About Penny

Since retirement from Academia, I enjoy exploring my creativity through mixed media and stitched textiles. I studied with Tracy A Franklin (Royal School of Needlework at Durham) for traditional hand embroidery and, creative contemporary stitched textiles with Sian Martin at (Distant Stitch).

Inspiration comes mainly from the natural environment. I draw influence from my surroundings whether that be the landscape, geology and industrial heritage of an area, or a country-side or sea-side walk. I enjoy travel, exploring wide vistas, wild places, fine architecture, museums, galleries and different cultural experiences.

In my themes, I look for the fine detail to explore new ideas.  My works in mixed media and stitch draw on skills of traditional hand embroidery alongside contemporary techniques.  I dye my own materials using procion dyes, or natural sources as well as rusty objects creating colour and patterns on fabrics, threads and paper. The sometimes unexpected textural and colourful results inspire abstract interpretations in my work.  I enjoy manipulating digital images of my original works to highlight and emphasise the unusual.

Recently I have become fascinated by the world of Luna Lapin (designs by Sarah Peel at Cool Crafting). Making these delightful characters and sumptuous outfits keep me out of mischief and provide the subects for telling stories to the grandchildren.

Mixed Media Collage:

Occasionally I put down my needle and thread to take up scrap papers and glue to create small art works of mixed media collage. In 2022 I developed a series of postcards based on the theme Travellers in Time. I chose four fictional characters in costume from their time period. Mary & Mathild (ladies from 1890), and Geofrey & Gregory (from 1830), make their appearance on a series of travel related collage art cards. The cards can be seen on my contemporary work page.

Gardening and other stuff:

I am an intermittent gardener with variable results. Originally there was an idea for a grand scheme for a purple and white garden with striking evergreen foliage but that idea fell on deaf ideas... However, I enjoy a bit of pottering about in our tiny patch when I have the energy to do so. Visiting grand gardens for inspiration makes for a lovely and relaxing day out.

Particular favourites of mine that have done reasonably well in the garden are: Hostas, Irises, Agapanthus, Gladioli and Hellebores. I love Delphiniums and Lupins, but the slugs enjoy their early growth more so they don't seem to survive from one year to the next. Some successes to share are shown below (click on the first image to view a larger version with caption). In 2023, I am trying to grow delphiniums in large patio pots and sunflowers...


Group Membership:

I am a member of:

Take a Stitch 2 Durham an Independent Stitch Group, from Durham and the surrounding area.

Green Stitch - a small group of stitchers enjoying social stitching

Forthcoming and Recent Exhibitions:

  • 2024: forthcoming... Ushaw Historic House & Gardens, Durham.
  • 2023: TAS-2 31st March to 31st May 2023: Tunstall Gallery, Durham Castle.
  • 2022: Picking up the Threads 18th June to 31st August 2022: Ushaw Historic House & Gardens, Durham.
  • 2022: Rethinking the Sampler 27th April to 15th May 2022: Tennants of Leyburn, North Yorkshire
  • 2021: Elements, Artists in the Scientific Landscape 31st July - 1st October 2021: Locomotion, Shildon, Co Durham.
  • 2020: Post Art 2020: Spectrum Studios, Seaham, Co.Durham.
  • 2019: East meets West: Interface Arts, The Oriental Museum, Durham City.
  • 2019: Travels in Stitch: Durham City Embroiderers' Guild, Greenfield Arts, Newton Aycliffe, Co. Durham.
  • 2019: Regional Exhibition: Embroiderers' Guild UK AGM, Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • Earlier exhibitions organised by the North-East Region, and Durham City Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild, and the Quilters' Guild at:
    • Belsay Hall, Belsay, Northumberland;
    • World Heritage Site Visitors Centre, Durham;
    • Durham Cathedral;
    • Ripon Cathedral;
    • Farfield Mill, Sedbergh;
    • Emmanuel College, Gateshead.

Contact Details for Penny:

For further information on my works or for purchasing/commissioning pieces of unique textile art

please contact Penny by email.

Go to 'Take a Stitch 2 Durham' from here.

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