Diana McKinnon

Artistic Textures

Diana McKinnon MSDC

Member of Society of Designer Craftsmen


My creativity was inspired from early childhood by my grandmother and both parents. There was always embroidery, sewing, knitting and exquisitely iced cakes for family weddings, birthdays and Christmas cakes that my father spent hours icing. I still have his steel ruler that levelled the flat icing, and his tin of nozzles that piped the most intricate designs.

I studied art at Teacher Training College and while teaching and raising a family, I developed many new artistic skills from ceramics, installations, working with professional artists and setting up exhibitions. The culmination for me was achieving a City & Guilds Part 1 & 2 in Creative Embroidery. Manipulating fabric and stitch stirred up in me a passion to push the boundaries of traditional work and reflect on all the skills that I had acquired over the years.

My travels to Canada, Australia & New Zealand inspired me to capture the diversity of the natural environment. The long sandy beaches of New Zealand hold special memories for me. Not just their beauty but family memories of visits to my sister and her family, where our children played and swam.


My work over the past few years has focused on the natural cycle of seasonal changes in the English countryside. Surface texture & edges have always held a fascination for me and I love to manipulate fabrics to capture light and colour.

Layering a variety of fabrics allows me to achieve depth in my work and the viewer to feel that they can enter the landscape. When the fabrics are in place I use free motion embroidery and a palette of machine threads to add more texture and to highlight the light and shadows that give vibrancy to the scene.

Fragments of silk paper fall off the bottom of the scenes and give the suggestion of infinity.

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