Walking the line – through drawing and thread with Matthew Harris

Ref: S4D32313

Location: West Dean
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About this course

Looking at ways of mapping and recording using a variety of drawing techniques, explore the dynamic potential of line. These drawings will then form a three-dimensional work, constructed in paper, cloth and thread.

Course Description

Explore a sense of place through drawing and thread. Initially, you will look at ways of mapping and recording using a variety of drawing techniques to explore the dynamic potential of line. These drawings will then form the starting point for a three-dimensional work, constructed in paper, cloth and thread, with an emphasis on experimentation and exploration of the potential of materials.

Explore the dynamic potential of line as a way to map and record a sense of place through drawing and thread. Working initially through drawing and then through textile construction, we will be looking at ways to interpret and translate two-dimensional line into three-dimensional structure, constructed in paper, cloth and thread. The emphasis will be on experimentation and an open exploration of the potential of materials.

The course will begin with a number of approaches to drawing and information gathering, using different media and techniques to explore the dynamics of line, mark and scale. These drawings will then form the starting point for work in two or three dimensions that will look at the ways in which the qualities of line and mark might be translated and interpreted, using a variety of textile materials, such as paper, cloth and thread. As well as working with the inherent qualities of any given material, we will also be looking at ways in which those qualities might be altered or radically changed in order to enable construction in three dimensions.

Please bring suitable clothing for outdoor walking/work. This will not be lengthy, but could be an hour on the first morning. If this would be a problem for you, then please let the tutor know on the first evening.


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 college will provide some Indian ink, Batik wax and PVA to share, plus five sheets of newsprint, one sheet each of Khadi paper and some cartridge paper.

What students need to bring

  • A roll of decorator’s lining paper
  • A selection of textile materials including stiff net and any other sheer fabric
  • A selection of different weights of thread, e.g. fine sewing thread, embroidery thread, wool, ribbon, fabric tape, household string and rope
  • A roll of thin pliable wire such as florists' wire
  • Some old newspapers, if possible
  • A hair dryer, if possible
  • Sewing equipment
  • Apron or overall

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A range of brushes and drawing materials
  • A variety of papers on which to draw
  • Some sheer fabrics, e.g. scrim, chiffon in black and white
  • Large pots of black and white acrylic paint
  • A small selection of coloured wires
  • A large bottle of black Indian ink
  • Sewing equipment, including large needles for heavyweight thread


Matthew Harris

Matthew Harris studied at Goldsmiths College and makes work in both paper and cloth that is primarily concerned with the exploration and exploitation of abstract imagery. Matthew has work in the Crafts Council Collection and the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. He has exhibited throughout the UK, Europe, USA and Japan.


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.