Mixed media and textiles – creative journalling with Zoe Burt

Ref: SLW31247

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About this course

Explore techniques to bridge the gap between inspiration and research to build creative connected content. Inner and outer landscapes will be explored and playful processes developed to inspire mixed media and textile-based work.

Course Description

This course offers you the time and space to discover resources, colours and shapes from the local environment to use as starting points for a week of focused and fresh interpretation.

By enlisting found objects from personal collections and/or those found at West Dean, we will explore creative journals and sketchbooks as a starting point for mixed media or textile-based work. A series of creative exercises exploring drawing, made drawing tools and inks, collage, colour from botanicals and sustainably sourced cloth will add personal expression and meaning to your work.

The course offers an inspiring insight into ways to gather ideas and resources from the world. Samples will be available to look at, and the course will end with an open discussion of ideas and process about the work produced.

The journal and samples resulting from this creative exploration could be used as a starting point to your creative practice for mixed media and textile-based work, three-dimensional, books or collage.

Materials and techniques covered:

Collation and developing ideas through drawing, collage and photography

Developing references using collected media and found resources referencing West Dean or own subject.

Some natural dyeing and botanical inks mark-making

Early photography with abstract cyanotypes

Mixing digital and analogue processess

Simple stitch

Connect your references, photos and notes. See creatively with ‘new eyes’ and possibilities.

The teaching method is through a combination of demonstrations and discussion in a workshop-based course, where you will be encouraged to work individually in applying techniques and develop ideas in mixed media.


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 costs of materials required for the workshop, including cyanotype inks, natural dyes, paper and natural fabric for sampling.

What students need to bring

  • Bring images for inspiration and one or two images of previous work.
  • The course is based on using found materials. As you work through the course, you may choose to make reference to the environment of West Dean, and/or work from personal images, ideas and other materials you have collected for inspiration. The list of what you can bring below is intended as a guide only. Its not necessary to bring more items than fits into one small bag, as found materials can also be sourced at the College:
  • Found papers:
  • Any references or papers you have on a personal theme and/or collection of interesting waste papers e.g. old books, maps, photocopies from books and images you like. Assorted weights of papers from brown wrapping paper, cardboard, tracing paper, patterned paper, graph paper, specialist papers, hand-made paper. Gathered ephemera lace, fabric scraps, photographs, etc., small found objects to print with. (This should fit in one small bag at the most)
  • Fabric: a small amount of natural fabric, patterns and plains to be used for collage
  • Basic sewing equipment: needles, pins, assorted embroidery threads of your choice
  • An A4 or A3 sketchbook*
  • A selection of drawing materials* (i.e. coloured pencils, paintbrushes, etc., whatever you have or prefer using plus a fine tipped pen)
  • Craft knife* or scalpel*and blades, scissors, glue stick*
  • Camera phone or camera also useful
  • A few small lidded containers, optional/may be useful

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Items marked * are usually available to buy from the College Shop.

Additional information

Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.


Zoe Burt

Zoë Burt is a tutor with over 20 years experience. She has tailor made workshops for several spaces including RHS and Tate. She trained at Central St. Martins in Textile Design. Art residencies shifted her creative practice via collaboration and research through a lens of sustainability. Nature Journal, co-authored by Marianne Wie sold at V&A.


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.