Emily Jo Gibbs – January 2016

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Emily Jo Gibbs started the New Year off with a fascinating talk about her work and techniques.  She got her knowledge of sewing from her mother rather than from studying at school. 

Emily Jo followed a degree course in Wolverhampton which involved working with wood, metal and plastics and she learnt to solder silver.  With the aid of a Prince’s Trust loan she set up her own business making unusual handbags using metals.   She had a workshop in Clerkenwell and in time had a stand at the London Fashion week.  Her business grew as she received orders for specific numbers of bags.  In Emily Jo’s presentation she showed us images of the collections she created for each season which had to be on a specific theme and cover a range of prices. 


With the birth of her two sons and world events her business declined but several years later she changed direction and applied for a craft grant.  She found it difficult not to describe herself as a bag maker as she explored new ideas.  With the aid of a craft mentor Emily Jo created new work which was related to nature. 

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Another area she explored was embroidering photographic portraits which included text.  Portraits of children have become very popular and she has exhibited her work extensively around the country.  Examples of her work can be seen at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Fine Arts Museum in Houston and there have been numerous articles in national and international publications over the years including Elle, Vogue, Embroidery, The Financial Times and Tatler.  Emily Jo is a member of the 62 Group of Textile Artists.

Thank you Emily Jo for a very enjoyable afternoon.

Reported by Ros

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