Sustainable weaving with found and upcycled materials with Rita Parniczky

Constructed and woven textiles

Ref: S4D11420

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About this course

Learn new weaving techniques, as well as how to source and fabricate tools from upcycled materials. Combine these resourceful skills with creative thinking to produce beautiful artworks with a responsible and economic foundation.

Course Description

The course is structured around two questions: "How much is available in our environment to work with?" and "Do we have to invest in expensive machines to learn new skills and make work?"

Although digital technology and gadgets are helpful, the tutor believes that there is a need for simple and inexpensive ways of making. Many DIY activities require some financial investment and space for tools that we end up storing unused.

The course encourages resourcefulness and sustainability through using upcycled materials. The tutor will show you how to notice what is already available in your environment, manipulate these and renew them. These include old or unwanted goods (clothing, books, packaging), recycled materials (plastic bottles, cups, wrappings, cardboard), and uncommon materials (hair, electric wire, wood shavings). In the workshop, the tutor will demonstrate how you can learn weaving without investing in a loom by following a few simple steps, using upcycled materials to make basic weaving frames; transform collected goods for weaving as weft; weave with unusual mediums and structures to create compositions.

The objective is to discover the ancient technique of weaving, similar to our ancestors, who worked with found materials. You will be encouraged to be creative and resourceful when making both the tool to work on, and the artwork. Focus on pushing creative thinking to another level by collecting a range of unusual or uncommon materials to weave with.

Keywords to consider in the workshop include: sustainability, notice, rethink, renew, resource, upcycle.

You can adapt these new skills in your everyday life; upcycle and reinvent already available materials; make new tools and artworks; slow your pace and mind to relax over making new work.

Materials week: Found. 20-24 February 2022

Caroline Wendling, Bronwen Gwillm, Elaine Bolt, Rita Parniczky, Melanie Rose.

This course is part of a themed week, FOUND. With sustainability very much a focus of daily life now, this set of five courses explore a resourceful approach to creative work using found and upcycled materials, and other materials often considered as waste. The primary objective is to employ an inquisitive, and playful approach in developing new work, while learning new skills and to developing thoughtful artworks or beautiful objects. The courses start on Sunday evening and finish on Thursday afternoon and you are encouraged to engage with those on the other courses.


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 tutor will supply some materials including a selection of yarns and other wefts to use in addition to your own materials.

What students need to bring

  • A collection of uncommon and upcycled materials to use as weft (before the course, registered students will receive inspirational thoughts to help you to collect goods and materials)
  • Scissors, ruler, craft knife/cutting knife
  • Pencil case with pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, fast-dry paper glue
  • Fixing case with pins, needle, etc.
  • Clear tape, masking tape
  • Un-dyed thread/yarn for warp, if you have any
  • Flattened/cut up recycled cardboard boxes
  • Notebooks/scrap paper
  • Some research for inspiration – see additional information

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Craft/cutting knife
  • A wide range of papers and art materials
You will be emailed pre-course preparation with guidelines to collect objects and materials, following the idea of recycling, upcycling and sustainability. The preparation will include another task that will help you to arrive with some research and ideas that you can work from when making at the College. 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.


Rita Parniczky

Rita Parniczky is a multidisciplinary artist. She trained at Central Saint Martins. In her London studio, she works with sculpture including weave and mixed-media, photography and video. Her innovative woven sculpture X-Ray series is in the permanent collection of the V&A. Rita has exhibited in solo and group shows internationally.


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

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