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Embroidery: My Story So Far
with Hanny Newton
on 05 September 2017

Hanny is passionate about stitch. She loves to take inspiration from the rich tradition of hand embroidery and use this to push boundaries in her own contemporary work. She studied at the Royal School of Needlework, where she was taught a range of traditional hand stitching techniques such as goldwork and whitework, and then went on to do a BA in Contemporary Crafts at Falmouth University. Having learned both traditional and modern approaches to stitch, Hanny began to combine them in exciting new ways. 

Her flair for creating thoughtful bodies of work became obvious as she talked us through some of her pieces. Her “Precious Maps” pieces, which use couching with threads of metal, leather and cotton, were inspired by the area of East London that her grandmother had known as a child. It had been badly hit during the blitz with great swathes being lost so the maps were a way of remembering the lost streets and preserving the memories that her grandmother had.

Mining in Cornwall provided the inspiration for her “In Our Veins” series. Her pieces explore the traditional mining of the metallic mineral deposits by liberating the technique of layered felt padding to create sculptural rock forms, embroidered with copper and tin. 

In her piece “Mark of the Maker” for Truro Cathedral, Hanny celebrated the nature of crafts where artists put something of themselves into their work, by literally stitching her own hair and silver threads into the raised, padded surface.

“Metamorphic Textures” arose as a result of observing the cliff faces and rock formations in Cardigan Bay. Hanny contemplated the story they told and translated it into the moments and happenings of our own lives, with the beautiful and the difficult being layered up to express who we are. 

Hanny’s career continues to grow and develop both in this country, with various national exhibitions such as Handmade in Britain and a solo exhibition at Sunbury Embroidery Gallery, and abroad, for example, travelling to Greece to conserve some of their beautiful, traditional costumes. Her range of innovative, embellished bow ties is sold worldwide! We will follow Hanny’s career with interest; we are sure that she has a promising future ahead of her! 


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