found – EAU Brink Studio
November 6, 2021

Using the Found: Text, Paper and Image: Cas Holmes



Artists always make reference to other images and narrative. The primary focus of this workshop is to explore text and image as a means of visual communication. Working with paper and fabric scraps this course looks use of found materials and the use of text/image/writing both as a design element and as a means for informing work and the development of new ideas. This exploratory approach to textiles using paper-based techniques is an introduction to the tutor’s own approaches to making surfaces as a base for stitch or other creative projects and can be adapted to your own visual arts practice.



Experimental pieces resulting from this creative exploration could be used as a starting point for textile based work and mixed media, collage and stitched works.


A combination of demonstrations and discussion in a workshop based course where students will be encouraged to work individually in applying techniques, and develop ideas in mixed media. Samples will be available to look at and the course ends with an open discussion of ideas and process in relation to the work produced.



Day 1:  Writing and creating mark making, on paper and cloth

Selecting text, cutting out sections for use, printing

Paper lamination. Layering of paper with found materials and cloth using techniques adapted from Japanese screen making and paper crafts. As you work you will look at the references to text and other images you have collected. And consider how you may want to place them together.


Day 2: Looking at ways of working with the papers and cloth pieces produced to date focusing on use of the use of text/image.

Machining over printed text.

Ways of joining pieces together  building towards textured and layered surfaces

Bringing the work together practical look at how you could start developing ideas further showing examples of how I have applied techniques




As you work through the course we will make references to personal images together with ideas and other materials you have collected for inspiration. Bring images for inspiration and one or two images of previous work (so I can get some idea of you practice) Photocopy images and photocopies of text. Themes to look for:


Natural History : Images and text relating to plant, insects, birds. Think of how things may be recorded, presented in books of illustrations, science etc

Journeys. Records of travel, maps, tickets, brochures etc

Your own theme if you have a particular project you want to develop but select some text images as well that relate to you your narrative.



The tutor will instruct students in health and safety issues relevant to this course.  There are no health and safety restrictions on access to this studio/teaching space in the absence of the tutor.





Students need to bring:



1 inch brush

2–3 items of additional writing media of your choice.

Small sponge

small tube of black  and white acrylic paint.

Any letter stencils/print blocks you may have

At least one waterproof soft-tipped pen

Cheap wax crayons for writing text and making rubbings (please make sure these are non-washable)

Scalpel (optional)

We will work with the colour found in your materials but you are welcome to bring small palette of colour if you want to use it such as koh-i noor. Or small pots of dye/paint you may have.



Basic sewing equipment:


Assorted threads of your choice (the second day focuses on hand stitching for those who wish to stitch but you may bring a sewing machine if you wish). I will demonstrate sewing machine use for experiments at home


Papers and fabric: , glossy magazines,, textured paper (wallpaper), oriental specialist papers,tissues etc. (No more than a carrier bag full!)

Pieces of cotton or calico– no more than a metre square, to be cut up and used as a base and dropcloth for some pieces.

Gathered ephemera e.g. lace, fabric scraps,

Photocopy images and photocopies of text.

Notebook/camera (optional)

Aprons and plastic gloves.

One whole newspaper. For table cover.


N.B.  The tutor will bring in some specialist papers and adhesive medium for the group to use at a small charge to the an additional cost of approximately £3–4 per student.


The nearest Hotel for bed and breakfast is the Premier Inn Kings Lynn hotel, 12 Clenchwarton Rd, King’s Lynn PE34 3LW. This hotel is under 5 minutes away from the studio by car. Anyone who is booked into the hotel but has no transport we can collect and return you to the hotel at no extra charge.

Covid Postponement and Refunds

Here at Eau Brink Studio we want to ensure everyone who is booked onto one of our workshops is kept safe and we will follow the governments advice on educational workshops.

If government advice means face-to-face workshops cannot continue due to coronavirus (COVID-19), classes will be rescheduled to another date where possible.

Where this is the case, and you cannot attend the new workshop on the new date refunds will be provided.

If you have used paypal or card payments the companies take their fees out of refunds. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about this as they take their cut before they pay anything out.

October 1, 2018

Cas Holmes – Images and Narrative in Textiles Restructured AT Eau Brink Studio over the weekend.

Friday was a frenzy of preparation before collecting Cas from the train station in the evening.

Early start on Saturday where cakes were baked whilst Cas organised how she wanted the studio set up.

Enabling her to teach and demonstrate her processes to the students for the day. by nine o’clock we were ready. A good job as well as the first students started to arrive at nine fifteen.

We were not told what to aim for or how to finish our work at the beginning.

One of the main worries was what to aim for but that would have stilted our flow of creativity. Cas did inform us that we were going to be using our found materials to create a book but not in the sense of a traditional book with a cover and pages that all fit neatly into the bound cover.

This piece is in progress using the found materials, mark making and art materials.


At the beginning of the first day Cas broke the ice by getting the students to select a piece of paper and fold it then write their name on it before passing it onto the next person. This helped introduce the students to each other and get them to converse. As the pages were passed on each time a different fold and different marks were added. This then could be used for the first page or for the cover of the book if desired.

Throughout the two days Cas brought us back to her table periodically to demonstrate her processes. Encouraging us to be brave and use  colour and line from the substrate to extend the shapes in a way that enhances our work. And if you don not like it change it.

Layers were added to a fabric backing to help hold them together using CMC paste. The paste gives you the flexibility to make changes as you work as it is not permanent.

This flexibility is great when wanting to take items off the piece or to move them to another area. You can continue to move pieces around right up to the time you start sewing.

This helps your work develop organically. A way I love to work.

For some of the students this was a totally new way of working and they found it a challenge as they were used to planning each stage of their work.

Others wanted to explore each process further but that can take time.


Extending colour from the materials used by adding water based ink or paints helps to bring in tones as well as blocks of colour. Drawing into the piece helps with keeping it interesting with subtle drawings and outlines.

These can be stitched into at a later time either by hand or by machine.

Cas pointed out to us that stitching is  an art form using a needle instead of paint or pencils.

A debate then commenced about why the art world did not like to recognise stitch as a form of art. A big subject.


Once we were happy with the pages of our book and we had worked our covers it was time to think about putting it together. Something we did overnight as the work dried.

Day two was all about the sewing.

Cas demonstrated how to set up a sewing machine for free motion embroider. And pointed out that we had to remember that the needle is our new drawing tool.

Everyone had their own favorite sewing machine and this led to a  discussion on how the different machines performed especially when used for free motion embroidery.


Once we had finished using the sewing machines to add stitch and texture we moved onto hand stitch.  Even at this late stage you can add and remove layers. Stitching through paper works wonderfully if you want to get a specific design onto your piece. Then just pull the paper away.

At the end of the workshop we spend thirty minutes discussing how we felt about our work and what we liked about the process.


Cas encouraged each and everyone of use to critique our own work and to take on board what others said about it.

It turned out that many of us were not that confident about our work and this process helped us see what others saw in our work. This gave us the confidence to continue working into it once home.

This workshop was very enlightening and demonstrated that you do not need to go out and  buy the latest gadgets and materials to create a fabulous piece of art.

The was Cas Holmes works shows the artist that you can use these new skills for most forms of art. Cas has demonstrated all over the world it can be of any size and shape.

Thank you Cas for a fabulous two days.

I would also like to thank all of the students for making it a very friendly and informal group who were happy to share ideas and encourage each other.