Whanganui Girls College                22 -28 April 2018


Claire Benn -UK - class full

Text in Art Textiles

From early cave paintings, runes and symbols, mankind has been trying to communicate since the dawn of time.  This workshop is for anyone who is interested in using ‘text’ in art textiles; through letterforms, script, repetitive mark-making, runes, numbers or symbols.

On the first day, we will work exclusively on paper using a variety of tools, including familiar writing or drawing tools such as pens and pencils, and items such as home-made nibs and found objects with India/China ink.  The aim of this first day is to:

  • Loosen up your hand and discover what it’s capable of doing with ‘text’.
  • Explore rhythm, repetition, spacing, density and contrast.
  • Use recognisable letterforms, text, script or numbers.
  • Develop and create marks, symbols and runes that reference text.
  • Get messy and illegible.

The rest of the workshop will be dedicated to working with MX dyes on cloth and include:

  • How (some of) the output from paper-based activity can be transferred to cloth by working directly with the hand using a variety of different tools (brushes, needle-nose bottles, home-made nibs etc.).
  • The use of block printing with a range of wooden alphabets, numbers and punctuation marks.
  • Trying out ideas with thermofax, screen printing, breakdown printing and mono printing.
  • Making and using paper lamination stencils.
  • Consideration of how to build layers, explore composition & figure-ground, contrast,  relationships and balance.
  • Time for one-to -one and group discussions.

About Claire Benn

Claire has been engaging with textiles since 1996.  In 2000, she teamed up with Leslie Morgan to form ‘Committed to Cloth’ which has become one of the foremost surface design and art textiles teaching studios in the U.K.  Her depth and breadth of knowledge of media and processes related to cloth is hard to beat, but she believes there’s always more to discover.

She teaches and exhibits internationally and her work currently spans 3 streams: the use of earth pigments on cotton canvas, intensive hand stitching on antique cloth such as hemp, and using Natural dye processes for creating whole cloth art pieces.




Register for this workshop