Barbara Zaretsky | Southern Highland Craft Guild Skip to content

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“I’ve always been fascinated with textiles and the influence they have on our culture. Inspired by the things around me—color, movement, light, nature, architecture and design—I am moved to create art for everyday use. Functional textiles can enhance our lives in subtle yet powerful ways—from expressing who we are to communicating emotion”.


Barbara Zaretsky creates handcrafted decorative textiles for home and wardrobe. Her plant based dyes impart a distinctive earthy palette, yet her motifs veer toward the modern. The unexpected blend of the two influences is a hallmark of her approach, which equally honors graphic geometry and fluid, imprecise edges. 

A textile artist and the founder and former director of Cloth Fiber Workshop, Barbara is 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, continuing her education at Penland School of Crafts. A member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, Zaretsky was named one of the top five designers in Asheville by Southern Living magazine. Barbara has many pieces in private collections across the U.S. and abroad and her work has appeared in Metropolis, Victoria magazine, Southern Living, Our State and other regional, national and trade publications and blogs. Barbara launched BZDesign in Chicago in 1980. Her studio is now located in Asheville’s River Arts District.

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