Silk autumn leaves and berries with Anne Tomlin

Ref: SWE13248

About this course

Make a unique collection of leaves and berries, inspired by the colour, texture and shape of autumn foliage. Use silk, leather and paper clay, and experiment with traditional heated tools and dye and pigments for colour.

Course Description

The course aim is to observe autumnal leaves and berries, and interpret them using silk, leather, paper clay and wire. You will learn many techniques, using a mixture of traditional French and Japanese Somebana heated tools. You’ll gain skills which you can use after the course has ended, to explore the craft and develop your way of recreating not only leaves, but flowers too.

The course is suitable for all levels, and all that is required is a basic knowledge of sewing.

Throughout the course, you will be shown how to construct leaves with several techniques, and each stage will be demonstrated with samples. You will be encouraged to experiment with dyes and make templates. You will also be given advice on painting techniques with procion dyes and metallic pigments to help you create the effects you want. Maybe even make one into a brooch.

At the end of the course, you will have a basic understanding of the shapes that the various tools make, the confidence to recreate any leaf, and you will take away a collection of experiments and techniques.

Techniques and skills:

- Observation of leaves

- Preparing and stiffening silk and leather

- Making templates

- Bias cutting of silk from templates

- Mixing dyes and silk painting techniques

- Bonding silk and hiding wire

- Using paper clay

There will be plenty of individual help from the tutor with different processes. At the end of the course, there will be a group review of all the techniques involved and you will be given information of suppliers of silk, tools and materials used.

Tools, wires, dyes, glue and silk will be available to buy from the tutor.


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


  • All materials are included.

What students need to bring

  • A collection of leaves and/or berries
  • Please bring a sketchbook and pencils, an apron and a sewing kit, containing sharp scissors and wire cutters. If you don’t have these, they will be supplied.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • For any materials you need to purchase from the shop, we suggest you do so during the first morning of your course, after having discussed them with your tutor.
  • Available from tutor:
  • Tools, wires, dyes, glue and silk will be available to buy from the tutor.

Additional information

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


Anne Tomlin

Anne has a degree in Textiles and trained at West Surrey College of Art (UCA, Farnham), then studied millinery at The London College of Fashion. She co-founded the Bailey Tomlin label in 1989 designing and making hats for many stores including Saks 5th Ave, Bergdorf Goodman, Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Liberty.


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.