The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Shawnee Barton

Contemporary embroidery art via Mr X Stitch

Shawnee BurtonOpens in a new tab. is an interdisciplinary artist from San Diego California.

Shawnee “uses humor, humility, and her art practice to cope with being unemployed during the worst economic downturn the United States has seen in sixty years.

“Using hand-embroidery, a labor-intensive media that references both the excess time she now has and a craft stereotypically associated with housewives, she addresses subjects related to her unemployment such as job titles, depression, the economy, and time mismanagement.

“Many Americans place importance on introspection, self-revelation, and creating a self-image to portray to the world. Our enthusiasm for therapists, talk shows, and emotion-regulating medications are all examples of individuals trying to better understand and live with themselves and others.

“My work is a manifestation of my own complex relationship with introspection, and the creation of a personal identity. While openly trying to better understand my world, I also use satire to explore sociological concerns such as dislocation, relationship and group dynamics, class issues, and the ways in which we make connections and communicate with each other.”

It’s really interesting work. Shawnee uses embroidery as a form of therapy and processes her situation with skill and humour. It’s great to see needle and thread replacing pen and ink in such honest ways.

Visit Shawnee’s website to realise that her embroidery is only one part of her artistic output. Go and give her some love. 🙂


The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the contemporary embroidered art book curated by Jamie Chalmers. Featuring 30 textile-based artists from around the world, it’s a must have for needlework fans.

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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