This course has concessions available

Embroidery:Subversive Stitch

A short practical course introducing stitch as Fine Art. Be inspired by contemporary artists who use stitch to creatve their work and create your own stitched artwork.

Who is this course for

This course is for students who are interested in using stitch as a fine art practice. It would be helpful if students had some experience/skill in basic stitching, but not absolutely essential. Students do not need any previous knowledge, just an interest in the subject matter and a willingness to explore their ideas, through the medium of stitch.

What does this course cover

Throughout the course the students will be introduced to other artists that use stitch within their practice. They will also be encouraged to visit exhibitions in their free time, so that they can see the work in real life.

The first day will cover the technical skills, learning a range of hand embroidery stitches and being introduced to using the sewing machine. We will also discuss what the term subversive stitch means. Students will then do an exercise where they stitch onto a postcard to subvert the original image. On the second day we will look more specifically at how hand stitched text can be incorporated into a mixed media piece. This could combine printed text from magazines, different papers, photos and scraps of fabric.

By the end of the course:
-Students will be aware of different contemporary artists whose practice incorporates stitch.
-Students will have practiced a range of hand embroidery stitches.
-Students will have gained experience using the sewing machine.
-Students will have a range of samples showing different ways of using text in textiles.
-Students will gain confidence in coming up with ideas for a piece of work.
-Students will have worked through the design process and developed a final piece.
-Students will complete a final piece.

What will it be like

The course will focus mainly on learning practical skills and developing conceptual ideas. This will mainly be done through practical demonstrations, verbal explanation, written hand-outs and group/individual discussions.
Learning will be assessed by:
1. Completion of practical work. This will include stitch samples, research and idea development for the final piece.
2. One to one tutorials, to discuss and develop ideas.
3. Question and answer to affirm learning is taking place.
4. Peer centred learning, through group discussions and critiques.
5. Presentations of other artists work to learn through example and contemporary practise.

What else do you need to buy or do

Students will be expected to have a basic sewing kit, (needles, pins, and scissors) although spares will be provided. Stranded embroidery cotton will also be provided. Students will need to bring in a postcard on the first day.
A variety of fabrics will be available for samples, but students may want to bring their own materials, photos and decorative paper in for the exercise on the second day.

Cost to the students will be minimal. Students may want to collect materials outside of the class and also complete work that they started in class.

What this course could lead to

This course could lead to other textile courses at the Mary Ward Centre or another further education college.

Other courses at Mary Ward Centre may include Textiles sculpture, Scrumptious stitch, Rags to Riches - up cycling clothing, Drawn to Stitch or Creative Practice for Printed and Dyed textiles.
Students could take a follow up short course or a longer term or yearlong course.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

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Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference.   We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’