Illustrative pictures: working with silk organza and hand stitch with Emily Jo Gibbs & Selvedge Magazine

Saturday 22-29 August 2020

Over the week you will learn from Emily Jo Gibbs how to create delicate textile portraits and still lifes using layers of silk organza and hand stitching.  Working from your own imagination, drawings text or photographs, you’ll illustrate a person, object or place using textiles and thread. 

Guided by Emily Jo, you will make test pieces using layers of sheer fabrics, silk paint, and hand stitching, experimenting and exploring the best way to interpret your image. You’ll learn to play with colour by layering different organzas and reflect on how you can create light and shade  with layers of the same colour. Emily Jo will demonstrate how running stitch, couching and French knots can be used in your work and you’ll learn to vary stitch length and density to create different effects. 

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You begin with an exercise in composition by creating a paper collage. You’ll transfer your image onto fabric using a pencil, watercolour and silk paint, building layers and areas of colour with pieces of coloured organza. You’ll make a backdrop then work on your finished image bringing it to life with texture and colour.  Working at your own pace with some activities overlapping each day, you’ll follow Emily Jo’s relaxed and informal teaching style. 

Woad expert Denise Lambert will visit during the week to lead a day of dyeing with woad, the blue dye popular in the Toulouse area during medieval times. You might choose to bring some silk or organza and with you to dye and use in your portrait. 

There will also be a Sunday morning visit to the atmospheric food and craft market in the medieval town of St Antonin Noble Val which was used as the backdrop to the films “Charlotte Grey” and “The Hundred Foot Journey”.


Essential information

Single or double occupancy luxury and standard rooms available

From €2200-€3350 per participant, €1500 non-participant

Non-refundable deposit on booking
First instalment of 30% due on 15 November 2019
Full balance due 15 May 2020

Minimum 8 participants. Maximum 12 participants

Workshop held in English

Included 7 nights full board, (one dinner out at guests' cost). 4.5 days full-time tuition. All workshop materials. Trips to local markets

Excluded Airfares to France. Airport transfers available at extra cost

More information

For terms and conditions, please click here


“A week of joy and laughter as well as learning a new craft. Wonderful and profoundly therapeutic. Thank you.”

Gill, Australia

Emiily Jo Gibbs

Emily Jo Gibbs has international reputation for her delicate textiles. Finding beauty in moss, grass and peeling bark, Emily started making hand embroidered drawings of sticks in jam jars. This led to a series of embroidered portraits of her family. Emily has received significant critical acclaim for her recent work The Value of Making which now forms part of collection at The Victoria and Albert Museum and Craft Council.


Denise lambert

Denise Lambert is a regular at Chateau Dumas, Denise has been dyeing with woad (Isatis Tinctoria) since 1994 and has made the study its remarkable dyeing properties her life's work. Working with a farming cooperative who manages the crops, her company produces woad pigment, makes paints, decorative accessories, artworks and dyes clothes for the fashion industry.


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