Unfolding landscapes – cloth, paper and stitch with Cas Holmes

Art textiles

Ref: S4D10885

Suitable for all

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About this course

Taking inspiration from the land, explore the use of layers in found textiles with papers to create folded forms. Print, dye, collage and stitch will transform the ordinary into the extraordinary as new surfaces emerge and your landscape unfolds.

Course Description

Take inspiration from both material and place to create a visual narrative and explore the use of layers in found textiles and papers to create folding forms and objects inspired by the land and landscape. Layered dyes and paints are combined with torn and old materials (handkerchiefs, vintage fabrics, lace) to create new surfaces. Further experiments with stitch and manipulation techniques will turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, as surfaces unfold. You will be encouraged to take risks and develop ideas through sketchbooks with a strong emphasis on inventive use of material as you progress with individual projects.

You will gain new skills in:

• Painting, dyeing and mark-making methods.

• Use of found and reclaimed materials, fabrics and papers as an inspirational source.

• Hand and machine stitching based on layering and piecing techniques, as used in the tutor's own practice.

• Developing stitch as line of drawing.

• Imaginative use of reference material and sketchbooks as a creative tool.

The outcome will be samples and small pieces demonstrating your own creative direction and experiments in the use of found materials, whilst gaining confidence in working from your own resource material.


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 course fee includes the cost of providing some of the materials shared amongst the group and for the first project.

What students need to bring

  • The course is based on using found materials. Collect sketches, images, photos, appropriate to the optional theme of landscape or bring some of your own work to discuss and some ideas you would like to develop.
  • Please bring any of the following materials you have (items marked with an asterisk* are available from the College Craft Shop):
  • This list is intended as a guide, feel free to bring any favoured media.
  • Art materials:
  • 1–2 inch brush*, 2/3 finer brushes*, sponge
  • 3–4 plastic lidded containers (margarine tubs or similar.)
  • Sketch/notebook.*, Koh I Noor paint, Inktense or set or watercolour paints* for sketching
  • 2–3 items of additional drawing media of your choice (e.g. pencils/coloured pencils/charcoal etc)
  • At least one black waterproof soft-tipped pen*
  • Small selection of mark-making tools (sticks small sponge*) for textures and marks and letter stencils/print blocks/found objects for printing
  • Glue stick (Pritt)*
  • Cheap (non washable) wax crayons* /fabric crayons,*/markels (any mark-making items you may have) for writing text and making rubbings
  • Scalpel* with new blade
  • Masking tape*
  • Plastic ruler *
  • Basic sewing equipment:
  • Scissors*
  • Assorted threads of your choice hand and machine threads (you will use hand and/or machine stitch) pins, needles.
  • An old embroidery hoop (it will get paint on it)
  • Papers and fabric:
  • Select the following for use from your own stock…be imaginative:
  • Cotton/linen/calico fabric for dyeing/printing and for use as a base (old sheets, tablecloths etc are ideal)*. Small selection waste fabrics, mostly naturals, pre-patterned dress/furnishing/lace/ lightweight fabrics of your choice. You may also wish to bring a small selection of synthetics whites, creams and light colours iron-on interface if you have them in your stash.
  • Assorted weights of papers from cartridge paper, brown wrapping paper, glossy magazines, patterned paper, textured paper (wallpaper), paper towel, oriental specialist papers, hand-made paper*, etc. (scrap fabric and paper should be no more than a carrier bag full).
  • Gathered ephemera/found items of your choice e.g. buttons, old food wrappers, paper patterns.
  • Aprons or suitable clothing for workshop.
  • Any small quantity of acrylic paints or iron heat-fix printing/paint on dyes you may wish to bring (these will supplement the basic acrylic paints and dyes we will use in the workshops)*.
  • Sewing machines may be borrowed at the College - please email bookingsoffice@westdean.ac.uk to reserve one, or let us know if you are bringing your own machine.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • See items marked with an asterisk* above.
  • Available from tutor:
  • The tutor will provide specialist conservation and tea bag 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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