Woven tapestry – sculptural forms with Cos Ahmet

Constructed and woven textiles

Ref: SSS10548


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About this course

Explore experimental techniques for surface texture and structure, elevating your tapestry from conventional flat weave, into soft sculptural weaves or objects. Gain new skills to produce textured sculptural tapestries to develop further in your own practice.

Course Description

Focusing on the notion of woven tapestry as a soft-sculptural form or object, explore alternative and experimental techniques for surface texture and structure, elevating your tapestry from conventional flat weaves, into sculptural weaves and the three-dimensions. You will gain new skills to produce textured sculptural tapestries to develop further in your own studio practice. This course focuses on further developing and building skills working towards independent practice. It is designed for weavers who know how to warp a frame and weave a basic weft-face tapestry.

Surface, texture and structure are explored in tapestry techniques which can lend themselves to being presented as sculptural forms, moving away from the conventional wall-based tapestries. These are constructed by adding textures and surfaces in a variety of techniques to give extra dimension to your work, to manipulate and produce sculpted forms which can then be exhibited as free standing objects or as three-dimensional surface weaves. You will gain new skills to produce such sculptural tapestries in your own studio practice or studios.

The first session will include a discussion of ideas and sorts of forms and textures that can be produced using these methods of weaving. The tutor will have examples of their own work to show the possibilities, and will demonstrate cutting off a tapestry prepared earlier and show how to manipulate into desired shapes and form.

You will then learn how to start weaving the various textures, shapes and structures with continued discussion on using different wefts and warps to create different effects. As pieces are completed they will be manipulated into desired shapes and forms.

You can anticipate creating approximately three small weavings, starting with the basics and moving on to experimentation with the techniques using your own ideas. Alternatively, the tutor can provide shapes to those who would like further guidance.

A feature of the Summer School is an immersive learning experience with more time to develop your creativity and embrace further opportunities for creative development beyond your chosen course.

Several early evening creative sessions (5.10pm - 7pm) are planned throughout the week. Extra activities will differ this year in response to social distancing. A detailed timetable for your Summer School week will be given to you on arrival. This will include:

• Short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work

• Sign up early evening tutor-led drawing sessions in the garden

• Time to relax or explore in the tranquil West Dean Gardens

• Take a break from your course with some free time on Tuesday afternoon, from 3.30-5pm

• Informal end-of-course group reviews and displays of students' work in studios


Timetable for Summer Schools

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for the summer schools will be given to you on arrival.

Arrival Day

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).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, 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 should vacate their rooms by 10am please.

Course Materials


  • Basic design materials and a variety of warps and weft yarns will be supplied for use on the course.

What students need to bring

  • Think about shapes, forms and textures you may like to explore in your weaving
  • Your tapestry frame, if you have one (these will also be available to use during the course)
  • Two G-clamps if you have them (these will also be available to use during the course)
  • Tapestry bobbins if you have / use them
  • Kitchen fork or tapestry beater for weaving, if you have one
  • Any warp and weft yarns that you would like to experiment with / like to use
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil, Pen, notepad
  • Sewing needles and threads, scissors

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Wooden tapestry frame (these can also be borrowed during the course, but if you wish to take it home they cost around £14).
  • Additional warp yarn
  • You can also purchase additional warp and weft yarn from Weavers Bazaar, a specialist tapestry yarn supplier who will visit with their pop-up shop during the course.


Cos Ahmet

Cos Ahmet's fine artist practice combines woven tapestry, works on paper, sculpture and installation. He exhibits widely in the UK and internationally. He received the Theo Moorman Trust for Weavers Award in 2016, and more recently, Arts Council England support for his project, exhibition and publication, 'Points of Juncture' (2017-18). (Photo courtesy of John Lynch)


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

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