Textiles – the sculpted surface with Caroline Bartlett

Ref: S2D31966

Book now

Places available

About this course

Transform the surface of textiles. Explore and combine various hand stitch and heat setting techniques to manipulate fabric, and create contrasting two-dimensional surfaces or more three-dimensional structures, exploiting light and transparency.

Course Description

Stitch, fold, bind and manipulate. Crumple, crush, heat-set fabrics and rework. This workshop will provide you with the skills needed to reshape fabric surfaces into textured two-dimensional surfaces or more three-dimensional forms for use in future projects.

Stitching allows for the fabric to be tensioned in various ways, giving it a different dimensionality, and, together with heat setting processes using steam, allows the reshaping of the fabric into two-dimensional relief surfaces or more three-dimensional structures. During this course emphasis will be placed on exploiting light and shadow through the use of white /cream fabric, opaque and transparent, and on changing one surface/ form into another as you pull up threads and combine different techniques and materials.

Techniques employed have a variety of potential applications from sculpture, textile art, embroidery, surface and fabric design to fashion and accessories, providing the opportunity to begin to take techniques and ideas in your own direction. This is an opportunity to learn new techniques, rather than make finished pieces.

Methods and processes used will include pleating, folding, creasing and binding techniques, using hand stitch and heat setting as a means to shape and structure.

Ideas will be supported through visual presentation, discussion, demonstration and individual tuition in developing ideas.

You will need a certain amount of manual dexterity and an interest in structure and form.


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


  • On this course, the College will supply some of the materials, including general materials shared by the group, 50 x 150cm of calico, aluminium foil, baking parchment, newsprint and photocopy paper.

What students need to bring

  • A selection of natural, (cotton, linen, silk) of different weights. The dimensions of fabric are vastly reduced by the processes involved in pleating, folding, and creasing. For example, 3m of fabric will reduce to one, once manipulated.
  • Any scraps of lace, embroidery, darning, worn or reclaimed, etc., which you might want to include
  • Sewing kit: thread, a selection of needles, pins, small sharp scissors, fabric scissors, quick unpick
  • A small selection of embroidery threads for hand stitch
  • Extra strong thread for sewing (not with a high twist) and pulling up threads
  • A strong thread for binding, such as a crochet cotton, size 10 or 8
  • Some paper clips or mini pegs/clips
  • A roll of masking tape
  • A sketchbook
  • Small objects to tie in, such as metal washers, buttons, small plastic shapes. These will be subjected to heat, so don’t bring anything that will melt.
  • Camera for recording
  • Overall/apron and rubber gloves

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Some natural fabrics such as silk organza
  • Embroidery and machine threads
  • Sketchbooks and general art materials

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes). Possible equipment restrictions in tutor absence.


Caroline Bartlett

Caroline trained in printed textiles before completing a postgraduate at Goldsmiths and an MA in Public Art. Her practice employs various textile processes and has included responses to historic locations and museum collections. She exhibits in the U.K. and internationally and her work is represented in several public 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 advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). 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.