Making with meaning – exploring objects through drawing, print and stitch with Caroline Bartlett

Art textiles

Ref: S4D11402

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About this course

Based on your own personal collection of objects, guided drawing, research and experimentation will lead to new starting points for your textile work. Combine mark-making with mono- and screen printing, stitch and folded manipulation to explore ideas.

Course Description

Using your own personal collections as a starting point, and supported by visual presentations, we will discuss and explore ideas relating to the act of private and public collecting and to the history and meaning of your selected objects, unpicking their stories and associations with a view to finding ways to deconstruct and interpret them. Develop an appropriate personal working vocabulary through guided drawing activities, research and experimentation; layering, veiling, obscuring, erasing, cutting away, concealing and revealing, exploring the use of positive and negative shape, mark, and a range of approaches to the theme.

Various quotes and texts will be used to inform our enquiry as your explorations become starting points for development into fabric or mixed media textile form. We will look at ways of marking cloth through mono-printing and the use of simple screen-printing for basic shapes, with options to combine with elements of stitch and folded manipulation, as appropriate to individual ideas and material choices. Pair and group discussions, practical demonstrations and visual presentations will help progress ideas, and individual guidance will be given to extend your personal approach for further development. As the work develops it will be increasingly guided by consideration of potential form, refining and distilling ideas. This will vary according to individual concerns, skills and experience.

Whilst developing a personal repertoire of approaches to mark-making and surfaces, the course is primarily intended to serve as a testbed for new directions, exploring the layering of concepts, media and process. You don’t need to have experience of mono or screen print but you do need to have some textile skills to draw upon. You do need to be willing to experiment and explore with no fixed product or outcome producing a sequence of practical and conceptual explorations articulating your thinking and with potential for further development.


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


  • On this course the College will supply some of the materials including printing pigments and binders, and newsprint shared by the group. You will also be provided with tissue, three sheets of cartridge paper, and polythene for mono printing. Screen printing equipment and rollers are also provided for use.

What students need to bring

  • It is essential you bring with you a personal collection of around six small objects which have a meaning for you and that you feel comfortable to talk about to others. These can be of the same type or theme or can be objects linked, for example, by their location, year of production, or by sharing a relationship through memories or a narrative connection, or some other parameters of your own choice. They need to be of visual interest as they will form the starting point for your explorations through drawing exercises in which they and their history will be interpreted through layering, erasing, fragmenting, veiling, eroding etc. You may choose objects you can physically take apart or they may be precious and kept in their pristine state but they do need to be something you have a connection with.
  • Find and photograph and bring as hard copy an image of a publicly displayed collection that is not in a museum, gallery, or other traditional cultural institution or archive. For example a museum-like display in a retail store, a display on a car dashboard, or on the windowsill in a house that can be viewed from the street.
  • -1 roll masking tape
  • -Scalpel or craft knife
  • -Brushes including a 1” household paint brush
  • -Scraping tools; an old plastic credit card or membership card, a pastry/dough scraper
  • -Favourite ‘drawing’ materials (in the widest sense)
  • -Materials which can be used to press into or draw into wet ink such as grouting tools, corrugated card, meshes
  • -Surfaces to draw on – consider ONE format – such as a till roll OR a folded structure OR recycled book relevant to your collection OR multiples such as envelopes/ postcards/ labels/ post-it notes.
  • -Larger pieces of natural fabrics of various weights (not calico unless it is bought prepared for print as it has a tendency to shrink as you work). Some base fabrics can be purchased in the shop as needed. Please note that if you want to work on fine fabrics such as organza, you will need a backing cloth such as part of an old sheet - again not calico)
  • -Fabric scraps or reclaimed, mended, worn fabrics you may want to appliqué or to print on which may link with your collection
  • -Scissors and sewing kit
  • -Threads for stitch (available in shop)
  • -Brushes including 1 or 2 inch household paint brush
  • - 2 plastic file pockets
  • -Apron/overalls
  • -Latex or rubber gloves
  • -Sketchbook/notebook
  • -Your sewing machine This is not an essential item but may be one of your preferred working tools (alternatively you can book one to use in College by emailing Please include your name, course title, and course dates. There will also be a couple for general use).

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Base fabrics such as organza
  • Embroidery hoops
  • Bondaweb
  • Needles/sewing machine threads
  • A variety of papers, pens, pencils
  • Masking tape and a craft knife or scalpel
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


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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