Course Code E2302S53
Tutor Sarah Gillham, Shane Waltener
Course Dates Fridays: 12th January to 22nd March 2024
Times 10:30AM - 4:30PM
Experience Level Ages 18+, All Levels
Fee £630 plus £20-£30 materials fee

This course is part of our Elective Skills Workshop series. You will be studying alongside students from our pre-degree and degree programmes.

You’ll use both traditional and modern approaches to fine art textiles, including wet and dry felting, embroidery and applique, latex, weaving and soft sculpture. Throughout the course, you’ll explore how and why contemporary artists employ textiles within their practice.

By the end of the course you will be able to: 

  • Create a range of textile samples.
  • Experiment with latex, 2D and 3D. 
  • Create 3D soft sculpture.
  • Draw with thread using hand stitching techniques. 
  • Use wet and dry felting techniques.
  • Apply textile processes and techniques in an experimental fine art context.
  • Analyse the work of others, applying findings to their own work. 
  • Research, plan and complete a self initiated project.

This course is suitable for all levels. Students can move at their own pace depending on their experience, with as much support from the Tutor as they wish.

  • Beginner

    Choose a Beginners course if you are looking for a broad introduction to the medium you are studying. Students spend time learning the very basics of the taught medium, for example, how to mix colours, use different tools, set up an easel. Our Beginner courses are suitable for students with no prior experience, they tend to follow a more structured path than our other courses, ensuring each student receives the guidance they need from the tutor.

  • Beginner +

    Choose a Beginner + course if you are looking to hone your skills, focus on a specific subject area and build your confidence. These courses are suitable for those with some basic skills in and knowledge of the taught medium, but still follow a structured path with guidance from the tutor.

  • Intermediate

    Our Intermediate courses are suitable for students who have considerable prior knowledge of the taught medium or have completed a Beginners/Beginners + course with the Art Academy.

    These courses tend to be less structured and instead are tailored to the classes’ needs and the direction they want to advance in. Choose an Intermediate course if you are looking to improve your skills and have more critical discussions around the work you produce.

  • Advanced

    Choose our Advanced courses if you have considerable knowledge in the taught medium. You are expected to be able to work independently and have critical discussions around your work.

     Our Advanced courses include our Masterclasses.

All attendees must be aged 18 or over.

Sarah Gillham​’s art practice and the development of her ideas are led by materials and processes and the interplay with found images and objects. The body, female sexuality and desire are recurring themes within the work. These bodies often become fragmented, fetishised and displaced, they are relics of a psychological or bodily experience. Since graduating from her MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art she has exhibited in Bodies Undone,​ Blyth Gallery, London Artwork/Housework (co-curated), Art licks Weekend, London, Something Borrowed, Arthouse1, London, In Infancy, Blyth Gallery, London, Sixty (touring), Art-Athena, Greece & Lubomirov/Angus-Hughes Gallery, London, Sex Shop (touring) (co- curated), Transition Gallery, London & Folkestone Triennial Fringe 2014, WW Solo Award|Group, WW Gallery London, Condensation (co- curated), Danielle Arnaud Gallery London, Homespun Mythologies (solo), Blyth Gallery. Gillham has completed commissions for The Great Eastern Hotel, London & Marlow Theatre, Canterbury and has been awarded Painter – Stainers Fine Art award. She has taught and run workshops for the Blyth Gallery, UCA Farnham, UAL Wimbledon and Croydon School of Art.

Shane Waltener’s art practice is rooted in ideas about ecology, sustainability and reuse. Sculpture, installation and performance all draw inspiration from a range of craft practice from ceramics to textile weaving and basketry as well as and dance and movement.

Working in participatory settings, Waltener used making processes to facilitate personal, social and cultural histories to be exchanged and create new knowledge and imaginaries.

Waltener is a co-founder with dance artist Laura Glaser of Common Agency Projects. He is an associate artist with Entelechy Arts, an arts organisation working with historically marginalised individuals and groups, allowing art to create new contexts and purpose to increase participation and engagement across generations, across cultures and across abilities. He is an associate lecturer at the University of the Arts, London, a resident artist at Stave Hill Ecological Park and co-author of Practical Basketry Techniques (A&C Black, 2012).

 Recent projects include The Isle of Dogs Flax Exchange, Craft Central, London; The Valta Nest, with artist Rebecca Swift and Entelechy Arts, The Albany (London) and Valta (Oulu, Finland) 2022; We Are Commoners, with Common Agency Projects, Craftspace touring exhibition 2022-22; The BAG (Building Action Group) Project, Minerva Academie, Groningen, Netherlands 2019; Unearthing, Tate Modern and Stave Hill Ecological Park.

Instagram @shanewaltener


Please see the ‘what to bring’ sections in the daily breakdown.

There will be a charge of no more than £20-30 *TBC* to cover materials and equipment provided by the Academy, payable on the first class. 

Mermaid Court

165A Borough High Street
London SE1 1HR
tel: +44 (0) 207407 6969

Nearest Tube/ Rail: London Bridge or Borough (both a 5 minute walk).

Please note that London Bridge has two exits, the most direct route is to follow signs to “Borough High Street”.

Students are welcome to use our Common Room/ The Barn during break times, where you can prepare hot drinks and/or food.

You are also welcome to make tea or coffee.

  • You will need to have paid in full before the first session of your class. Your place is not guaranteed until we have received full payment. Please book early in order to guarantee your place on the course.
  • If you purchased a pack online this will be given to you on the first session of your course upon your arrival. Packs can be purchased on our Materials Page or on the individual course page when you make your booking.
  • Please don’t wear your best clothes as there is always a chance you will get messy. If possible bring an apron or overalls.
  • All artwork MUST be taken home at the end of the course or it will be disposed of. Paintings that need to dry should be collected within a week. For clay sculptures that need hollowing and firing, you will receive a separate email when they can be collected.
  • Please ensure that your mobile phone is switched off or is on silent during the class.
  • Health and Safety Guidelines will be provided to you at the beginning of your class.
  • Sometimes our photographer will pop in to get some images of our classes in progress. We will typically inform you beforehand if photography is taking place during your class; if you do not want to be photographed please let the photographer know!
  • To find out more about what’s going on at the Academy follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. If you’d like to share images of your course, your progress or your finished work we’d love to see them! Please bear in mind you must have the permission of tutors, other students and models to photograph them.
  • If you would like more information or advice please contact
  • For further details please see our Short Courses: Regulations & Policies page.


Places Available!

Fee: £630.00

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