A brief biography



Cas has been involved with teaching since 1985 including the Fine Arts Department, Middlesex University, UCA, Kent Adult Education and freelance work in the UK and overseas.


She also works on collaborative projects and installations with artists, performers and writers. This includes

guest exhibitor with Urban Nature at the Festival of Quilts and the Knitting and Stitching Show (currently touring).


Cas has had work purchased for the Museum of Art and Design, New York and has written three books. Her work processes are reflected in her books 'The Found Object in Textile Art' and ‘Stitch Stories’ and in the co-authored book 'Connected Cloth'.


Places, Spaces, Traces

with Cas Holmes - Full


Thursday July 19th to July 26th 2018    

During this course we will draw inspiration from the overlooked details of the everyday from patterns and shapes in domestic objects to the features and textures in the buildings and gardens around us. We will experiment with different media and techniques, mark-making and paint methods on fabric and paper including sun printing with silk dyes (weather allowing). We will make use of stitches as ‘lines’ or marks, study textures and look at different approaches to assembling textile collage.


We will explore variations of straight stitch, hand and machine to add a diverse range of textures, layers and structure to the work as you progress in the development of your own figurative or abstract

projects mentored by the experienced artist and tutor, Cas Holmes.


Materials and techniques covered:

• Painting, dyeing and mark making methods

• Exploration of fabrics, paper and found materials as resource and inspiration

• Hand and machine stitching broadly based on layering techniques

• Developing stitch as line of drawing

• Imaginative use of reference material/sketchbooks as a creative tool

• Use of found and reclaimed materials as an inspirational source

Basic sewing machine skills are useful but not essential.


HEALTH AND SAFETY: Please advise Crafty Retreats and/or Cas of any health issues we need to be aware of.


Day 1 Arrive today. Meet and greet supper with wine to get your creative juices flowing! Cas will introduce her work and may set a short activity!


Day 2 Morning: Introduction to the course. We will look at and discuss approaches to working with found materials. Initial mark making combined with simple paint methods.

Afternoon: Sketchbook development. You can use your own collections as a source or look at finding inspiration from the local forest, farms and gardens. Experiment with cut out shapes and stencils based on drawings and gathered materials as a resist.


Day 3 Morning: Painting on dyes/paints, selecting colours/working towards a theme. Sunprinting weather allowing.

Afternoon. Wet applique with paste. Building textile collages based on the landscape.


Day 4 This morning is an outing to bargain hunt for fabulous French finds at local VIde Grenier market!

Afternoon: Design process - each student to develop composition and work on different construction methods in textile collage and mixed media. Introduction to stitch using free machine stitch.


Day 5 Cutting through, tearing back, deconstructing, seaming layers, hand stitching and more!


Day 6 is an outing day to Aubusson, the famous tapestry making town.

Whilst there we will also sketch and take photographs. The studo will be open after your return for you to continue your projects.


Day 7 Refining and completing your projects. Reflecting back on processes and ideas used.


Day 8 Today we will say our goodbyes and 'tie up any loose ends'. Most flights are later in the afternoon so the studio will be open for you to use all morning followed by lunch before you leave.



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+ 44 (0)1566 248673

Pendinnis House

Pendinnis Gardens


Cornwall PL15 8GZ

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