22-29 August 2020, Emily Jo Gibbs, Illustrative pictures: Working with Silk Organza and Hand Stitch

Chateau Dumas, week-long workshop, prices from €1975 

Selvedge is delighted to host all-inclusive residential craft workshops at Chateau Dumas, a private estate with 18th century interiors, a pool and glorious panoramic views - set amongst rolling hills in the peaceful, scenic countryside just north of Toulouse international airport. The Chateau is a place where you can relax, unwind and be creative.  

The price shown includes your catered accommodation  for the duration of your stay as well as the workshop itself.

Hosted by Emily Jo Gibbs

Emily Jo Gibbs is a British artist who has established an international reputation for her delicate textiles. Between 1993 and 2006 Emily was the Creative Director of her own luxury handbag company. Her work changed direction in 2005 when she won an award from Craft Central to create a new body of work. The award enabled her to explore new techniques alongside many of the skills she’d honed making handbags. 

Determined to make work that was personally and creatively rewarding she began a series of embroidered portraits of her family. Emily’s latest body of work The Value of Making depicts makers through their tools in hand-stitched still life portraits. Emily has received significant critical acclaim and examples of her work are in The Victoria and Albert Museum and The Crafts Council Collection. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 

Course Outline: 
Over the week you will learn how to create delicate textile portraits and still life's, on a subject of your choice, using layers of silk organza and hand stitch. You may bring your own drawings, photographs and written thoughts to use as inspiration. Or, you may want to illustrate a particular person, object or place.

Guided by Emily Jo, you will make test pieces using layers of sheer fabrics, silk paint, and hand stitch, exploring how to interpret your image. You will learn how to play with the colour created by layering different coloured organzas, and to observe how light and shade can be created with layers of the same colour. You will be taught how running stitch, couching and French knots can be used to create different effects, and you will experiment with stitch length and density. Thinking about composition, you will create a paper collage to work from, which may include drawings, photographs and text. Using a variety of media including pencil, watercolour and silk paint, you will transfer your images to fabrics, building layers and areas of colour with pieces of coloured organza.

Putting what you’ve learnt from the test pieces into practice, you will create the backdrop for your stitched illustration. Emily has a relaxed informal teaching style and will encourage everyone to get the most out of their week. Beginners’ are most welcome.

Students should bring: A selection of threads (cotton or poly cotton ie. Coats or Gutterman) needles, pins, fabric scissors and paper scissors, an HB pencil.

To make a portrait (optional): a photograph to work from, printed out or photocopied. Maximum A4 and ideally a few copies.

To make a still life (optional): an A4 photograph or drawing of your subject and the subject. 

To mount your work (optional): an A4 piece of foam board.

Chateau DumasLieu dit Dumas, 82220 Auty, France

Before you pay your deposit you must have confirmation that there is a place available for you on this workshop. Please email to check there is availability.  Once your place is confirmed the team at Chateau Dumas will instruct you how to pay your non-refundable £350 deposit. You will be able to purchase multiple deposits if you are booking for more than 1 person. The balance is payable in Euros 12 in two instalments. 

For more information please contact Catherine Harris,



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