Textile Study Group

artists and tutors sharing ideas imagination and skills

Summer School 2022

Making A Point

A residential summer school tutored by Textile Study Group members and open to everyone.

Bobby Britnell
Jan Miller
Mary Sleigh

Hillscourt Hotel and Venue, Rose Hill, Rednal, Birmingham B45 8RS
Monday 18 – Thursday 21 July 2022

textile textile textile

Your tutors will be working with design, composition and ideas as fundamental parts of their courses.

Choose a workshop which will lead you through compositional exercises to develop large scale work; work with ideas of simplifying, paring back to reveal the essence of an idea; or work with a collection of cloth as your starting point for building thoughts and ideas.

All three experienced and enthusiastic tutors will encourage and support you during their inspirational courses.

Summer School brochure (PDF)

Summer School booking details, terms and conditions (PDF)

Online booking form. Please ensure you have read all terms and conditions before completing the booking form online.

Composition: big | bold | brave, with Bobby Britnell

Composition is one of the key elements in art and design, whether you are creating a drawing, painting or involved with any visual art form. It provides the viewer with the tools needed for making sense of finished works.

We will begin by looking at how a composition can be changed by the simple placing of a horizontal line, the size of motifs in relation to the picture plane, and the positioning of these motifs. We will investigate some of these ideas through a number of creative exercises onto paper and from these create some large bold monochromatic drawings.

Learning from master artists is paramount in understanding these concepts, so artist research will be fundamental in cementing personal ideas. Be prepared for some dramatic effects and large scale works on fabric which explore these concepts in challenging ways.


Bobby runs and teaches courses from her studio in South Shropshire and attracts students from all over the world. She also brings in the best UK tutors. She exhibits and teaches all over the country and abroad and was a tutor on the BA (Hons) programme for the Julia Caprara School of Stitched Textiles. She published her first book in 2013, which has been reprinted in 2021.

Building with cloth: fold | layer | wrap, with Jan Miller

Building with cloth examines household fabrics from ‘raw’ materials to rags to recycled. How and where your collection of textiles were constructed, washed, prepared, folded, stored, repaired, handed down, re-purposed, may uncover a history – real or imagined.

Record: marks, colours, ideas, drawings, collages
Work: with mixed media to construct and test
Make: samples, the starting point of a series
Review/edit: small changes make big differences

Observation of known artists’ work may inspire an approach that can be adapted to your developing experiments: 2D or 3D; scale up/down; focus on patterns and rhythms; manipulate with folds, layers, coiling, wrapping; construct shapes. A workshop to develop your own method of research; a sketchbook and samples that may stand alone; the potential to create future work.

Jan has an MA Textile Culture, is a freelance artist based in Norwich and a member of the Costume and Textile Association for Norfolk Museums. She participates in local Open Studios and is an exhibiting member of the 62 Group. Her work is inspired by coastal walks and local landscapes.

Coming into view: remove | reduce | refine, with Mary Sleigh

‘Less is more’ is the catch phrase for this workshop. Starting with something familiar – kept and treasured, given as a present or collected on a walk – we shall define its essence through experiments, sampling and recording significant elements. These discoveries will be the basis of new work revealing unexplored aspects of a familiar object.

We will explore, through the use of mixed media, possible ways of working allowing for change through experimentation and making. Deconstructing, paring back, obscuring and revealing are some of the activities in working towards a fresh approach, seeing something with new eyes. Individual approaches, innovation and a willingness to try something new will be encouraged, alongside discussion and personal tutorials. Results may be a set of individual samples or the start of a new piece of work capturing the qualities discovered in the workshop.


Having taught in Further Education for many years, Mary now works with groups developing ideas and extending their practice. Some courses are currently online workshops. She enjoys the freedom, time and challenge in writing, pursuing her own creative work and exhibits both in UK and abroad.

More about Bobby Britnell, Jan Miller and Mary Sleigh on the members pages

The Venue

Hillscourt is a delightful venue set in 25 acres of beautiful grounds and gardens. The Victorian house dates back to 1897 and retains many of its original features. It is located in leafy South Birmingham, near to Bromsgrove, Worcestershire and close to the Lickey Hills.

The venue is easily accessible by road being a 5 minute drive from the M5 Junction 4 and 5 minutes from the M42 Junction 1. The nearest station is at Longbridge and the nearest airport is Birmingham International Airport.

There is ample free parking available.

More Details

The summer school begins at 2.00pm on Monday 18 July, and ends after afternoon tea on Thursday 21 July 2022.

All bedrooms are to be vacated by 9.30am on the Thursday morning.


Booking, payment and cancellation information is on the accompanying booking details. Please use our online booking form to send your booking once you have read through the booking details.

Terms and Conditions

The booking details include important Terms and Conditions in line with our liabilities to the centre. Please ensure you read these carefully.


All bedrooms are ensuite.

This year we return to 16 students in each group. Hillscourt are not able to confirm their prices until later in the Autumn but we expect a price rise of 7%. This rise is reflected in the costs below and we will confirm the final cost to booked students as soon as we are able.

Full board, course fee, accommodation £650

International students £670

Non resident day delegate and course fee £470
This includes lunch, dinner and workshops in the evenings.

The course fee does not include lunch on Monday 18 July.

If you are making a long journey, bed and breakfast for Sunday and/or Thursday night can be arranged by booking directly with the centre. This also applies to partners who wish to stay at the centre.

Those receiving in-service grants from colleges should send the Textile Study Group the course fee and claim back a refund from their college.


For any queries about the Summer School please contact email hidden; JavaScript is required

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