Acrylic Wonderland : Claire Benn 2017

Claire Benn -  Barn Door detail 3.jpg
Claire Benn -  Barn Door detail 3.jpg
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Acrylic Wonderland : Claire Benn 2017


This is a sampling class to explore the joys of acrylic mediums and paints. The student will develop understanding of the properties of acrylic mediums and paints, and how they can be used with textiles to create texture, life in a layered surface and dimensional stitch effects. 

 Dates:  November 20-24 2017

Course Fee: £450     Deposit £225 payable on booking

Material Fee for the Studio £10

Acrylic Material Fees will be paid directly to Claire at the end of the class.


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  • Develop understanding of the properties of acrylic mediums and paints, and how they can be used with textiles.
  • Explore the use of fluid and gel mediums as glues in order to laminate tissue paper, thread, scrim and/or art papers to cloth to generate surface texture.
  • Explore underpainting in order to generate ‘life’ in a layered surface.
  • Use gloss medium as an ‘interference’ layer to develop depth on the surface.
  • Use stitch with the aim of leaving it in or ripping it out after painting.
  • Layer, layer, layer!



This is a sampling course so you will be working on small pieces

  • Use and manipulation of the different media; watercolour-type washes, scraping, sgraffito, lifting off, printing, mono-printing, painting, drawing and other direct surface applications.
  • Combining materials such as paper, thread, scrim and cloth.
  • Starting with a ‘blank canvas’ or using pre-dyed or underpainted cloth such as old dropcloths).
  • Using paper & cloth resists.
  • Demonstrations, advice and guidance on technique and process.
  • One-to-one feedback to review individual pieces of work and explore how to progress them through further wet processes… or take them into the next dry stage (whatever that might be)!
  • I will encourage you to sample and then move on to focus on developing two to three finished pieces.
  • Please note that this class will not cover the process of paper lamination in any depth, although we will use the process for potential art pieces, layering and/or stencil

IMPORTANT NOTE;  the use of acrylic media will stiffen the hand of the cloth to a greater or lesser degree.  Whilst it is still stitchable (by hand or by machine), it will not be suitable for classic piecing techniques, although it can be cut or torn and stitched together by over-lapping as opposed to classic seaming.


The supplies fee will include use of the following media and materials:

Acrylic mediums;  matte & gloss fluid medium and matte gel medium.

Acrylic paints; a selection of ink, fluid, heavy-body acrylic colours.

Fabric Paints: a selection of colours and some metallics.

Paper; plain newsprint, acid-free tissue paper and a small selection of art papers.

Scrim; jute and cotton plasterers’ tape, and cotton scrim.

Tools: a selection of key tools will be provided, including:

  • squeegees
  • bristle decorators’ brushes and foam brushes in various widths
  • a selection of bristle & synthetic artists’ brushes
  • monoprinting plates (large & small)
  • credit cards and scrapers
  • rollers
  • needle-nose bottles
  • sponges



I metre Polyester Sheer, available at the studio. 

As working with acrylics will stiffen the hand of the fabric, DO NOT bring expensive fabric to work on such as silk or high-quality cotton.  Instead, bring:

Inexpensive cloth such as medium-weight calico, light-weight cotton canvas (7 to 8oz), drill cotton or Ikea linen(no more than 10 metres in total).  There is no need to scour or pre-wash it.

Pre-dyed cloth (hand or factory dyed), including “failures” for layering and transformation – no more than 3m.

If you have a good-looking drop cloth, then consider bringing it as a foundation for a finished piece.

Consider bringing a piece of work that’s in progress or you’re unhappy with and wish to try and transform/save (including pieced quilt tops).


  • Cut or tear four pieces of cloth to a size of 30cm/12” square.
  • Tack two layers together so you have two pieces to work on.
  • On one, using a thread weight and stitch(es) of choice, hand stitch the piece in any way you want to.
  • On the other, please machine stitch the two layers together in any way you want to.
  • Remove the tacking stitches once finished.
  • We’ll be over-painting both pieces with acrylics during the workshop.


Tools; you’ll see that a good supply of tools will be provided but if you have specific tools you wish to use, then bring them.

Thermofax screens:  again, thermofax use will not be the focus of the class, but it can be worth bringing thermofaxes for accent images or to create texture.

  • Two dropcloths: please bring dropcloths that are sturdy: drill cotton, denim or something similar in a neutral colour are best as they are sturdy enough to flip over and use both sides before washing is needed. Your drop cloths need to measure 1.25m x 250m, once scoured and shrunk.
  • Disposable gloves if you don’t like getting paint on your hands/nails.
  • 8-12 500ml microwave pots with lids or the equivalent ( Pound Shop!)
  • 1 x box of ball-headed or T pins (please don’t bring the very heavy/thick T pins).
  • Plastic sheeting; one length of sturdy, un-creased plastic, about 2 metres by 1 meter (or less if you work smaller) - you’ll be working on this at times so crease-free is important. Glassine would be best.  
  • Cloth apron (or wear the equivalent of gardening/decorating clothes).
  • One reel each of white and a neutral machine thread.
  • A small selection of neutral-coloured embroidery threads (in white, grey, un-bleached).
  • A sewing kit including a variety of needles.
  • Your sewing machine if you are coming by car.
  • Notebook(for those who like to take notes) and sketch book for design work (or a stack of white, A4 paper will do)
  • Pens and pencils, ruler, eraser, compass etc. – anything that you feel you may need for design work.
  • Paper; whilst a small selection of specialist papers will be supplied as part of the supplies fee, do feel free to bring a small selection of you have some.  Note: DO NOT bring coloured tissue paper, as it bleeds.
  • 1 x black Sharpie.
  • Notebook/sketchbook; some handouts will be provided but you’ll need to take notes on your process explorations.
  • Pen and pencil.
  • Cloth apron (or wear the equivalent of gardening/decorating clothes).
  • A camera as it’s useful to record work-in-progress.
  • an iPod and headphones if you like to work to music.

If you are flying please talk to Jude or Leslie about thing you cannot fit in, or you cannot get.

Please note :

It is important to wear sturdy, flat, rubber-soled sensible shoes with good support. (you’ll be standing a great deal and the floor is concrete).


Please arrive no later than 9.15am on the Monday for a 9.30am start.  Teaching hours will run from 9.30am to 5.  The studio opening hours will be from 8.30am to 5.30pm. If you arrive early bear in mind that the Class does not begin until 9:30. Jude and Claire will be preparing for the day.  On Friday, the studio will close at prompt at 4:30.

Studio Information

Directions etc

Lunches, tea/coffee and nibbles and fruit will be provided.


See the Accommodation list, which comes with student feedback, if you need to stay locally.

Contact :

 Leslie Morgan

or Jude Kingshott