1 - 5 October 2017, Field to Fabric with Susie Gillespie, Devon, UK (Residential)
Accommodation 30 September - 4 October.
Hosted by Susie GillespieJoin textile artist Susie Gillespie and learn how to process, spin, weave and naturally dye linen.
Susie’s workshop and studio are set in the orchards of a 15th Century cider farm in South Devon . It is the perfect place for you to relax and be inspired on this 5 day Residential Creative Textile Course.
Susie Gillespie will show you how to process and spin flax grown in her orchard to make a hank of linen, colour it using natural dyes and then weave a cushion cover or piece of artwork. The course is 5 days and includes all materials, accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You can relax during the evenings by bringing along your own knitting, crochet and sewing project and share your ideas with the other students. Or take the opportunity to explore the beaches, country side and river estuaries of South Devon recording what you find in sketches, photographs and found items and return to the studio to incorporate your ideas into your woven art work.
Susie plants the flax seed (which is also called linseed) in spring and it is ready to harvest around August time. Susie will talk you through the process of rippling, retting and drying and you will be supplied with the flax stems from last summers for you to start the next stages of processing the flax into linen yarn.
Firstly you will put the stems through a giant wooden crimp called a breaker to reveal the flax fibres. The remaining bits of hard pith that are left on the fibres are then removed with a wooden knife called a scutch.
To prepare the fibres for spinning, you will comb them through fine metal tines (prongs) called a hackle and they will begin to resemble the pony tail of a flaxen haired maiden.
The pony tail is then spread out on a table and wound onto a distaff. Susie will then show you how to tease the fibre off the distaff and onto the spinning wheel to produce the linen yarn.
Once you have a hank of your own linen yarn you can colour it using natural dyes and then move on to the weaving studio where there are large four shaft floor looms and begin the process of weaving the linen into cloth to produce your own cushion cover or artwork.
Susie will show you basic weaving techniques as well as her more unusual ideas in weaving.
You can weave different textures and experiment with wrappings, twill, looping, slits and tapestry inlay. You can also experiment with gesso, paint and earth pigments and if you are making an art piece distress, fray, stain, unravel, darn, stitch, cut and sew fragments together.
The course is five days and includes all materials, accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Suitable for complete beginners and experienced spinners and weavers.
If you have any questions or dietary requirements please email Emma Neen, promotions@
Yalberton Farm House, Yalberton Road, Paignton, Devon