What is the course about?
- Investigation, exploration and discovery in textiles.
- Developing practical skills in the use of textile materials, processes and equipment to colour and pattern textiles
- Visual research and developing ideas in sketchbooks through sampling
- Extending knowledge and understanding of textiles as an area of practice.
The course can be taken on its own or, for a varied and structured experience of textiles, you could do all three terms of the City Lit textiles course that run across the year
Each term has a different focus.(Please see VX953 for term 1 and VX955 for term 2 content and approaches).
This term you will be learning about colour and pattern. You will work using a variety of techniques such as print, stitch and mixed-media, collage and drawing to investigate and explore textures, pattern and colour.
Working with an initial theme, you will investigate colourful textiles through practical sampling and individual project work leading to finished pieces or a portfolio collection, depending on your personal choice.
What students liked most about this course run in 2015/16:
"Amazing feedback and encouragement to the direction I wanted to go. Lots of ideas and information in the classroom. Freedom!"
What will we cover?
Working with an initial theme you will produce textiles through practical sampling and individual project work leading
to finished pieces or a portfolio collection depending on your personal choice.
The focus of this term will be on stitched and mixed media approaches, combining image and surface. Beginners
will learn how to use the sewing machine for ‘free’ embroidery, bond fabrics, use a range of hand stitch techniques
and combine a variety of fabrics, paper and other less conventional materials. We will look at the use of colour,
texture and composition in textiles and create Mood boards that relate to individual project work.
More advanced students will be able to take theses techniques and extend their possibilities through further
experimentation or application to specific project work.
Class discussion will revolve around individual project work and the work of artists using related methods and ideas
and ways of evaluating and developing work.
Using a sketchbook is part of the course for all levels as it is used to collect imagery, take notes, develop ideas and
evaluate your own work.
Outcomes will vary according to the individuals’ aims and experience. Experimental samples and developmental
design work in sketch books will back up either a finished textile piece that could be a practical design or an art
textile. Alternatively, a student may wish to produce a series of resolved samples for portfolio use.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Use a sketchbook to research and develop ideas
- Interpret this research in sketchbooks and through samples
- Use a variety of textile related materials and mixed media approaches,
- Identify the properties of material and techniques used.
- Produce resolved work using surface and mixed media approaches
More experienced students will be able to:
- Extend the possibilities of these techniques in relation to ideas.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is designed for students relatively new to the area and more advanced students who want to use the
course for further textile development. It can be used to explore and develop your own personal mixed media textiles
or to begin to build a portfolio for further study
If you are a complete newcomer to textiles (have not used a machine or hand sewing needle before and do not have
any art and design experience) you might find it useful to first complete the course VX108 Textiles: basics for
beginners, as this will introduce you to the basic principles making it easier to learn further textile techniques within
a mixed ability group.
Whatever your level of experience you should be able to follow verbal and written instruction in English so that you
can work safely in the workshop.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will be practical with group demonstrations of techniques at the start of each session in the first half of
the course. Samples will be shown to give you ideas of the variety of ways you could experiment with the
techniques and hand outs will also be provided.
The second half of the course is for your personal project . You will be given individual help where needed and
additional techniques may be added as your work develops.
You will be shown how to use any tools and equipment safely in the workshop .
Various books and journals will be available for you to look for inspiration and information. Sketch books or files will
be useful for the storing of samples and any research you may do.
There will be some set homework for the group, for example, collecting images, planning designs and developing
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Basic materials are covered in the fees. You may need to supplement this with other materials; fabrics, papers,
threads etc to suit specific needs or preference and to provide variation. You should have a sketchbook with you for
If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, City Lit students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at www.cassart.co.uk. *Terms and conditions apply, visit www.cassart.co.uk/students.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
VX952 City Lit textiles: colour, print, pattern
VX462 Textiles playing with paper
VX102 Constructed textiles with basketry and felt.