These Embroideries Play with the Light

Hanny Newton is a master of goldwork embroidery, employing metal threads that glisten and sparkle. “I am fascinated by the way metal threads play with light and the beautiful qualities different types of metal can bring to a piece of work,” she relayed in an interview with Textile Artist. “I really like the fact that metal brings an unexpected hardness to textiles, which is usually seen as quite a soft medium.”

“Goldwork is an area of embroidery which is sometimes perceived to be somewhat traditional and has many rules,” she went on to say. “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’.”

Like most textile artists, her love of embroidery began as a hobby. It wasn’t until Newton showed her work to a friend that she discovered it could be much more than that. “One day, I showed my stitching to my friend Kathleen who had studied art in London,” recalled Newton, “and she pointed out that I could actually study embroidery and that it didn’t just have to be a hobby.”

She decided to do just that and went on to receive an FDA in Hand Embroidery from the Royal School of Needlework, and then a BA in Contemporary Crafts from Falmouth University. Now, years later, she teaches others embroidery, showing people from all walks of life just how awesome stitching can be. Take a look for yourself in the gallery below: