Woven tapestry – beyond convention with Louise Martin

Ref: S4D32742

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About this course

Extend your tapestry technique in search of new and dynamic expression. What happens if warps are not all of the same material, weight or spacing, if they are grouped, added to, pulled and exposed? Working quickly, freely and directly onto the loom, we will seek to question and to explore.

Course Description

You will be asked to bring your knowledge and love of tapestry technique, of handling warp and weft, and be ready to apply them with a clear mind, working spontaneously, quickly and intuitively.

You will discover what can happen when the conventional limits and uses of warp and weft are exceeded.

The course will be based around a series of exercises, designed and set up to allow you to work directly into weave, reacting to the materials given without prior design work. We will be aiming to discover what can happen, for example, when usual warp weft relationships are radically altered, how weaving on structures other than a conventional loom might throw up new possibilities, what can be gained by working with materials not ordinarily considered ‘textile’, or by using yarn in entirely other ways.

Working both individually, in pairs and as a group, we will aim to: challenge the previous limits to our creative practice; question the essence, nature and otherwise unexplored expressive potential of weave; learn to allow hand and mind to run free, observing rather than controlling the results; and ignite sparks that may inform or transform future work.

For this course some understanding of warping up a tapestry frame and the techniques used in tapestry would be an advantage, however a willingness to try different approaches and share thoughts and to be playful in your approach to weaving will be key to the course.


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

What students need to bring

  • Tapestry frames – a range of different sizes if you have them.  These can be picture frames or anything that can be warped, and may include containers, boxes, board, driftwood etc.
  • Any warp or weft yarn/other yarns or materials you might like to use, including wools, cottons, linens, silks, nettle, jute, paper, plastics, cord, rope, wire, cardboard, leather, old clothes (freshly washed!) – if in doubt bring it!
  • Bobbins (if you use them)
  • Drawing pins
  • Masking tape and double-sided tape
  • Needles, including large tapestry needles
  • A selection of nails and panel pin hammer, and a one inch paintbrush if you have them
  • Notebook, pen, ruler and scissors


Available to buy

Available from shop:

  • Wooden tapestry frame**
  • Masking tape and double-sided tape
  • Scissors
  • Warp yarn

** The frame may also be borrowed during the course and purchased at the end of the course if you wish to take it home; frames cost around £15.

You can also purchase additional warp and weft yarn from Weaversbazaar who usually visit with their pop-up shop during the course.

Available from tutor:
The tutor will supply some materials for a small charge payable directly on the course.


Additional information

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


Louise Martin

Louise is a dedicated tapestry artist and teacher of 30 years standing. She holds a degree in Constructed Textiles from Middlesex University and an MA in Applied Arts from the University of Ulster. Louise is the recent winner of both the Cordis Prize for Tapestry and the Kate Derum Award.


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.