Embroidery artist Hanny Newton doesn’t stick to a rigid shape or form. Rather, her work is an ongoing exploration, following the threads (metal threads, in her case) as she goes along. Based in Shropshire, UK, she takes inspiration from the rich heritage of embroidery, while finding her own contemporary take on goldwork, believing that finding new ways to respond to the rich heritage of the craft of goldwork keeps it alive, current and allows the art form to evolve.
A graduate of the Royal School of Needlework (FDA Hand Embroidery 2013) and Falmouth University (BA Contemporary Crafts 2014), Newton now teaches embroidery workshops where she passes her knowledge onward. “My goldwork embroidery workshops are a balance of technique and experimentation,” she writes on her website, explaining that she likes to leave plenty of breathing space for students to find their own response to the historical techniques of goldwork.
According to Newton, embroidery, as with all art, should be about following your passion, not just following the rules. Her playful approach is very much the result of her open-minded upbringing. “As kids, we were always encouraged to be creative, in quite a freeway,” she recalled in an interview with Textile Artist. “Creating a mess whilst playing wasn’t particularly a problem for my parents. I think this gave us quite a lot of freedom to create and imagine.”
“Goldwork is an area of embroidery which is sometimes perceived to be somewhat traditional and has many rules,” she notes. “To me, a rule of how something must be worked was at some point a new invention itself, and that excites me and keeps me inspired to explore what metal threads can do, without worrying if I am doing it ‘right’”.
Follow her lead.