The Fabric of the Land

Dates: June 3 - June 7, 2019 (mon - fri)

Location: Elphin near Ullapool

Course Places : Only 3 places left!

Price : £410

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This course is steeped, quite literally, in the slow and ancient processes of marking cloth through the combined use of time and found materials.  

The week starts with a walk in the geologically diverse area around my home, which sits in the North West Highlands Geopark.  We will collect small amounts of materials suitable for making into pigments with which, later in the week, we will mono-print onto recycled cotton fabric, making images inspired by the glorious mountainous landscape of this area.  Thereafter, we will gently bounce between the various stages of the processes of eco-printing onto cotton with plants, dyeing cloth and threads using natural dyes and wax resist and monoprinting with plant inks and natural pigments.  In addition, we will print with rust onto cotton using the discarded metal objects found in and around our house and garden: remnants of the lives of earlier settlers in this old crofting township of Elphin, in Assynt.

This is a course that relies upon the passage of time for the best results, so it will be gentle in pace and will be an opportunity for textile artists and enthusiasts to experiment with materials and recipes and to explore their relationship with the land in a most tactile and direct way.  The intention is that each participant will leave with a hand-bound recipe book of sample fabrics and useful methods for dyeing and printing cloth in a natural way.

There is a sister course  – A Stitch Through the Land  – which is a guided course in using these methods to produce a finished piece of stitched work and it is a natural follow-up to this course.


All materials, refreshments and cooked lunches are included in the price.




Please click on an image to see the full picture.





Jan's studio is in Elphin, overlooking the magnificent mountains of Suilven, Canisp, Cul Mor and Cul Beag. This remote location means that accommodation is a little more difficult to find, but the experience of visiting this area makes the search well worthwhile. Many course participants opt to stay in Ullapool, which is 20 minutes drive away. It is a most picturesque fishing village, with a good range of accommodation to suit all budgets. There are many restaurants and takeaways and shops, as well as some evening entertainment, should you have any energy left at the end of that day's workshop. And students often group together and car share for their daily trip up the road, past Stac Pollaidh, to the studio. Please look at the Accommodation links page to find out more.

To read about an innovative community partnership approach to preserving and improving this landscape for the benefit of all, have a look at Coigach and Assynt Living Landscapes. To find out about the fascinating geology of this area go to North West Highland Geopark.


Email :    Tel : 01854 666279,   Postal Address : Jan Kilpatrick, Cul Mor, Elphin, By Lairg, Sutherland, IV274HH.  
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