Exploring sculptural forms in woven tapestry with Cos Ahmet

Constructed and woven textiles

Ref: SSS11642

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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 sculptural form or object, you will explore alternative and experimental techniques for surface texture and structure, elevating your tapestry from conventional flat weaves, into sculptural weaves and three-dimensions. Gain new skills to produce textured sculptural weaves to develop further in your own studio or independent practice. The course is designed for weavers who are able to warp a frame and weave a basic weft-face tapestry.

Surface, texture and structure are explored in tapestry techniques which lend themselves to being presented as sculptural forms, moving away from the conventional flat wall-based tapestries, to producing sculpted forms which can then be exhibited as free standing objects or as three-dimensional surface weaves.

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 / samples to show the possibilities. The techniques covered in this course are: knotting, wrapping, double cloth (adapted for woven tapestry) and pulled warps.

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

You can anticipate creating approximately three small woven objects /sculptural weaves, starting with the basics and moving on to experimentation with the techniques using your own ideas.

Summer School highlights:

The Summer School week is an immersive learning experience with more time to develop your creativity and embrace opportunities for creative development beyond your chosen course. 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

• A short creative experience session in another discipline/media or course

• An optional evening at the Chichester Festival Theatre (if pre-booked)

• An optional lunchtime tour of West Dean Gardens, the historic rooms at West Dean College, or West Dean Tapestry Studio

• A celebration dinner on the last evening, with a surrealist theme inspired by Salvador Dalí, who was one of West Dean founder, Edward James’ friends and collaborators. (Feel free to respond to the theme if you wish.)

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

As evening events are planned as part of the Summer School week, dinner is included in the course fee to enable all students, including non-residents, to participate fully. A detailed timetable will be given to all students on arrival.

(Please note that plans may be subject to change depending on GOV.UK guidance at the time.)


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 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 should vacate their rooms by 10am please.

Course Materials


  • On this course the tutor will supply some of the materials including warp and weft threads: examples include – linens, paper-coated wire, paper-yarn, plastic-coated and other alternative materials and fibres, cottons, wires and some wool.

What students need to bring

  • Any weft threads you have and would like to use e.g. hand spun/hand dyed, twines, raffia, linens, cottons, old clothes torn into strips, coloured plastic bags etc.
  • Tapestry frame – strong (not a picture frame, simple, no nails) and two G-clamps (if you have them)
  • Tapestry bobbins or fork (whichever you like to use)
  • Sharp scissors, sewing needles, thread
  • Sketch/notebook and pens and pencils
  • Please bring a small piece of previous work, or a sketchbook etc. It would be interesting for tutor and other participants to see your current practice

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 £16).
  • 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.
Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


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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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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