Art textiles

Developing a personal vocabulary for art textiles with Caroline Bartlett

Ref: S4D08785


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About this course

Evolve a small group of related textile pieces based on a common element or set of elements taken from work in progress. An opportunity for creative development: to 'grow' and distil an idea and develop a personal repertoire of textile related surface treatments using simple print processes, manipulation and assemblage involving hand or machine stitch.

Course Description

The aim of the course is to provide a framework and guidance for the progression of ideas and approaches developed from an existing research base of your own. It is an opportunity for creative development: to develop an idea together with a personal repertoire of textile-related surface treatments using simple print processes, manipulation and assemblage involving hand or machine stitch. Steps in the working processes and strategies for moving forward will form part of the course delivery.

During the course, you will:

• Develop a small group of related textile pieces based on a common element or set of elements.

• Develop a personal vocabulary of surface treatments in support of your ideas.

• Extract and analyse elements for development.

• Further develop a body of work.

A series of initial experimental exercises based on the research work you bring with you (in the form of your sketchbook work/drawings/ photographs, etc.) will aim to encourage thinking and reflection skills, and provide you with reference points for mark, shape, texture, colour and content. Methods such as layering and assemblage, hand or machine stitch will provide the means to interpret your ideas into textile form. Simple techniques of print, including open screen work or mono printing and surface manipulation, as appropriate to individual ideas can be utilised. You will be encouraged to exploit and become sensitive to the different qualities furnished by material and technique, elements of repetition and variation.

You need to be open minded and prepared to investigate and experiment with the aim of progressing work rather than producing finished pieces. If you wish to use a sewing machine, you must be competent in its use. Various approaches to surface treatments will be demonstrated, discussed and used. Individual guidance will be given to extend and refine your ideas and drive connections between materials and working methods

It is essential that you come with a body of research work in the form of sketchbook work/drawings/ photographs relating to a theme you want to develop.


Timetable for courses more than one day in length

(The tutor may make slight variations)

Arrival Day

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.

Course Materials


  • Fabric printing inks and materials.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring a body of visual research material in the form of sketchbook work, drawings, photographs etc. along a theme as the basis from which you would like to progress ideas. Also any special materials or tools which you like to use.
  • Mark making tools such as paintbrushes, (including large brush such as a 2 inch household paint brush or similar) soft rollers, sponges, other items to make good textures and marks such as items you can press into wet ink
  • Any favourite drawing tools
  • Textile materials
  • Sample pieces of natural fabrics of different weights and textures such as muslin, scrim, organza, cotton and linen
  • A selection of different threads including sewing and embroidery threads, linen threads
  • Scissors
  • A sewing kit including pins & needles (including one needle for thicker threads)
  • Apron, old or protective clothing and covered shoes to wear in the workshop
  • Rubber gloves (alternatively latex gloves are supplied by the college)
  • Your sewing machine (This is not an essential item but may be one of your preferred working tools. You may bring your own or reserve on of the college sewing machines by email: in advance of the course.)

Available to buy

  • Drawing materials and graphite pencil
  • Coloured inks and paints - these might be acrylic, watercolour, gouache
  • Coloured chalks or oil pastels
  • Sketchbook
  • A variety of papers of different weights
  • Paintbrushes - large and small
  • Masking tape
  • Cutting knives
  • Printing rollers
  • Textile materials/ base fabrics - undyed muslin, scrim, organza, cotton
  • Threads


Caroline Bartlett

Caroline trained in printed textiles before completing a postgraduate at Goldsmiths and an MA in Public Art. Her practice employs various textile processes and has included responses to historic locations and museum collections. She exhibits in the U.K. and internationally and her work is represented in several public collections.


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

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