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Jill Green, Designer & Maker

January 29, 2021
by the gentle author

I met my old friend Jill Green in the street yesterday and she told me that she and her family had suffered from the Coronavirus at Christmas and now she is working to get her business going again. Please support Jill by visiting


My pockets were wearing out with all the coins until I bought this purse with foxes on it from Jill Green in the Sunday market. This modest little purse has served me well, it is a perfect piece of design and use has only improved its beauty.

All credit goes to Jill, who designs and manufactures them along with other screen-printed artefacts in her attic workshop high above the Brick Lane. Originally from Leeds, she studied graphics at Glasgow School of Art and expected no more than to end up working in Tesco, but spent a couple of years in various design jobs before starting out on her own eighteen years ago.

Jill has a technique of printing on leather whereby the soft suede pile is only exposed within the images – this is what gives the foxes on my purse such a convincingly rich colour and texture. Using this specialist technique, she makes an attractive range of small leather goods. Each piece is designed, printed and sewn together by Jill herself using leather from local suppliers. She loves making things and, as my purse illustrates, these are not mere novelty items, they are robust and functional too – desirable to own and a pleasure to use.

I want to celebrate Jill because she manifests the essence of what makes this place interesting to me. For centuries, Spitalfields has been celebrated for artisan culture and Jill embodies this tradition. Running her own business, she is a designer of real talent, who is also highly skilled and experienced in printing and sewing too. It is no small achievement that she makes a living doing this because she is a perfectionist and puts a lot of time into finishing every single piece to a high standard, which means the profit margin is low. But, justifiably, she has great pride in what she does and I think her work deserves wider recognition, so I was pleased when Jill was approached by Liberty. In fact, I know of people who buy her beautifully screen-printed cards for a few pounds and then frame them.

When I used to visit her workshop, Jill was always hard at work, busy and excited, making things. I love her leather pencil cases with black cats on them. Reflecting her own Northern character, there is a very personal droll humour to all Jill’s work that I find immensely appealing.

Take a look at Jill’s leather purses and pencil cases here


Jill Green screen-printing pencil cases in her workshop high above Brick Lane

Grey suede pencil case with black cats by Jill

Jill’s 2021 Bird Calendar is still available

Blackbird screen print by Jill

Gold foxes purse by Jill

8 Responses leave one →
  1. Jane Jones permalink
    January 29, 2021

    Thanks for introducing us to this wonderful maker.

    Such exquisite simplicity, animals always do it, so I am off to do some more internet shopping!

  2. Jill Wilson permalink
    January 29, 2021

    Lovely unusual products – she should definitely have a stall at your next Jamboree!

    And a great name of course…

    Jill x

  3. Steph Munro permalink
    January 29, 2021

    I’ve bought some beautiful purses, cards and prints from Jill over the years, so good to know she’s still producing such wonderful stuff.

  4. John Gillman permalink
    January 29, 2021

    What wonderful products. Have just ordered some bird cards and can see myself visiting the site again for prezzies.

  5. January 29, 2021

    Wonderful functional and nice Designs, indeed! — I love the GOLD RABBIT PURSES and also the BIRD CARDS, shown on her Website. Don’t give up with creativity!

    Love & Peace

  6. January 29, 2021

    Thank you! Have signed up to follow her on Instagram.

  7. January 29, 2021

    Thanks for introducing us to Jill. I was so glad to see photos of her studio environment, on her website. I love to see where other creative people work.

    Stay safe, all.

  8. January 29, 2021

    Thank you for showing us the work of this wonderful craftswoman . I love the colours and the unique way she printed the animals and the birds. They really stand out.
    A stall is a great way of getting known in the area. I have had a few myself at different times in the past. The old markets such as Petticoat Lane were the bread and butter for many East Londoners, but now I am not sure if the street markets will ever return as they were. Perhaps they will, but we will certainly never again see the old 1950’s market spieler, throwing up the plates in air and watching them hit the floor unbroken. “Look, see what quality! “.
    Now perhaps another era begins for the craftsman and woman to sell their unique handmade work and hopefully the packed Sunday crowds will return once again !

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