Sculptural textile forms with Sally Freshwater

Art textiles

Ref: SLW11937

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About this course

Make three-dimensional forms with pliable materials using skeletal supports, stiffening and casting. Through exercises learn techniques using both paper and fabric and then enhance surfaces by stitching and embellishing.

Course Description

Start with a series of exercises to learn techniques using both paper and fabric and then consider enhancing surfaces by stitching and embellishing. You will then develop a piece from your ideas and creative practice.

Explore ways of making three-dimensional forms with pliable materials, through the addition of skeletal supports, stiffening and casting both fabric and paper. Through considering skeletons and skins, thinking about lightweight forms such as tents and sails, and making light-weight cast vessels and

three-dimensional forms, you are introduced to a number of techniques making a series of samples. You will learn to cast 'ghost’ forms in thin papers and fabric; cast into and around vessels; plaster casts; add wires and rods into stitched surfaces and fabric; manipulate through tensioning and structure and also explore creating a pattern from a three-dimensional form.

You will have the opportunity to enhance and embellish the surfaces through the inclusion of free machine embroidery, lace and other decorative materials into the surfaces if you wish, so come armed with a selection of the kind of materials you work with.

By the end of the course we will aim to make a resolved piece that develops from your own ideas and hopefully will be an extension of your creative practice.

Demonstrations will be given by the tutor throughout the workshop, as well as individual tutorials and a concluding group review.


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


  • Materials for all set projects.

What students need to bring

  • A selection of materials that you wish to use such as fabrics, threads, wires, fine rods (dowel, plastic, or metal are all useable). You may want to paint or embellish the surfaces, so bring what you think you may need.
  • A notebook, pencils, tape measure and ruler, pins.
  • Your own sewing machine (or machines can be borrowed at the College, please email, if you wish to reserve one)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A wide selection of papers
  • Silk and cotton fabrics, organza and muslin
  • Some machine stitch threads and sewing materials
  • General art materials
  • Available from tutor:
  • The tutor will have a variety of materials that you may need to use that you can purchase from her such as wire, cotton linters, a range of papers and glues, thin fabrics such as muslin, organdie, cotton organza. The charge for these should be paid to the tutor before the end of the course, by cash or cheque.


Sally Freshwater

Sally Freshwater's work emerges from a continual fascination with the architectural potential of textiles. Her work includes major site-specific commissions and is included in many private collections.


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

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or a Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (10 three-day study blocks, over two years). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

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