Art textiles

Place-marks and images in experimental textiles with Cas Holmes

Ref: S3D09320

Suitable for all

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Places available

About this course

Focus on colour, line, texture and mark-making with fabric, paper and stitch. Develop a playful and experimental approach to gaining inspiration for textile and mixed media work, enlisting found objects for inspiration.

Course Description

By enlisting 'found objects' from your own personal collections or those found at West Dean, you will create tools to paint, print and stamp onto fabric creating samples inspired by locality and place. The creative process will develop as you find your subject matter and combine with materials and mediums of your choice. A series of creative exercises will further help to develop personal expression and add meaning to your work.

The sample pieces resulting from this creative exploration could be used as a starting point for your own mixed media, collage and textile based work. Using found materials for inspiration, you will gain confidence in exploration of print and mark as part of the design process and develop individual approaches for further development.

Materials and techniques covered:

Investigation of printing and mark-making techniques on paper and fabric.

Developing ideas from locality and found materials.

Mixed media approaches, combining paper and textile surfaces with stitch.

Investigative mark-making with free machine and hand stitch.

Teaching method is through a combination of demonstrations and discussion in a workshop based course, where you will be encouraged to work individually in applying techniques, and develop ideas in mixed media. There will be a short talk on one day at 5.00pm. Samples will be available to look at and the course ends with an open discussion of ideas and process in relation to the work produced.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • The cost of general materials supplied to the group as a whole.

What students need to bring

  • Please note: The course is based on using found materials, this list is intended as a guide and feel free to bring any favoured media.
  • Equipment:
  • 3-4 plastic lidded containers (margarine tubs or similar)
  • 2-3 items of additional drawing media of your choice - at least one black waterproof soft-tipped pen*
  • A couple of cheap erasers (rubbers) as large as you can get them (not putty rubbers) these will be cut up,
  • Sponge
  • Cutting board (optional or the college can provide)
  • Basic sewing equipment:
  • Scissors
  • Assorted threads of your choice hand and machine threads (you will use hand and/or machine stitch.) There will be sewing machines available for shared general use, you may wish to bring your own.
  • Pins and needles
  • Papers and fabric:
  • Small pieces of cotton/calico/linen - to use as a base for mark-making, printing and stitch - pieces of old sheets, tablecloths are ideal
  • Small selection of coloured/dyed waste fabrics, mostly fine naturals can be pre-patterned (dress/ furnishing) also:
  • Assorted weights of papers from brown wrapping paper, glossy magazines, patterned paper, oriental specialist papers, hand-made paper, etc.
  • Gathered ephemera e.g. lace, fabric scraps, lace, pegs
  • 3-4 small found objects to print with cork, wood scraps, wood blocks, letter blocks/stencils, pieces of polystyrene vegetable or meat tray, textured paper (wallpaper)
  • Scrap fabric, paper and found materials (should be no more than a carrier bag full)
  • Apron and suitable clothing for workshop wear
  • Sketchbook and camera/tablet/phone for recording work

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • 1-2 inch brush, 2/3 finer brushes
  • Sketch/notebook, eraser
  • Small sponge
  • Pritt stick/paper glue
  • Scalpel
  • Waterproof black pens
  • Undyed calico and cotton
  • A wide range of papers


Cas Holmes

Cas Homes studied in Fine Art, Maidstone College of Art (UCA) in the eighties before a further study in Japanese art, textiles and papermaking in Japan under a Japan Foundation Fellowship and a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship. She is a tutor at West Dean College alongside other adult education and community projects. Cas has also published work including; Textile Landscape, The Found Object in Textile Art, Stitch Stories, and Connected Cloth.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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