The modern miniature punchneedle is based on an 1800s needle used to adorn traditional folk costumes. It was used on a larger scale to create punched rugs, similar in appearance to hooked rugs.
Cheryl Mihills discovered the miniature punchneedle in 1979, and it changed the direction of her work forever. She instantly became intrigued with the unique textures, the relief the artwork brought her, and its unlimited creative possibilities. Cheryl became fascinated with how much she could achieve by using a single strand of thread,
Cheryl’s background is in fine arts. She studied Art and Design at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY.
Cheryl describes her work as “drawing and painting with threads.” She begins each piece with a basic pencil sketch of her idea, and the design progresses as she works. There are approximately 1,200 stitches per square inch, and it can take from 3-4 hours to complete a square inch, depending on the detail.
Cheryl has produced several art commissions over the years. Her most challenging and largest picture was a beautiful 1700s stone home in Pennsylvania. Typically, commissioned works take 12-24 months to complete.