Online textile art & design courses
Exploring your creativity and trying out new techniques as a textile artist can be extremely fulfilling. But where do you start? What area should you focus on? And how do you get the most out of your experimentation? Sometimes it’s useful to have on-hand guidance and a structured programme to follow as you develop your work. Of course there are a multitude of great part-time courses available, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to improve your skills and stretch your ingenuity from the comfort of your own home? Well, we’ve found 5 incredible online courses and workshops in textile art that will allow you to do just that. Each of them is taught by an expert practitioner in their field, all of whom are professional textile artists themselves.
Top textile artist and tutor Dionne Swift helps you kick start your creativity through the development of your drawing style and your perception of drawing; learning to draw with purpose can support tactile discoveries and lead to a better understanding of your desired textile art outcome.
You’ll finish this online textiles course with a resource of drawing development techniques and the skills to translate your drawings into textile surfaces.
Delivered in a series of sessions via videos, text, illustrations and speedy tutor feedback, you will have access to information for 3 weeks, you’ll cover the various stages of seeing and how this is applied to drawing for textiles, mark making, and how to translate your drawings to fiber.
At just £120, you’ll also learn how to maximise the potential of your stitching machine or embellisher, and Dionne will also cover hand-held options; a sewing machine and embellisher are desirable but not essential for this workshop and alternative hand methods will be illustrated.
Another brilliant course from Dionne Swift, Silk screen printing online dispels the myth that this technique needs vast amounts of equipment to carry out successfully. Dionne’s approach is highly accessible and she’ll guide you through it step by step. You don’t need to be able to draw or design as this is very much a technique-based online workshop; you’ll be provided with downloadable images to print off and uses as visual inspiration, but you’re also given the option to source your own if you prefer.
The Silk screen printing textiles course covers equipment and setting up a suitable studio space, mixing dyes and printing pastes, printing with stencils, printing with flour paste, mono printing, breakdown printing technique, processing your cloth and how to create and use a DIY exposure unit.
Interaction with your fellow students via a Facebook group is encouraged and this will be a key point of contact and feedback; here you can share images of your results and get that all important support from Dionne herself.
Dionne Swift helps take away the fear of starting work on a new sketchbook and gives you the courage to dive in and get working.
By following a series of emails, videos and blogs your sketchbook will start to come to life before your eyes and you’ll have a packed record of ideas and techniques you can refer back to over and over. In this online workshop, Dionne guides you in detail through the essential elements necessary to make your sketchbook as useful and creative a tool as possible and teaches her approach to ‘no panic’ drawing and easy observation. She’ll also talk about found and abstracted materials, how to cut and enhance, the process of repetition and experimentation, and will sum it all up at the end in a review for easy reference.
A supplies list will be sent to you a few weeks before the class starts, but most of the materials will be things you already have laying around the house.
Dionne makes online interaction a core part of this course and engaging with fellow students is extremely beneficial: there is a private Facebook group where you can share images of your results.
Thank you Dionne for another spectacular course. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed on-line classes as much as yours, for content, for inspiration, for your considered, considerable and considerate on-line presence and for the way we have all made such great connections. It’s been great feeling a part of such a wonderful community.
At just £60 this course offers very good value.
Watch this video of Dionne Swift at work to get an idea of her process:
Teacher Wendy Butler Berns (author of Photo Album Quilts) explores the concept of quilting without a pattern to get your creative juices flowing; find inspiration in your surroundings, explore your creativity and translate your ideas through fiber art. Wendy’s class encourages you to trust your instincts and express your artistic vision through quilting, and gives you the necessary skills to see this through.
Art Quilting 101 covers the fundamentals of design, how to transfer that design practically to your work and the joy of experimentation, playfulness and spontaneity as part of your process.
The main technique you’ll be using is free-motion quilting, which allows for a huge variety of thread options. You’ll also learn how to add depth and texture to your work with bobbin drawing and yarn couching.
Divided into 9 manageable lessons, you can take the class at your own pace and at just £19 (around $33) and with over 5 and a half hours of material, this online workshop offers excellent value for money.
Do you know of more great online textile art courses or workshops? Or perhaps you’ve attended one of the ones we mentioned? We’d love to hear your thoughts – leave a comment below.