Susie Gillespie

Flax Processing, Linen Spinning & Creative Weaving

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Flax processing, linen spinning and creative weaving course dates:

2019 October 5th to 8th –  – 3 places 

2020 April 4th to 7th – 2 Places

Susie  will show you how to process and spin the flax grown in her orchard to make a hank of linen and then weave a linen cushion cover or piece of artwork on large four shaft floor looms in her studio. Suitable for complete beginners and experienced spinners and weavers.

 Susie’s workshop and studio are set in the orchards of a 15th Century cider farm in South Devon. It is the perfect place for you to relax and be inspired.

The course is 4 days and includes all materials and lunch. Accommodation is available B & B in the Barn House and Farm House next door to Susie’s studio. 

While you are on the course, why not take the opportunity to explore the beaches, countryside and river estuaries of South Devon recording what you find in sketches, photographs and found items and return to the studio to incorporate your ideas into your woven art work.

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Susie plants the flax seed (which is also called linseed) in spring and it is ready to harvest around August time. Susie will talk you through the process of rippling, retting and drying and you will be supplied with the flax stems from last summers harvest for you to start the next stages of processing the flax into linen yarn.

Firstly you will put the stems through a giant wooden crimp called a breaker to reveal the flax fibres. The remaining bits of hard pith that are left on the fibres are then removed with a wooden knife called a scutch.

To prepare the fibres for spinning, you will comb them through fine metal tines (prongs) called a hackle and they will begin to resemble the pony tail of a flaxen haired maiden.

The pony tail is then spread out on a table and wound onto a distaff. Susie will then show you how to tease the fibre off the distaff and onto the spinning wheel to produce the linen yarn.

Once you have a hank of your own linen yarn you can move on to the weaving studio where there are large four shaft floor looms and begin the process of weaving the linen into cloth to produce your own cushion cover or artwork.

Susie will show you basic weaving techniques as well as her more unusual ideas in weaving.

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You can weave different textures and experiment with wrappings, twill, looping, slits and tapestry inlay. You can also experiment with gesso, paint and earth pigments and if you are making an art piece distress, fray, stain, unravel, darn, stitch, cut and sew fragments together.

Suitable for complete beginners and experienced spinners and weavers, you will come away with your own linen cushion cover or piece of artwork designed and created by you.

The course is £340 for all four days and includes lunch and materials.

Accommodation is available B & B in the Barn House and Farm House next door to Susie’s studio. Please visit the Accommodation tab above for more details.

To enquire about course and accommodation availability please click here

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2019 course dates

September 2nd to 6th – Field to Fabric 5 day Creative Textile Course – full

October 5th to 8th – Flax processing, linen spinning and creative weaving course – 3 places 

October 19th and 20th – 2 day weaving course – full

November 2nd, 3rd – 2 day weaving course –  full

November 9th and 10th –  2 day weaving course – full

2020 course dates:

February 8th to 12th  Field to Fabric Winter Residential 5 day Creative Textile Course – 2 places

March 21st and 22nd  – 2 day weaving course – 2 places

April 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th – Flax processing, linen spinning and creative weaving course – 2 places 

May 2nd and 3rd  – 2 day weaving course- 3 places

May 29th, 30th, 31st – Alice Fox Land Marks – Recording ‘Place’ – 6 places

Please use the contact tab above to enquire about course and accommodation availability if I don’t get back to you within a day or two please try again as sometimes the enquiries do not reach me. Thanks Susie.

I also have gift vouchers available if you would like to give a course as a present.