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West Dean College, Visual Arts, Tapestry and Textile Art programme

The Studio also works to promote the art of tapestry weaving. One student came on a tapestry short course for a weekend and it turned out to be a route to full time study on the Postgraduate Diploma in Tapestry and Textile Art at the College. Sometimes it is simply a matter of exploring your practice and gaining confidence, and the dyeing process can play a key part of that artistic development. About the author Philip Sanderson is Master Weaver and Designer at West Dean Tapestry Studio and a tutor on the full time Visual Arts (Tapestry and Textile Art) programme. After a Foundation at Cleveland College of Art Philip studied Tapestry Weaving as part of the Constructed Textiles BA (Hons) at Middlesex University. He went on to study MA in Tapestry Weaving at the Royal College of Art. Philip was shortlisted for the John Ruskin Prize, Recording Britain Now , in 2014.

their own tapestries. Having knowledge of the dyeing system and how colour works within a tapestry is a great advantage in the creative process, and we are very fortunate to have our own dye laboratory. The laboratory was updated in 2010, with support from the Worshipful Company of Dyers. This was a timely development as the old dye rooms did not meet revised health and safety requirements and could no longer be used. The move from a basic ‘buckets and gas burners’ system to a specially built electric system was relatively straightforward and we are most grateful to them for their generous support. In addition to the full time students at West Dean, the facilities and level of expertise that has developed have also recently been opened to the short course programme. Tapestry weaving courses may include sessions in the dye room to encourage students to begin to think about the creative use of colour in their own work.


Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers 256, Winter 2015

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