Dionne Swift



photo of DionneI'm a contemporary Textile Artist based in West Yorkshire. I studied at Goldsmiths college, graduating in 1990 - there I was fortunate enough to have some amazing tutors: Alice Kettle, Sally Freshwater, Michael Brennand-Wood, the course tutor was Audrey Walker and the external examiner, Rozanne Hawksley, what a great list!

From then onwards I have been lecturing and exhibiting my work, whilst studying for further qualifications: 730 C&G Teaching, Certificate of Education from Warwick University and MA Textiles from UCE [Birmingham University]

I work with a variety of processes and techniques, exploring the thoughts and challenges of everyday life. Work exhibits throughout the country and I can often be seen demonstrating my skills at a range of textile events. In 2009 I was a featured artist at the Knitting and Stitching shows and in 2010 launched a solo touring show NEW GROUNDS.

Textiles is my full time occupation and compulsion.


Beyond what I had expected, I have realised my love of textiles and you have been inspirational.

Creative workshops to help you explore and expand: offering new skills and techniques with 1:1 mentoring to enhance your creative development.

Accessible Silk Screen Printing

Ever wanted to try silk screen printing on fabric but were worried about the amount of equipment involved? Want to create your own unique printed fabric for textile projects, quilts or patchwork? Learn about Manutex Monoprinting, create stencils, ponder placement prints, discover breakdown printing and produce your own printed samples to take away and develop further.

Dyes and materials are included in the cost of the workshop - we will be using plain weave cottons - you may wish to also bring your own cloth to experiment with: you'll create your own silk screen images and explore a range of innovative fabric printing techniques to help you develop your own patterned and coloured fabrics. It's the perfect workshop for Textile teachers and enthusiasts as it kick starts a desire for surface pattern and the production of unique cloth, whilst at the same time reducing reliance on expensive equipment and products. My workshops are all about accessiblity and ensuring that students can continue their experimentations in their own environment - it's low tech and suitable for all.

This workshop is also available ONLINE.

Painterly Embellishments

Discover new ways to create surfaces and marks on fabric with an embellisher in combination with free machine embroidery. This workshop explores a new vocabulary of mark making while supporting you to create embellished & stitched cloth which can be used as a wall piece, part of a quilt/patchwork or any other project - the choice is yours! You learn to draw and paint with your machines.

Inspired by a collection of C20th painters you will analyse and translate their painterly qualities into fabrics. This process can be the foundation of future developments and is an excellent format for establishing new directions in your creative work. It's fast fun and addictive.

By the end of the day you'll have discovered a collection of techniques to help you gain the most from an embellisher and you will be able to draw with your sewing machine. There will be a series of samples for you to continually refer to which will support your ongoing textile development PLUS a larger finished piece to be admired by friends & family.

Note Janome provide all the machines needed for this workshop :-)

Developing Sketchbooks

Get over the fear of starting a new sketchbook and learn simple, effective techniques to kick start a new project/book. I offer you the essential ingredients to make any sketchbook an exciting and stimulating collection of pages. It will be a 'dictionary' of creative tips and techniques that you can apply to any future scenario. This workshop is also available ONLINE.

Exploring Devoré

Devoré explores combination fibres cloths, burning away one of the fibres to expose the delicate layer of cloth beneath. It's a fascinating technique - one which has captivated me for many years & undoubtedly it has become my area of specialism. This workshop offers you a spectacular range of uses for devoré - it's much more than mere velvet. You'll leave with a vast bundle of samples and a head bulging with ideas!

I have also created a DVD: Demystifying Devoré - which does just that!

Drawing for Textiles

Following the success of NEW GROUNDS: solo touring exhibition, Dionne shares ideas to initiate stimulating textile surfaces for a plethora of applications.

Experimental mark making provides the energy for this inspirational workshop. Some textile students shy away from drawing, fear not - it's made accessible and enjoyable in an encouraging and friendly environment!

Transform your paper work into highly tactile compositions; exploring thread, stitch, cloth, layering etc. Progress your ideas and techniques simultaneously. Ideal for those wishing to embark on new areas of development &/or generating sketch book ideas - you'll have practical exercises to keep you constantly moving forward PLUS the opportunity for individual discussion & tuition.

Really it was just what I wanted... a relaxed atmosphere in a small group with stimulating and useful input from you with ideas which I can use to get me going on my art work. There was time to experiment with the techniques. The drawing exercises were particularly good. Although I've done a lot of a drawing before it's always useful to be reminded of ways back in to the creative process. I think you are skilled at creating a good atmosphere and inspiring us to work.

This workshop is now also available ONLINE.

I'm developing more workshops so keep an eye on my website or better still sign up to receive my monthly newsletters.


I offer talks, demonstrations and workshops to groups, guilds and colleges.

You can find my latest collection of talks on my website: www.dionneswift.co.uk/workshops/talks/

Contact information

If you would like further information please take a look at my website &/or get in touch.

Website: www.dionneswift.co.uk

Online Workshops: www.workshops-online.org

Mobile: 07974 747080
Home/Studio: 'Mountfield', 12 Cinderhills Road, Holmfirth HD9 1EE

Read Dionne's articles on Studio v Online learning, Dynamic Drawing and Exploring Devoré...

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