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Ruth O'Leary

Ruth O'Leary is a largely self-taught embroiderer based in the North East of England, with many years experience in designing and creating embroidered artworks, including bespoke pieces on commission.

Ruth uses a variety of embroidery techniques in her work, depending on the requirements of the piece, but specialises in goldwork, surface stitchery, and free machine embroidery, often embellished with appliqué in fabric or fine leather.

She is particularly interested in the ways in which centuries-old hand embroidery skills can be used in the modern day, especially the use of medieval Opus Anglicanum techniques.  As such, she uses its principle techniques – goldwork and split stitch – in her own contemporary designs.  This requires considerable craft skill, an eye for detail, and a good deal of patience!  She also enjoys the challenges of hand-finished machine embroidery for larger-scale pieces, but the beauty and versatility of metal thread embroidery will always be her first love.

She enjoys the demands of working to commission.  Although Ruth works to her own original designs, and develops each unique project from inception to completion, she enjoys discovering the client's requirements, and the fresh ideas that develop from them.

She has a fully recognised professional qualification, and has exhibited in a range of forums, including private displays, public spaces and galleries.

Ruth has been a member of the Embroiderers' Guild for many years, and is a past Chair of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne branch.


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"So long, and thanks for all the fish"

After very many years of craft&design we've decided that we'd like to retire and so in 30 days we will close the craft&design website, including craft&design Online and the craft&design Selected Makers and Craft and Design Month websites. We've had a brilliant 35 years and would like to thank all our readers, advertisers, writers, contributors and website visitors for their support throughout that time. Our very best wishes to you all for the future - Angie and Paul.