Liz Heffner

Needlework and textile art inspired by fantasy literature, mythology and history.

Welcome and thank you for visiting my website. I hope you enjoy looking through my gallery of completed pieces. If you are interested in following updates on works in progress, including photographs of the various phases of construction, you can also find these on Facebook or my blog. I am always working on something and indeed can hardly ever be found without a needle in my hand, but each piece can take between 200 and 500 hours to complete, depending on its size, complexity and the materials used.

I first developed a love of history when taking Latin, Ancient Greek and history as subjects in high school, which led me to my first undergraduate degree in Classics at Somerville College, Oxford. While a student, I was fortunate to have access to a wide range of texts, manuscripts and art works that further fostered my appreciation; I also discovered the Oxford Tolkien Society (Taruithorn) and the Oxford Arthurian Society, with whose members I celebrated a shared love of myth and legend. We drank mulled wine dipped from a cauldron, clambered up Bronze Age earthworks to see in the dawn on May Morning, squeezed into Wayland's Smithy in the pre-dawn darkness, sang songs and recited epic poems. It was only a matter of time before these pursuits and interests were to inspire the direction of my creative hobbies.

I have enjoyed embroidery, weaving, quilting, appliqué and beading - among other things - for a few decades, after beginning with cross stitch embroidery when I was six. I now specialise in 'opus anglicanum' embroidery, using historical techniques evident in pieces such as the Bayeux Tapestry and blending these with a range of modern materials that include pure silk, pearls and gold and silver threads. I am a member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, The Embroiderer's Guild of America and The Embroiderer's Guild (UK) and am an advocate for the consideration of embroidery as a serious medium for fine art. My embroidered art was first exhibited in England in September 2013.

After spending nearly four decades in England and my home town of Bristol, I emigrated to the USA in 2009, where I now live in Pennsylvania with my husband and daughter in a house that I can only describe as 'an oasis of cheerfully eccentric Britishness'. I also enjoy reading, board-gaming and baking when time permits!

All works, designs and images ©Liz Heffner 2013, unless otherwise noted