Studio Skills: Textiles

On 29th January Arts Champion Louise Tolcher-Goldwyn led the first course of our spring programme and the first of our new series of applied art based courses, Studio Skills: Textiles.

Studio Skills focuses on increasing teachers confidence and knowledge of applied art techniques, in order to inspire their learners to make small objects that respond to their surroundings and local environment. Applied art is the creation of objects that are both functional and aesthetically beautiful and such objects can be sold, leading to the possibility of schools creating their own small social enterprises, with children to selling their creations to their family and community. This not only brings a small income into schools that can be used to buy materials for future expressive arts projects but also gives learners a chance to experience how artist earn their living.

Studio Skills: Textiles

Louise had prepared the studio at Llantarnam Grange with areas to experiment with a variety of textiles making techniques and had chosen a simple theme, leaves and natural textures, to use as a starting point for creating textiles objects. Simple themes can be good in order to save thinking time, leaving more time for making. The Curriculum for Wales explains that learners should be allowed to choose their own themes.

Studio Skills: Textiles

Batik is is an Indonesian technique of wax-resist dyeing. The process involves drawing with molten wax on fabric using a pencil-like tjanting tool. The technique is not perfect and the indeterminate thickness of lines and stray drips can add expression to work and give it a unique batik-like quality. Imperfect permanent techniques are good for freeing up expression and helping overcome perfectionism, the random drips and marks might inspire the next creative project.

Studio Skills: Textiles

The curriculum framework of experience, respond, create is not simply a progression, but comes full circle, the object and its creation become an experience to respond to. This emphasises the importance of the making process and not only the result and digital tools can help us to document and be mindful of the process while as allowing us to share it with our others. There is a belief that craft and applied arts are only material and technique based art-forms and can’t be combined with the digital, but there are many contemporary makers combining digital in their work, such as Ingrid Murphy, keynote speaker at our last networking event. We used the app I Can Animate to create stop motion films of showing the making process sped up.

Studio Skills: Textiles

Having drawn our design with wax on the fabric, we then paint the fabric with dye, the dye is mixed with water and a little goes a long way. Different colours can be mixed together, the result of mixing remaining unknown until painted on fabric bringing an element of surprise when seeing how vibrant the the colours become, they bleed on the fabric, creating new colours and effects.

Studio Skills: Textiles

Needle felting involves using a special needle to tangle fibres together to create patterns in felt. Fibres are arranged on the fabric and by repeatedly pushing the needle into the fabric they become attached, creating a felt fibre image, some artists even use this technique to create 3d objects. We find felting is an incredibly calming and meditative process that could be used to support Health an Wellbeing in the classroom.

Studio Skills: Textiles

See More