HCC Fiber Students Bring Home Awards from National Alpaca Competition

By Haywood Community College | Apr 24, 2013
Photo by: donated Pictured is the second place winning storyboard at the Annual North American Student Design Competition of the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association. The board was made by HCC Professional Crafts student Jody Sorofman.

Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Fiber students Dana Claire and Jody Sorofman won fourth and second place respectively in the textile category at the Annual North American Student Design Competition of the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association recently.

For this year’s competition, there were around 140 entries from either textile or fashion design schools. HCC has entered the competition for the last four years resulting in wins each year.

“This competition is something that HCC first year fiber students enter,” says HCC Professional Crafts Fiber instructor Amy Putansu. “It fits perfectly with what they are studying. It creates an opportunity to introduce a new fiber in depth. They learn the properties and characteristics of alpaca. In fact, this is the first time in the fiber program that they consider product development. The unique focus of the program at HCC puts our students at a real advantage. We focus on function and marketability.”

According to the National Alpaca website, the student design competition is created to expose college-level art, fashion and textile design students and professors to the wonders of designing with alpaca fiber. In return, the next generation of designers will be entering the workforce with a positive awareness of this amazing luxury fiber that can be utilized throughout their professional lives.

Claire moved to Western North Carolina about seven years ago and has always been a fan of crafts. She came to HCC to focus in depth on how to make textiles. She retired from a 20 year career in marketing at San Francisco State University. She has a Master’s degree in business administration and a Bachelor’s degree in special major of film as an international business.

Claire brings a unique perspective to her studies from living in and visiting different parts of the world such as West Africa, Belgium, Morocco, and Thailand. She enjoys percussion and spent time at the Ivory Coast studying West African drumming.

“At HCC, everything students do in this program is intensive and has a purpose,” Claire says. “It really reflects on this school that two of the top four finishes in this competition are from HCC. The quality of instruction and opportunities this program allows is great.”

Sorofman is originally from Maryland and recently moved to Asheville. She spent years working in high tech public relations with interface and large scale web design for corporate clients. She has a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and a Master’s degree in communication design. Sorofman spends her free time with her two young daughters.

“Winning this competition validates the education you get at HCC,” Sorofman says. “There is a sense of community here. Students are serious about their pursuit. You can be as creative as you want to be in a really supportive environment. But it is intense, like drinking from a fire hose.”

For more information about alpaca fashion, visit alpacafashion.com on the Internet. For more information about HCC’s Professional Crafts Fiber program, call Amy Putansu at 828-627-4672 or email aputansu@haywood.edu.