Collage workshops using recycled materials
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Arts and crafts workshops are an ideal opportunity for adults and children to get creative in a relaxed, sociable atmosphere.

Taking inspiration from nature, you will learn how to create your own environmentally-friendly collages from materials such as fabric remnants, magazines, discarded lottery tickets, old leaflets and used packaging.

I can also provide interactive workshops for an online art learning experience in your own home. The materials to recycle into art are readily found at home. I will be able to guide you through the process from start to finish.

Workshop with Roza and Lilia at the Artists’ Cottages in Harrogate


I use shredded, torn, cut and hole-punched paper in my artwork that I have taken from used scratch cards, old tickets and leaflets. My art gets displayed at various galleries in the country and my exhibitions have been called “I’m Starting From Scratch”, “Much More Than Meets The Eye” and “From Waste To Wall”:


I’m keen to share my techniques with you.  My workshops are intended for everyone and you will learn how to blend various recycled materials to create your own art.

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Use a photo and transform it into a photo-collage:

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I feel inspired in Fishpond Wood to create art.

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Come and have fun creating your own coasters and fridge magnets at one of my craft workshops:


Decorate your own wooden labels which will then become ideal for nature-inspired gifts.


I’m aiming to have different themes throughout the year and will keep updating my website page with details and dates of future workshops.


I enjoy recycling pieces of fabric into my collage art to give texture, for example:

rug flowers

There is another type of art with recycled materials that uses the skill of traditional rag rugging. Rag rugs were originally cheap floor coverings made by cutting up old clothes into strips and then prodding them through a hessian backing. Nowadays this has developed into an art form in its own right and people use this technique to create decorative wall hangings as well as rugs.
I was commissioned in 2021 to create artwork for the Caudwell Children’s Charity. This involved cutting unwanted T-shirts into strips to create a very decorative design to be used within some of the artwork.


Now we are all keen to recycle and this is a good way to re-use fabrics to create texture and decorative features in artwork:


Card craft is a good way to experiment with textures.

card art

The photo above shows me adding tea-stained shreds of paper, as well as small pieces of recycled fabrics to create a woodland scene.

Shredded paper is left to soak in tea to add natural colour. 

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The stages of preparing tea-stained shredded paper before workshops.

Examples of my own finished greetings cards using tea-stained and other recycled papers, fabrics and threads.

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A participant at one of my workshops created this bold card design from brightly coloured scratch cards and pieces of textured fabric.

Another member of the group created this beautiful scene from scraps of fabric.

My card making ideas at workshops appeal not only to children…

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They are also fun, social activities for all ages and a great way to meet and share ideas.  All the recycled materials have been prepared in advance.  Come along and learn how to make unique greetings cards which not only stand out as being personalised designs, but the torn and shredded pieces also them give a natural feel.  I want to spread the important message through this form of recycled art that we can extend the use of so many materials without them going into landfill!


James Owen Thomas – an artist who highlights issues about the environment and single use products. He turns things discarded by others into a medium for expression. His aim is to inspire people to reuse and recycle as much as possible.

Former student of Bradford School of Art, James also achieved a Gold Arts Award through York Theatre Royal and received Springboard Training at The Tetley Gallery in Leeds to deliver workshops.

James explains, “The starting point of this whole process is for me to collect and organise into a manageable form all the many pieces of recycled materials I work with. I enjoy creating order out of disorder!”


No previous experience is needed.
All materials are provided.
Please email for further information.


“I am delighted to say that the delegates who attended your workshops were very impressed and many said what an inspirational young man you are. They enjoyed your workshops and creating something from materials that would otherwise go to waste.”
“I said you would be a star and you were. I know a lot of effort and time went into preparing for your workshops so a huge thank you to you for your contribution to our conference and for helping us to make it a success.”

Elaine Kilroy, Annual Conference for the NWR (National Women’s Register) on 4th September 2022 at Northumbria University, Newcastle

Previous Workshops

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