Creative connections, mixed media and textile journaling with Zoe Burt

Art textiles

Ref: S5D11627

About this course

Explore techniques to bridge the gap between inspiration and research to build creative connected content. Inner and outer landscapes will be explored and playful processes developed for mixed media and textile-based work. Give yourself the time and space to discover resources, colours and shapes from the local environment to use as starting points for a week of focused and fresh interpretation.

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 or textile-based work. A series of creative exercises exploring drawing, made drawing tools and inks, collage, colour from botanicals and sustainably sourced cloth will add personal expression and meaning to your work.

The course offers an inspiring insight into ways to gather 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.

The journal and samples resulting from this creative exploration could be used as a starting point for 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 your own subject
- Some natural dyeing and mark-making
- Early photography with abstract cyanotypes
- Mixing digital and analogue processess
- Simple stitch and embellishment
- Connect your references, photos and notes. See creatively with new eyes and possibilities.

You will be taught through a combination of demonstrations and discussion in a workshop-based course, where you will be encouraged to work individually applying techniques and developing ideas in mixed media.

Mid-winter school week – 5-10 December
Kyra Cane, Mark Cazalet, Zoë Burt, 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.

Please bring (listed items* may be purchased at the College Shop if necessary):

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, cardboard, tracing paper, patterned paper, graph paper, specialist papers, hand-made paper. Gathered ephemera lace, fabric scraps, photographs, etc., small found objects to print with. (This should fit in one small carrier bag.)

A4 horizontal (landscape) cartridge spiral sketchbook*. Approx 150gsm paper weight. Avoid the ones with thin paper. There are some Seawhite sketchbooks 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.
Camera phone or camera also useful

You also need to bring:
Plastic ruler*, scalpel and blades, 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.

Basic sewing equipment: 
Needles, pins, assorted embroidery threads of your choice. Part of the course focuses on hand-stitching for those who wish to. Some of the materials supplied to the group as a whole as shared resources.

Available to buy

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

Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals.  Safety boots, if specified.


Zoe Burt

Zoë Burt is a tutor with over 20 years experience. She has tailor made workshops for several spaces including RHS and Tate. She trained at Central St. Martins in Textile Design. Art residencies shifted her creative practice via collaboration and research through a lens of sustainability. Nature Journal, co-authored by Marianne Wie sold at V&A.


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

Courses of interest

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.