This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop with Emily Jo Gibbs, on using transparent organza to make stitched interpretations of photographs. Emily’s work is exquisite in its simplicity, that also manages to capture the essence of an individual or of an object.
The workshop was held in the beautiful, historic rooms of The ArtWorkers’ Guild in Holborn. The rooms and corridors contain works by previous and current members, inspiration before we even met Emily.
We were asked to bring a basic sewing kit, a variety of threads, scissors for cutting papered cloth and a favourite photograph. Emily provided a pack of different coloured silk organzas and two pieces of white linen for each of us.
The workshop started with an explanation of Emily’s technique, and an opportunity to examine her original stitched portraits of her children. We then created a small abstract collage, A5 size, to practice the techniques that she had demonstrated.
What joy to sit with a group of strangers, who quickly lost their anonymity as we stitched together.
We then started a new piece, based on our photographs.This was much more difficult and a black and white photograph would have made it much more straightforward to discern tone rather than colour. However, by the end of the day, i had this, based on a favourite picture of my elder son when he was 10.
To have got this far, while enjoying the company of others, in a beautiful setting was a gift. Thank you Emily.
If you would like to see Emily’s work in person, she is exhibiting at Mint London from 9th - 12th May.