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Penny Maltby

history, narrative & skills

Penny Maltby is a textile artist and straw worker with a passion for the history and narrative behind traditional craft and cultural heritage. She is passionate about passing on the skills, knowledge and stories of the endangered crafts of hat plaiting, straw working and corn dolly making, which she does under the moniker ‘The Ministry of Straw’.

There is growing interest in working with natural materials such as heritage wheat, oats and rye; which is attracting new audiences and participants to the craft. Penny runs workshops, gives demonstrations and talks, as well as working to commission for TV and film props, festivals, installations and music videos. Her work has also been featured in the book ‘Wild Textiles’ by Alice Fox. Recently Penny has combined her two passions of straw and textiles to produce a range of contemporary British made silk scarves and household textiles – these take inspiration from her straw work and draw on references to farming, harvest and folklore.

Penny joined Design-Nation as an Associate in 2022 and moved up to Professional membership in July 2024.

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