Big Cat Textiles: masterclasses with the world’s best artists and designers

Big Cat Textiles is a leading provider of textile masterclasses in the UK and in the international textile community. The masterclasses are ideal for the seasoned practitioner and keen amateur alike, offering the opportunity for participants to develop and hone their existing skills or experiment with new techniques under the expert tutelage of master textiles artists and designers from around the world. The classes take place in the bright, open textiles studio in a converted Burgher chapel in Newburgh, the walls of which are adorned with textile art pieces and vintage textiles paraphernalia, offering inspiration wherever you look.

Take a look at this short video to find out about Newburgh, the studio and the tutors that teach here.

Big Cat Newsletter

Be the first to find out about upcoming courses, gain an insight into previous masterclasses, and hear about what is inspiring us at the moment by signing up to the Big Cat mailing list. Just email alison@bigcattextiles.co.uk with the subject ‘newsletter’. In the meantime, come and like us on facebook for details of upcoming classes, works in progress, and all manner of textiles-related things.

Attention students: sponsored classes!

To encourage students to attend classes we feel would be of particular benefit to them, every year we offer discounted student places on selected classes. Sponsored places on each class are allocated strictly on a first-come, first-served basis. One sponsored place per student per year. Arrangements for 2018 will be announced in due course.

Staying in Newburgh

The town of Newburgh provides an inspiring and dramatic location for the Big Cat Textile studio, nestling between steep craggy hills and the Tay estuary with its extensive reed beds, and benefitting from the east of Scotland’s wide open skies and generous hours of sunshine. 

We have contacts in a range of lodgings, B&Bs and hotels to suit all tastes, and we can help find the right place for you. Just get in touch.

Alison Mountain and Jeanette Sendler

Alison Mountain and Jeanette Sendler of Big Cat Textiles

A bit of background

Big Cat Textiles in Newburgh, Fife is the younger (but bigger!) sibling of Hat in the Cat, the studio/shop for quality contemporary handcrafted hats and textiles in Bridgend, Perth. Hat in the Cat is the main showcase for hand-made textiles and hats by Jeanette Sendler and Alison Mountain. Activity at the Big Cat Studio in Newburgh focuses on teaching and making in the renovated, bespoke studios.

Big Cat Textile Headquarters

The whinstone building with its elegant arched windows is part of Newburgh’s rich cultural history.  Originally the Burgher Chapel, it has since then had several incarnations, notably as a Second World War drill hall for Polish troops, a potato merchant’s store and an upholstery workshop. By the spring of 2011, the building had been sensitively upgraded into a series of bright, open spaces.

The town of Newburgh provides an inspiring and dramatic location for the Big Cat Textile studio. Nestling between steep craggy hills and the Tay estuary with its extensive reed beds, it benefits from the east of Scotland’s wide open skies and generous hours of sunshine.

Big Cat Textiles’ first Artist in Residence was Australian ‘bio-regional gatherer and maker of marks’ India Flint. After delivering two inspiring masterclasses in August 2013, she stayed on in Newburgh to make her own work. A short film, written and narrated by India, follows her progress. To see the film, which reveals the local environment in a very special light, click or tap here. India has returned each year since then with more of her special wisdom and insight.

We can also arrange bespoke events for a wide range of groups, from Continual Professional Development for teachers to couture headpiece workshops for hen parties. Just call in, telephone or email us.

Teaching away

As well as facilitating and delivering classes in Newburgh and Perth, Jeanette and Alison from time to time run classes in other venues.

  • In December 2014, Jeanette delivered Turban Making in Königswinter, Germany.
  • In May 2015 they returned to Wollknoll, Germany again to teach Graphic Knit Felt. This time they also led Sinamay Hats and Hair-dos alongside a professional hair stylist.
  • Also in May 2015, CPD for teachers at Dundee Contemporary Art working with buckram shapes.
  • In June 2015, Felt Hats at Feltmakers North in Northern Ireland.