Natural structures – in mixed-media textiles with Alice Fox

Art textiles

Ref: S3D12200

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About this course

Explore three-dimensional structures found in nature, through a series of drawing exercises and experiments to inform a deeper understanding of your chosen objects. Transform these into small sculptural forms using textile-based techniques.

Course Description

This course offers an exploration of three-dimensional natural structures, initially through a series of looking and drawing exercises, then experiments with paper and collage, finally transforming ideas into textile-based samples.

Taking a series of natural, three-dimensional forms, e.g. seed pods, shells and nests, as our starting point we will explore the structures through various drawing, collage and construction techniques, building up a collection of experimental samples in paper and fabric. A deeper understanding of the objects and structures you start with will be gained through the processes we use and as flat surfaces go through changes, resulting in small scale sculptural forms. These forms can then be further developed as we take our investigations into textile-based techniques. The samples you produce could be used to develop future work or might result in more resolved three-dimensional pieces during the course.


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 until 9pm, 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


  • 5 sheets of cartridge paper, PVA glue, a stick of graphite, and a stick of charcoal

What students need to bring

  • Basic hand sewing kit: a range of needles, fabric scissors, paper scissors, any favourite threads
  • Notebook and camera or phone for recording process
  • Apron or protective clothing for messy work
  • Cutting mat, if you have one

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A range of papers of different weights
  • A range of natural fabrics
  • A craft knife and metal ruler
  • Available from tutor:
  • On this course the tutor provides some additional materials, including a range of papers, fabrics, threads, glue, tape and drawing media. These will amount to no more than £10, and this should be paid to the tutor before the end of the course, by cash or cheque.
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Alice Fox

Alice studied Textiles in Bradford and has practiced as a full time artist since 2011, regularly teaching workshops and exhibiting widely. She is a member of the Textiles Study Group and the Society of Designer Craftsmen. Alice's book Natural Processes in Textile Art was published by Batsford in 2015.
My approach to teaching is very much based on sharing my own experience and encouraging students to find ways of using techniques appropriately in their own work.


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

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or a Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (10 three-day study blocks, over two years). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

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