Vinny Stapley – A Harwich Safari, textile art

Date: 6th July 2024 - 7th July 2024
Time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Spaces: 9
Vinny Stapley - A Harwich Safari, textile art

Two day course, Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th July


Developing en plein air sketching into Art Textile work with Vinny Stapley

Carrying on a form of practice learnt at college of creating textile work developed from sketches made en-plein-air, the  observational drawing produced on these trips has been a foundation of Vinny Stapley’s work.

Whether it’s London, Barcelona, France  or the Blackwater Estuary, she takes a  homemade fold-out sketchbook and records what she sees en route and then selects observations to develop into mixed-media and stitched textile work.

She is bringing this methodology to Old Bank Studios … using historic Harwich as an inspiration.


Day 1

We will start day one by walking around Harwich making sketches as we go on supplied fold-out sketchbooks pre-prepared with a variety of mixed-media grounds … The approach is one of loose expressive mark-making to capture the mood and feeling of the place rather than attempting to create intimidatingly accurate drawings: an approach which lends itself well to expressive textile work.

At the end of day one after lunch and a further work using more mixed media to develop sketches, the group will come together with Vinny and select a sketch to develop into a textile mixed-media panel or a fabric fold-out sketchbook.

Day 2

Having chosen your favourite sketch or the sketches you want to develop further, and after a demonstration of possible approaches by Vinny, you will spend the day developing an exciting mixed-media Art Textile piece, with Vinny’s advice and guidance on colour, composition, contrast and use of mixed media along the way.

At the end of the day we will come together to celebrate the work produced over the two days and discuss ways to further develop

Includes homemade lunch and refreshments both days

About the tutor

Having worked in fashion and costume Vinny, studied printed textiles at Middlesex University and then went on to work as an embroidery designer for fashion textiles. She is a trained art and textile tutor and her approach is to encourage participants to work experimentally within the taught processes, to develop a more personalised, rather than prescriptive outcome. As well as working on public and private commissions she exhibits widely and is a member of the EAST textiles group.

What you will need to bring

Day 1

Clothing appropriate for the weather (raincoat , sunblock British weather ready)

Comfortable shoes for walking in.

Some sketching materials – pencils/charcoal /colour (such as coloured pencils or oil pastels or Inktense)

Pritt Stick 

Paper Scissors

Marker pens and fineliner, Posca pens are nice to have but not essential.

I will provide a fold out prepared sketchbook, which will be the basis of our work.

Digital camera or smartphone that takes pictures

You may also want to bring a small fold out stool if you find it difficult sitting on the ground (some will be available to borrow)

I will provide other wet mixed-media materials for when we are back at Studio to develop our drawings further. 

Day 2

A small bag of fabric scraps .. some sewing or embroidery threads (I will have some there as well )

Bring any special materials that you like to use or incorporate in your work. ( not necessary only if you wish)

I will provide base materials of Calico or your final piece.

Inktense or Brusho to add colour to fabric – I will also have some mixed-media materials available for you to use

Fabric Scissors, needles, pins .

505 Spray 

A sewing machine to do any freehand machine – but hand stitch/embroidery is also fine 

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