22-29 August 2020, Emily Jo Gibbs, Illustrative pictures: working with silk organza and hand stitch

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

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 direction 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. She was excited to make pieces that explored new techniques whilst still using many of the skills she’d honed making handbags. Her new work drew on observations of nature, finding beauty in moss, grass and peeling bark. Emily became interested in the idea of nature tables, and started making hand embroidered drawings of sticks in jam jars, enjoying their quiet beauty. 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 lifes, 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. Emily Jo will demonstrate 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 on 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. Using hand stitching to bring your work to life with texture and colour, you will work up your finished image. Students will be working at their own pace on their individual pictures so some of the activities will overlap from day to day. 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 (I use cotton or poly cotton ie. Coats or Gutterman but stranded is also ok) needles, pins, fabric scissors and paper scissors, an HB pencil.

To make a portrait - a photograph to work from, printed out or photocopied max size A4. if you can bring a few copies that is ideal, if a couple of the copies are black and white that is helpful.

To make a still life – an A4 photograph or drawing of your subject + the subject ie. if you have drawn a stick in a jam jar, if possible bring the stick and the jam jar too.

If they would like to mount their work- 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 £300 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 weeks before the start of the workshop. Chateau Dumas will be in touch to remind you when the balance is due.

For more information please contact Sarah -

More from this collection



Sold Out