Unfolding landscapes – cloth, paper and stitch with Cas Holmes

Ref: S3D31975

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About this course

Taking inspiration from the land, explore the use of found textiles with papers to create layered and folded forms. Print, dye, collage and stitch will transform the ordinary into the extraordinary as new surfaces emerge and your landscape unfolds

Course Description

Take inspiration from both material and place to create a visual narrative and explore the use of layers in found textiles and papers to create folding forms and objects inspired by the land and landscape.

Layered dyes and paints are combined with torn and old materials (handkerchiefs, vintage fabrics, lace) to create new surfaces. Further experiments with stitch and manipulation techniques will turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, as surfaces unfold. You will be encouraged to take risks and develop ideas through your own references, such as sketchbooks and photographs, and explore inventive use of material as you progress with individual projects. Experience with a sewing machine would be useful but not essential on this course.

You will gain new skills in:

• Painting, dyeing and mark-making methods

• Use of found and reclaimed materials, fabrics and papers as an inspirational source

• Hand and machine stitching, based on layering and piecing techniques, as used in the tutor’s own practice

• Developing stitch as a line of drawing

• Imaginative use of reference materials/ sketchbooks as a creative tool

The outcome will be samples and small pieces, demonstrating your own creative direction and experiments in the use of found materials, whilst gaining confidence in working from your own resource material.


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


  • The course fee includes the cost of providing some of the materials shared amongst the group and for the first project. The tutor will also provide specialist conservation and tea bag papers.

What students need to bring

  • The course is based on using found materials. Collect sketches, images and photos appropriate to the optional theme of landscape, or bring some of your own work to discuss and some ideas you would like to develop.
  • Please bring any of the following materials you have (items marked with an asterisk* are available from the College Craft Shop):
  • This list is intended as a guide; feel free to bring any favoured media.
  • Art materials:
  • 1–2 inch brush*, 2/3 finer brushes*, sponge
  • 3–4 plastic lidded containers (margarine tubs or similar)
  • Sketch/notebook*, Koh I Noor paint, Inktense or a set of watercolour pencils* for sketching
  • 2–3 items of additional drawing media of your choice (e.g. pencils/coloured pencils, etc.)
  • At least one black waterproof soft-tipped pen*
  • A small selection of mark-making tools that you may have to hand to create textures and marks Sponges/print blocks/found objects for printing
  • Glue stick (Pritt)*
  • Cheap (non washable) wax crayons* /fabric crayons*/markers (any mark-making items you may have) for writing text and making rubbings
  • Scalpel* with new blade
  • Masking tape*
  • Plastic ruler *
  • Basic sewing equipment:
  • Scissors*
  • Assorted threads of your choice - hand and machine threads (you will use hand and/or machine stitch)
  • Pins, needles
  • Papers and fabric:
  • Select the following for use from your own stock…be imaginative:
  • Cotton/linen/calico for use as a base* (Old cotton sheets, tablecloths, etc., are ideal.)
  • Small selection of waste fabrics, mostly naturals: pre-patterned dress/furnishing/lace/lightweight fabrics of your choice
  • Assorted weights of papers from cartridge paper, brown wrapping paper, glossy magazines, patterned paper, textured paper (wallpaper), paper towel, oriental specialist papers, hand-made paper*, etc. (Scrap fabric and paper should be no more than a carrier bag full.)
  • Gathered ephemera/found items of your choice, e.g. buttons, old food wrappers, paper patterns
  • Aprons or suitable clothing for workshop
  • Any small quantity of acrylic paints or iron heat-fix printing/paint-on dyes you may wish to bring (These will supplement the basic acrylic paints and dyes we will use in the workshops.)*
  • Sewing machines may be borrowed at the College - please email: [email protected] to reserve one, or let us know if you are bringing your own machine.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • See items marked with an asterisk* above.


Cas Holmes

Cas Homes studied in Fine Art, Maidstone College of Art (UCA) in the eighties before a further study in Japanese art, textiles and papermaking in Japan under a Japan Foundation Fellowship and a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship. She is a tutor at West Dean College alongside other adult education and community projects. Cas has also published work including; Textile Landscape, The Found Object in Textile Art, Stitch Stories, and Connected Cloth.


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.