Layers and Stitch – Wild Gardens with Cas Holmes – NOW ONLINE/ZOOM


A fantastic opportunity to work with Cas on a series of small samples and pieces which could be used as a starting point for your own practice of textile based work and mixed media, collage, stitching, 3-D, books or sculptural work.


Stitch-Sketching:Layers and Stitch: Wild Gardens

A mixed media workshop running for using paper, textile, exploring drawing, marks and lines. Design exercises will lead to machine or hand stitched drawings onto lightweight fabrics, cottons, muslins,  silk organza, synthetics and combining them with paper. Possibilities will arise to create complex layered dimensional drawings.Creative exercises with reference to the ‘found object’ as a reference and their application in relation to different fabrics (torn and old materials such as handkerchiefs, clothing and vintage fabrics). and found materials/paper will further help to develop personal expression and add meaning to your work.Your ‘visual narrative’ will take inspiration from the garden and wild flowers/wildlife or your own references. http://

What Students will achieve:

A series of small samples  and pieces which could be used as a starting point student’ own practice for textile based work and mixed media, collage, stitching, 3-D, books or sculptural work.

Discussing ideas for working with the fabric and papers such as methods of layering and stitching together.

Developing the stitched mark as an additional decorative mark.

Additional information


4th and 5th Nov 2020



skill level

For those who have a keen interest in textile art, hand and machine embroidery.




Student preparation: As you work through the course you may chose to make reference from personal images or ideas, garden flowers, surfaces of walls, garden tools etc using materials you have collected for inspiration. Bring one or two images of previous work if you have them.

Equipment: Sewing machine (optional) and basic sewing kit with selected threads for machine and hand sewing as appropriate Notebook or sketchbook and ‘camera’ to make notes and record work as it progresses.

Your favoured drawing media/paints Can include any of the following, small tubes of acylic or fabric paint, Koh-I Noor paint pallets. Any dyes stains you may like to bring (ink/ silk paint etc) not oil paint as it will not dry.

1 inch brush, 2/3 finer brushes, sponge, plastic lidded containers for paint and paste, sponge.Suitable clothing for workshop. Basic sewing equipment  (scissors, threads, pins),

Found materials:

Papers:Collect assorted waste papers from patterned paper bags, oriental specialist papers, art papers, printed photocopies,old or discarded sketchbook drawings paper offcuts

Fabrics. A range of cloth, scraps of cotton, linen, silk, lace, fabrics/organza with or without prints Include some larger pieces of pre-washed linen cotton or similar cloth to use as a base for work (about half metre maximum.

One or two small objects or references for inspiration.

(n.b paper and gathered ephemera should fit into one carrier bag!)

*There many be other materials you like to use such as iron on vilene /interfacing. You are welcome to use these materials to supplement the above list but not essential.

Cas Holmes Bio

Brief Biography:

I’m an artist, teacher and author living in the U.K. I trained in painting and photography at the University of Creative Arts, Kent in the early eighties, followed by further scholarships for research in Japan and India (supported by the  Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Japan Foundation, and Arts Council England respectively).

Paper and textile methods studied in Japan have been adapted for use with found materials and forms the basis for my practical processes. This includes the use of a reversible paste medium which forms a temporary ‘hold’ for the layered textiles and papers creating new mixed media surfaces which can act as a base for further manipulation, worked with stitch, appliqué or applied to the creation of book pieces and 3 dimensional forms.

I like to use discarded items, waste material no longer considered useful. My work is informed by my drawings and photographs  reflecting personal narratives, places visited, stories of my grandmother, old and forgotten textiles.  Found materials and cloth (fragments of lace, old clothing, domestic fabrics) have a history’. These I break down, tear, and cut, until they are re-assembled to create something more meaningful. Fragments and layers mark the passing of time, the rituals of making (cutting paper, gathering materials, machining, sewing) acting as part of the narrative of the work Informed by the ‘hidden’ or often overlooked parts of our landscape, and personal spaces.,I am interested in the relationship with domestic interiors and outside places, the views from our windows, the verges of our roadsides, field edges and the places where our gardens meet the ‘greater landscape’. Working with ‘stitch sketching’, I seek to capture a moment or thing before it is gone

I work on commissions and exhibitions, developing projects with people of all ages and abilities within the community sector, in education, with museums and  galleries and have received awards for my work in this area. I also enjoy the challenge of working on site-specific projects and installations in collaboration with other artists, performers and musicians. I am a senior tutor at West Dean College and regularly hold workshops with guilds and groups in the UK and abroad.

Books by Cas Holmes:

The Found Object in Textile Art 2010

Connected Cloth (co-author) 2013

Stitch Stories 2015

Textile Landscape 2018


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