Jewelled Surfaces at West Dean College 10 - 13 December. Part the second

One of Gina's beautiful pieces that ended up as a book cover.

Only having four students on the course was a great treat for me - I'm not sure how the students felt, as many of you will know, I'm not very good at leaving my students alone to work in peace . . .

I don't quite know why there were only four bookings, I have taught in December or January with ten every year so it is a mystery. I know some students worry about the possibility of snow, and it has snowed hard once or twice at this time. Anyway, we had a great time and it was a first for me so that was good. The students worked hard and fast so I had to introduce more than I was expecting to. It's good for me to be 'kept on my toes'. I can get a bit blase if things are too easy.

'Jewelled Surfaces' involved layering newspaper, painted Bondaweb and all kinds of glittery things and then reinforcing them with different iron-on interfacings. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. I developed this technique when I had shingles and had very little energy but desperately needed to do SOMETHING. So I gathered together all the bits and pieces I loved working with and created my 'Background and Prettys' technique. It will be featured as a project in my next book.

Marion laying up torn layered newspaper on colourwashed Decovil 1.

 More of Marion's work. Marion is a painter and used her torn strips in a very painterly fashion, I love having fine artists on my courses.

Having the chance to work so closely with each student was fascinating. Vicki is on one of the full time courses at West Dean and had permission do my course as part of her development. I was very impressed with the way Vicki got straight on with every part of the course, she was very focused and a joy to work with.

 Vicki layering newspaper onto a canvas to then add her stunning embellishments.

 Some sections of Vicki's stunning work.
  Vicki's two finished canvases.

 We also had fun with using the newspaper for faux chnille. Jean created this great sample by stitching open some of the 'channels' and then really roughing up what was left sticking up - gorgeous!

 Jean created two of the sample on the previous post. This new one was created with the baking paper that left after you have removed the Bondaweb - a very icy piece that was to be decorated with metallic threads.

 Gina created some beautifully considered work that was eventually ironed onto Decovil 1 and Decovil light to create slip covers for books. I very stupidly forgot to photograph the finished books, for which I apologise as they were fabulous.


To be paid to teach at such a stunning venue is just remarkable to me. West Dean is great place to learn new skills but it doesn't stop there. The grounds are beautiful, with a walled garden, acres of open parkland and flower borders and topiary walkways. I feel like pinching myself when I am there. I am very lucky. Oh and I haven't mentioned the food - Fantastic! Home cooked and delicious.

 Even on a dark frosty morning the view from the workshop door is stunning . . . .


I now need to get ready for my last teaching session this year. I am teaching 'Decorated Book Covers' at Foredown Tower over the weekend. It's always great fun there, we have the place to ourselves and have a 'lock in'!!!

I had better start thinking about making the cakes . . .  

Have a great weekend.

x x x


  1. ohhh this looks like a fabulous class. I would like to invite you to share it with my Off the Wall Fridays - its a link up on my blog where fellow fiber/quilt artists share their creative endeavors. We've found it a great way to motivate and encourage each other - not to mention share ideas!

  2. Hi Nina,
    Thank you for your kind words, we did have fun. You are welcome to copy and post this - share on Facebook, whatever you find useful.
    Kim x


Post a Comment

Popular posts

Extreme Surfaces for Stitch - West Dean College July 17 - 20

Zap, Pow, Slash and Burn! Foredown Tower part the first

Hot Textiles at The Bridge, Brighton. 6th and 7th September

The Full Works - 2 day workshop, Solihull Embroiderers Guild 17th & 18th July

More prettys at Bobbys

Sussex Quilters - Tinkering with Tyvek workshop 5th June

West Dean - Layered Textiles - Hot Techniques for jewelled surfaces - part 2

West Dean - Layered Textiles - Hot techniques for jewelled surfaces part 3

Registering your interest in my online teaching . . .

Colouricious Textiles Holiday - Block Printing Jaipur. 20th - 30th September 2016