resources for the textile arts community
Ruth Norbury has been embroidering since she was a child, starting with kits and slowly making the work she produces today. Ruth has completed one year of a City and Guilds Embroidery course but felt it was stifling the work she wanted to produce. She then moved to Southern Ireland to pursue a career as an embroiderer for four years before moving to Swansea in South Wales. She has been a professional embroiderer for about 10 years now and lives with her husband James and her two dogs and five cats.
After 10 years of hand embroidering British birds, I decided to combine my two passions, embroidery and animal rights. I am a vegan and I therefore do not use any animal fibres in my work and I am very much enjoying using my art to make people think about some of the issues that are important to me, including pieces based on the badger cull in Wales, animal experiments and the fishing industry. Unfortunately I am not short of inspiration for new pieces, I am planning a piece on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the meat and dairy industry, horse racing, fox hunting……the list is sadly endless. I also donate money from the sale of every embroidery to animal charities.
I enjoy combining the delicate, detailed hand embroidery with mixed media (for example pieces of rust), it seems to give each more impact. I want people who see my work to react to it; I spent a long time making 'nice' embroideries and I don't care if people love my new style or hate it, I just don't want it to be 'nice'! I want traditional hand embroidery to be seen in a new light, it can be controversial, it can make you think. It is not all crinoline ladies and tablecloths, I sit in my studio listening to heavy metal dressed in black getting frustrated at the way the world treats its occupants, whether human or animal.
When I became vegan I did have to give away all of my silks, wools, leather, kid, etc., and I now enjoy the simplicity of working with stranded cottons. I still have other threads, but I try to use the cottons as much as I can as they seem to suit my style of embroidery. I have always preferred the detailed, realistic style of embroidery and I find oriental embroidery very inspiring and I would love to develop my techniques in this direction while combining it with the textured, freeform style of my backgrounds.
I am always happy to talk about my work or views and would be pleased to help where I can if you contact me.
50 Fern Street
Tel: 01792 475307