Places, spaces, traces. Mixed media journals with Cas Holmes

Art textiles

Ref: S5D11280

Course cancelled - scroll down for other

About this course

Learn a playful and experimental approach to developing ideas and techniques for mixed media and textile based work. You will use found resources and materials informed by locality and place.

Course Description

By enlisting 'found objects' from personal collections and/or those found at West Dean, we will explore creative journals and sketchbooks as a starting point for mixed media/textile-based work. A series of creative exercises exploring collage, colour and cloth will add personal expression and meaning to your work.

The course offers a unique insight into the tutor’s approach to gathering ideas and resources from the world as observed in a residency here at West Dean College. Samples will be available to look at, and the course will end with an open discussion of ideas and process about the work produced.

"Work does not readily fit into the edges of a canvas or frame, nor does it recognise the division of medium usage that defines the world of painting or textiles. This liminal space is a rich and challenging ‘in-between world’" Textile Landscape, Cas Holmes.

The journal and samples resulting from this creative exploration could be used as a starting point to your creative practice for mixed media and textile-based work, three dimensional, books or collage.

Materials and techniques covered:

- Collation and developing ideas through drawing, collage and photography

- Developing references using collected media and found resources referencing West Dean or own subject.

- Combining techniques in paper, textiles and mixed media

- Simple drawing techniques and its combination with the stitched mark

- Creating your references, photos and notes. Seeing with ‘new eyes’.

The teaching method is through a combination of demonstrations and discussion in a workshop-based course, where you will be encouraged to work individually in applying techniques and develop ideas in mixed media.

Mid-winter school week – 5–10 December

Kyra Cane, Mark Cazalet, Cas Holmes, Fiona Hutchison, Helen Turner

This group of five courses works with the common thread of encouraging you to refresh your creative output and inspire new work over the coming winter months. They are suitable for intermediate and advanced artists and makers.


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


  • The costs of shared materials and printer inks.

What students need to bring

  • As you work through the course, you may choose to make reference to the environment of West Dean, and/or work from personal images, ideas and other materials you have collected for inspiration. Bring images for inspiration and one or two images of previous work.
  • The course is based on using found materials. The list is intended as a guide but feel free to bring any favoured media.
  • Students need to bring: (listed items* may be purchased at the College Shop if necessary)
  • Papers:
  • Any references or papers you have on a personal theme and/or collection of interesting waste papers. Old books, maps or related objects or photocopies from books and images you like. Assorted weights of papers from brown wrapping paper/potato sacks, tissue, glossy magazines, patterned paper, textured paper (wallpaper) oriental specialist papers, hand-made paper. Gathered ephemera lace, fabric scraps, staples, paperclips, pins, old food wrappers, ties, pegs, photographs, etc., 3-4 small found objects to print with. (This should fit in one small carrier bag).
  • Equipment:
  • A digital camera with fresh batteries or charger and the camera to computer leads
  • A memory stick or CD roms to save digital image work in progress to
  • A5 horizontal (landscape) cartridge spiral sketchbook*. Approx 150gsm paper weight. Avoid the ones with thin paper. There are good Sea White sketchbooks at reasonable prices in the college shop.
  • A selection of drawing materials you may already have to include at least a waterproof fine tipped pen*, a soft (2b-4b pencil *, koh-I-noor paint set or watercolour set*, additional writing/drawing media of your choice (i.e. coloured pencils, etc), small sponge, small bottle of black ink.
  • You need to bring:
  • Plastic ruler*, scalpel, scissors*, 2 large glue sticks.*
  • Wide or one-inch brush, 2/3 finer brushes, sponge, 3-4 plastic lidded containers (margarine tubs or similar for dye and glue).
  • Small amount of fabric, patterns and plains to be used for collage.
  • Small (half metre) or less of white cotton* for backing larger pieces (optional)
  • Basic sewing equipment:
  • Needles, pins, assorted threads of your choice and one or two machine threads. Part of the course focuses on hand-stitching for those who wish to stitch and there will be 2-4 sewing machines available for a brief demonstration and experimentation (you may bring your own machine if you wish).
  • Some of the materials supplied to the group as a whole - paste, paint and other shared resources

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Items marked * are also available to buy from the craft shop.


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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