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Open Foundations – Textiles

Approx. Duration: 12 months at 8hrs/week


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The Open College of the Arts is the distance learning college of the University for the Creative Arts – one of the UK’s leading specialist art and design universities.

There are many ways to look at textiles: a universal language; a history of mankind and history in the making; a necessity and a luxury; an individual concern and a global industry; something that is ever evolving. This Open Foundations course will help you develop your visual skills and explore different ways of using materials and tools to develop your own textile ideas. Once you have been introduced to the nature and context of textiles, you will go on to build up mark-making techniques, explore collage as a means of creative observational drawing for textile-based work, discover the properties of materials and expand your visual vocabulary through drawing, collage and manipulation techniques. On completion of the five parts of the Open course you should have gained sufficient skills and enough confidence to go on to further study with the Open College of the Arts, and be able to decide on the nature and direction of your future studies and art practice.


  • introduce you to new ways of developing visual work appropriate for textiles
  • use a range of media, techniques and approaches in your work
  • encourage you to experiment and develop your own visual vocabulary
  • see your work in a broader context of contemporary practice


  • acquire new ways of working creatively
  • develop your observational skills
  • explore some manipulation techniques
  • learn more about material properties
  • gain an understanding of the creative design process
  • extend your awareness of contemporary textile artists and designers
  • develop textiles based on your visual vocabulary
  • gain greater confidence in your potential for textile-related work

Unit Leader

Priscilla Jones

Unit Leader for Foundations in Textiles

“My inspiration comes from a variety of sources exploring the concept of identity, memory and nostalgia. I live close to the sea in Lancashire and adore the colours and reflective light that can only be found in a coastal town…”

Read the rest of Priscilla’s profile here