Gillian Cooper's Class 2013


Sulmona,  ITALY   

 37 Steps in Italy

With Gillian Cooper

11th Sept to 17th Sept 2013


Gillian Cooper 

 Gillian always wanted to be creative, but it never seemed to work so she became an accountant. Her ‘eureka’ moment arrived when she started an evening class in textiles. 

She abandoned the promising career as an accountant and went to study textiles at Goldsmiths College in LondonGillian now lives in rural Scotland where she combines life as a textile artist, being a tutor and writer and looking after her three children. She is very good at juggling! Gillian is probably best known to quilters in the UK for the monthly column ‘Quilters’ Corner’, which she used to write for Popular Patchwork about her life as a quilter and mother and the contradictions between the two roles.

Having discovered that she could draw after all and learned her craft as a mature student, Gillian is passionate about passing on her skills and helping people develop and discover their own artistic skills. She believes there is an inner artist in everyone; sometimes it just takes a bit of coaxing to find her.

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  37 Steps in Italy

With Gillian Cooper

Arrival: 11th Sept 2013

Class starts 12th Sept

Departure 17th Sept 2013

Deadline for registration is: 3rd July 2013


Course Outline

37 steps in Italy is based on a series of work I made a few years ago.  We often do not notice our surroundings as they become everyday, commonplace, mundane.  

Sometimes we need to take a different approach to appreciate where we are.  As part of a residency at Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art, I took photos of the ground every 37 steps I took during one day.  

The results were surprisingly interesting and spawned a complete body of work.  The aim of this class is to enable  the students to benefit the most from their surroundings, which is made easier given it is a place out of the ordinary for them and me, and equipping them with techniques that can be used back home as well as during the exotic time of a holiday.  

We will spend time photographing, drawing and thinking before approaching fabric, rather than rushing in at the deep end.  This course can work at a number of levels: from those trying to take their first steps into their own textile work to the more experienced who wish a refresher and insights into different working practices.  

At the end of the holiday, each student will have made a number of unique, small textile pieces approx 6 x 12in, which could be framed individually or collectively as a memento of the holiday.


 Day 1 - Thursday

After a brief introduction and a look at some work artists have made based on their surroundings, we will spend the rest of the day out exploring and photographing, making quick sketches, rubbings, notes etc. At the end of the day, we will share what we have achieved.

Day 2 - Friday

Following on from yesterday’s work, we will start sketching out some of the photos and ideas for small pieces based on the initial photographs. We will look at some principles of design, but also sketch in a free manner rather than worry about the outcomes. These sketches will only be ideas and will be achievable even by those who are convinced they cannot draw. To ensure that the colour palette of our fabric is appropriate, we will dye our own fabric in buckets outside, using procion dyes. This will probably be a group effort, rather than on an individual basis to keep the number of buckets under control!

Day 3 - Saturday

After a visit to the morning’s market for more inspiration, it is down to work starting to make some small pieces. We will look at the idea of how to convey texture and different forms of mark making, including using the fancy stitches on a sewing machine. As the pieces are so small, no sampling is required; if it doesn’t work, it can always be incorporated into another piece.

Day 4 – Sunday

Continue to make the small pieces, ensuring that the series is coherent and providing interest as a group, as well as individually. We will also consider what can be done to rescue a ‘disaster’ and ways of developing work beyond our first idea.

Day 5 - Monday

The final day will be spent finishing off some pieces and considering different ways of working with the material once the students return home. We will also look at ways of displaying the work and have a small group critique of the work made to help develop our critical faculties as well as provide support for other members of the group.

Materials list

Digital camera, Sketchbook, pencils, crayons etc, White fabric for dyeing, Procion dyes (with notice I can provide these)

Soda ash (with notice I can provide these), Salt (with notice I can provide these),Small pieces of fabric

A variety of machine and hand threads, Iron on medium/heavy weight vilene, Transfer crayons (with notice I can provide these), Fabric crayons (with notice I can provide these), Fabric paints, such as dye-na-flow, Brushes and sponges, Hand needles.

If you have any questions you can email Gillian

 Here are examples of Gillian's beautiful art work. 


 Register Below For This Class.

To find out what is included in the package, 

please go to Prices, Terms and Conditions 2013.

            Save 10%   discount..if you register now, but don't pay any money until 5 people register for this class...Then pay in 2 installments
 Price...$1995.00.... saving $255.00


Register here for Gillian Cooper. Class Code # gico13

 Just one more reminder. By registering your place in this class, means you have read, understood and agree to abide by the terms and conditions relating to Abruzzo School of Creative Art.

Once you have booked and paid for this class, you will be sent a confirmation email verifying the class you have selected.

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