Skip to main content

Considering a creative course starting in 2020 or 2021? Email to find out about studying with us. Register for one of our Online Open Days at

Posted 07.02.19

Young Arts: getting creative in textile workshops

By Kat Peberdy

Budding creatives from our Young Arts Saturday courses have been working with artist and designer Vicky Putler to create large scale repeat prints using Katie Schwab's exhibition in The Gallery as inspiration.

Working in groups, the young artists spent the day exploring the colourful exhibition space before learning how to use silk screen printing to create their own work. Using shades of blue inks on plain wallpaper, the students worked together to create striking and bold designs.

To gather inspiration for their workshops, the students first explored Katie Schwab's exhibition "A Working Building". Through a collection of new and reconfigured existing works, this exhibition explores design histories in relation to contemporary concerns around reused and scrap materials. Embracing bold, abstract and improvised patterning, the exhibition incorporates works produced at the college, including block-printed wallpaper, handtufted and stitched textiles, upholstered stools, enamel wall panels and videos. 

The day was led by local artist and designer Vicky Putler, owner of Thorody and lecturer at the college, she said: "It has been great to get involved with the Saturday Arts Club. The energy of the children is inspiring and I can really see the value in young children getting experience of new creative activities, especially at a time when many schools are cutting back on dedicated art teaching. I have been teaching groups of children to screen print wallpaper in repeat. Most of them have not screen-printed before let alone printed in repeat! They have all jumped in with enthusiasm and focus and produced some amazing results, I am so proud of them."

The groups moved around the print stations in the specialist textiles workshop based at the college, each one with a different design for the students to print with, giving them an opportunity to practise their skills.

Clare Shortcook, Project Coordinator for Young Arts said of the day, "During our longer Saturday club programmes, along with skills based workshops and projects from our weekly art tutors who are all qualified lecturers or practicing artists, we like to add in at least one gallery visit or workshop with a guest artist to give the young artists as much experience and insight as possible."

Young creatives visit The Gallery to explore Katie Schwab's exhibition.

Our Young Arts programme offers activities for 9 to 18 year olds which challenge and inspire, giving them the chance to explore a whole range of art forms from painting and drawing, to fashion and design, and film and photography. Our range of sessions offer both fee paying and fully funded activities which look to widen participation in the arts and also look to address the lack of high quality arts provision in schools.

The sessions also allow us to share the expertise of staff at the college, as well as opening up some of our industry standard specialist facilities to young people, giving them access to high quality art experiences in a safe creative space.

We are also proud to be a member of the National Art and Design Saturday Club network, an initiative set up by the Sorrell Foundation. The National Art and Design Saturday Club provides young people aged 14-16 the opportunity to study art and design every Saturday morning at their local art college or university for free. Plymouth College of Art was one of the first of the four founder colleges in the UK to offer the Sorrell Foundation’s National Art and Design Saturday Club when it was first established in 2009.

February Half Term 2019 sessions are available for booking now. Whether you’re a regular on our courses or brand new to our Young Arts programme, our holiday activities are an inspiring way to spend time in between terms. There are a range of half term sessions available including claymation, 3D ceramics, repeat print Gallery workshop, and dark room skills for older teens. Places are limited and booking is essential, click here to reserve your place.

Images in this feature were captured by BA (Hons) Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising & Editorial graduate Max Styles.