The newest tutor to join the Lady Anne’s Needlework team is someone we have been following on Instagram the last 4 years. The lovely Pippa Haynes has a unique way of turning one of nature’s overlooked species, the humble mushroom, into stunning needlework art. With a background in performance design, Pippa says her love of needlework comes in part from the diversity of possibilities it offers – “It can be painterly, realistic, artistic, graphic or sculptural”. And she certainly manages to bring all of those together in her designs!
Before our January event, we caught up with Pippa to hear more about her needlework journey and to get to know her a little better.
Why and how did you become a needlework tutor? Did anyone or thing, in particular, inspire you?
I began teaching as a way to share my love of needlecraft and nature combined. Having always been inspired by natural forms and creations I used embroidery as a way to recreate the things I saw whilst out walking in the countryside. I then felt that there was so much beauty to share I began creating kits and teaching how to recreate flowers, mushrooms and other things by using thread. It’s a way to make the natural world last for longer and a way to continue on the wonderful skill of hand embroidery.
What is your main needlework interest?
Stumpwork or relief work. Creating embroideries that are 3D. My aim is often to try to get people to question whether what they’re seeing is real or embroidered.
Do you have a favourite stitch?
French Knot for texture and you can’t go wrong with a really lovely bit of thread painting!
If you had to choose one needlework possession to save in a fire, what would it be?
Probably my scissor collection, I keep them all in a little tin on my desk. I think I have 12 now.
When developing your designs, which activity takes the most time?
Colour choices are always a tricky one because I want to get them just right. Also often I will make a paper maquette for a 3D piece and that always takes a while.
How much time do you spend stitching each day?
I stitch practically every day Monday to Friday but it varies from an hour to up to 5 hours in a day.
What is the best piece of advice about needlework you have been given and can share with our students?
Be patient! There have been many projects I have started and have taken far longer than I expected but you have to enjoy the process of it and not just want the final outcome. Often I think of it as a form of meditation or headspace.
What advice would you give to students to get the most out of their workshop experience?
Ask as many questions as you can especially if you’re feeling bit confused!
Thank you Pippa for your time and energy, we look forward to having you with us during our 2022 events!