Debbie Smyth – Nailing Thread Art With Style

Contemporary embroidery art via Mr X Stitch

Debbie Smyth is a visual artist from Cheltenham, England, who specialises in pin and thread art.

Debbie Smyth - Fly Away Home - pin and thread work

“Everyday we see strong linear structures, architectural forms, iconic objects; I like to capture these but play with the angles and perspective to give extra depth to my drawing.

Debbie Smyth - Left Luggage - pin and thread work

“The drawings are firstly plotted to give me the bare bones of the image. I then gradually exaggerate and add more thread and knots, just like you would add shading with a pencil. Thread, such a pliable and soft material with great line quality.

Debbie Smyth - Home Sweet Home - String Installation


“Shadows and light play with the semi translucent cutouts creating extra depth and giving the piece life. Sometimes extending the wandering lines creating quirky interruptions within the framing, which give a sense of theatre and presence that can’t be captured by images alone.”

Debbie Smyth - Lifeboat - String Art

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Debbie over the past year and she’s a great person as well as being a terrific artist. Much of the pleasure with her work comes from watching the process and seeing the images appear as she weaves her threads. This video illustrates the point and is worth a look.

Debbie takes a concept that is familiar to most of us, and creates charming works that have a simple elegance and are full of charm. It’s a process we could all try, but Debbie’s work sets a high standard – she is an artist of great vision. Visit her website to enjoy more of her amazing pieces.


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Mr X

Jamie Chalmers, aka Mr X Stitch, aka the Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery is the founder of the Mr X Stitch site, the world's longest running embroidery blog, the curator of PUSH Stitchery and the author of the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch. He is also the founder of XStitch, the game-changing cross stitch design magazine which launched in Summer 2017.

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