20 people.


Ruth is also available for guest artist talks and lectures. Topics include her artwork, animal conservation, and her experiences working as an artist at the Bronx Zoo. Since 2005 Marshall has taught drawing at The School of Visual Art, New York City. See contact page for bookings.

Portfolio of student drawings, zoo exhibit sculptures, and her own watercolor drawings.

About the artist: Australian born Ruth Marshall received a BFA from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia and went on to graduate from Pratt Institute, New York City with an MFA in sculpture. Marshall has become internationally known for her one-of-a-kind hand knitted textiles of endangered animals based on research conducted at zoological and natural history collections.

Exhibition highlights: include solo exhibitions at University of Maine, Museum of Art, USA, 2012. National Wool Museum, Australia, 2014. Arsenal Gallery, New York City, 2014. Australian consulate, New York City, 2013. Damstuhltrager Gallery, Brooklyn, New York/Berlin Germany, 2006, 2009, 2011.

Publication highlights: “KNIT: Innovations in fashion, art and design” by Samantha Elliot / pub. Lawrence King, 2015. “Textiles: the Art of Mankind “by Mary Shoeser / pub. Thames & Hudson. 2013, “Craft Activism” by Gale Zucker & Joan Tapper / pub. Potters Craft, 2011.

Award Highlights: Bronx Recognizes Its Own, Bronx council of the Arts 2015, 2013, 2007. Anne & Gordon Samstag International Student Scholarship, 1993.

Residency highlights: Lower Manhattan Cultural Council – Process Space, New York City, 2015. Museum of Art & Design – Open Studios, New York City, 2010. Monsalvat Cultural Center – Artist residency, Australia, 2011. Wave Hill Cultural Center – Winter Studio Program, 2011.

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