frequently asked questions for masterclass


who is the STITCHBUSINESS masterclass designed for?

Our masterclass is designed for students who have achieved a level 3 qualification, or have the equivalent relevant experience in stitch and/or textiles, and are:

  • looking for the opportunity to develop their own style in embroidery, design and stitched textiles
  • wanting to further their studies and exploration of stitch and design beyond a structured programme (eg City & Guilds)
  • seeking individual development for progressing their stitched textile work towards an exhibition or a membership of an exhibiting group

what are the aims of the STITCHBUSINESS masterclass?

The aims of our masterclass are as follows:

  • to develop your creative skills in observation and practice
  • to leave your comfort zone and make new discoveries, breaking through boundaries to stimulate your creativity in design and stitched textiles
  • to investigate materials and media in a personal way, and for you to realize your individual style
  • to contextualize your work, developing your professional practice in the textile world

how is the STITCHBUSINESS masterclass structured?

There are three modules to complete for our masterclass and, within each, there are six set briefs. The Modules are:

  • the Foundation Module (the exploration of a variety of mark making, hand and machine stitch techniques)
  • the Colour Module (the exploration of colour theory and practice)
  • the Themes and Concepts Module (the exploration of your own theme, and an investigation into the work of other artists)

what is the timescale for working and completion of the masterclass?

We recommend a minimum of six months and a maximum of two years to complete each module. A break can be taken between each module if you wish.

what are the mentor days?

In order to support our students through individual mentoring, and to provide an opportunity for you to meet each other, we introduced our ‘Mentor Days’ in 2009. These have proved to be popular and successful, so we are continuing to run them. Julia Triston tutors the Mentor Days, which run in Studio 2, Fowlers Yard. There is time on each of these days to look at the work of others, have an individual tutorial and take part in a stitch or design activity. Please see the Mentor Day dates on our website. Here are some further details:

  • Mentor Days run from 10.00am to 4.00pm
  • the fee for each of these days will be £45 per person
  • places for the Mentor Days will be open to all masterclass students, on all modules, and will be booked on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis (booking details will be available when enrolled)
  • we need a minimum of 4 students for each Mentor Day to run
  • if we need to cancel the day, we aim to give 2 weeks’ notice, and we’ll offer you a full refund or the chance to transfer to another Mentor Day
  • if you cancel the day with less than 2 weeks’ notice we will not be able to offer you a refund
  • you can come to as many Mentor Days as you want
  • the purpose of the Mentor Days is for you to bring in your own work (whatever module you are working on) and be tutored on a one to one basis to further your work and skills in a personal direction
  • also on these days, we would like you all to feed back comments to each other about each piece of work in progress/on completion, as this is good professional practice and a valuable exercise in finding out a range of views on your work

After you have graduated from the masterclass you are still welcome to continue coming to the Mentor Days, working on your own themed stitched textiles.

what happens if I can’t attend a mentor day?

The Mentor Days are not compulsory – it is up to you if you want to attend them or not, and we appreciate it is not always possible or appropriate for our long distance/overseas students to attend.

how and when do I get assessed?

We recommend that students keep in regular contact with us, by email preferably, and keep us up to date with progress on each brief. We can give feedback on queries and development of work, via emailed images, at any time. It is not recommended that you only contact us when you have finished a module, as ongoing feedback is important to the development of your work.

We recommend that students send us a package of work every so often, so we can physically see – and assess - stitched surfaces, scale of work, finishing processes, presentation techniques, and detail and content of design. This usually happens every 2-3 briefs within each module. All postage costs of work, to and from stitchbusiness, must be borne by the student.

masterclass certificates

Certificates will be awarded as follows:

  • a stitchbusiness certificate will be awarded on successful completion of each module
  • a full stitchbusiness masterclass certificate will be awarded on the successful completion of all three modules

when can I apply for the masterclass?

The stitchbusiness masterclass is run on a rolling programme, and we accept applications throughout the year.

how do I apply for the masterclass?

If you are interested in joining our masterclass please:

  • fill in our application form, which can be downloaded here
  • send us a CD of 15-20 images (or printed photos) of your recent work – which are non returnable, this helps us see what your strengths/favoured techniques are
  • submit an artist’s statement - up to 500 words – about your influences, passions and planned direction in the textile world
  • include a £10 payment (£12 overseas students) for the process of your application, which is a non-refundable fee

We regularly meet to discuss applications, and will let you know as soon as we can if your application has been successful.

how much does it cost?

  • from 2015 the cost for each module is £205 for UK residents, and £220 for non-UK residents (it is anticipated that we will increase fees each year in line with our other courses)
  • modules will be supplied one at a time, the second module can be bought on the completion of the first, the third on the completion of the second
  • each Mentor Day will cost £45 in 2010
  • feedback on work in progress/completed work will usually be done on the Mentor Days or by email, for no extra cost
  • individual tutorials can be arranged at our standard rate of £25 per hour - see below
  • the costs for sending work to and from stitchbusiness will be borne by the student
  • there is a £10 processing fee for each application (£12 for overseas students)

what happens if I want extra support?

A one to one tutorial service is offered to all stitchbusiness students, by arrangement. The cost is £25 per hour. Many students take up this offer to have private, individual mentoring and feedback on their work.

how can I pay?

We accept payments by cash, cheques, bank transfers and via paypal.

where is stitchbusiness?

We are based on the riverside in the heart of Durham City, with full disabled access, and within a few minutes’ walk from the national rail station, bus routes (including park & ride) and city centre car parks. A map for Fowlers Yard can be found on the contact us page of our website.

any more questions?

If you have any further queries or questions about the masterclass please contact us.


2 & 3 fowlers yard
back silver street

contact julia

mob +44 (0)7855 219 253


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contact tracy

tel +44 (0)191 384 4263
mob +44 (0)7946 401 368


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