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Inside the Rope-Painting, Basket-Making World of Gemma Patford

After attempting to learn to crochet, Patford realized it was not for her and instead turned to artists who were working with rope like Doug Johnston, who remains one of her heroes. “I muddled my way through the Internet to find a process that worked with my abilities and with what I had at home. I had a sewing machine and paint — and the baskets were born,” she says.
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On the evolution of her practice: “I think when I started the weavings, they were more like a pattern and I think now they’re more abstract, combinations of different textures. It’s less about being graphic.”

Beautiful, Textured Wall Hangings By the Los Angeles Studio All Roads Design

Janelle Pietrzak has made a name for herself as a Los Angeles-based textile artist and one half of All Roads Design, the creative studio she runs with boyfriend Robert Dougherty. It’s fair to say her thickly textured woven wall hangings helped usher in the trend; in Pietrzak's distinctive work, abstract fields of color and looping yarns meet shaggy, silky fringe in pieces that are warm and fuzzy yet elegant.
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Rachel Duvall Textiles studio visit. Photography by Laure Joliet

Los Angeles Textile Artist Rachel Duvall

Since moving to Los Angeles five years ago, the artist Rachel Duvall has been refining an almost scientific approach to handweaving, based as much in foundational considerations like hue and line as in methodical chemical experimentation. She uses only natural dyes and modifiers such as copper and iron to “investigate the subtlety of colors,” she says, though the range she achieves — including a bright neon yellow and purple from fermented lichen she collects herself and then brews in her backyard — is striking.
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Baskets and Jewelry by Philadelphia’s Karen Gayle Tinney

For us, Karen Gayle Tinney was one of those surprises that you're shocked to find lurking in your own backyard — the artist and designer lives in Philadelphia, where for the past year she's been making elaborate woven baskets, planters, and necklaces for stores like Vagabond and Brooklyn's People of 2morrow.
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Justine Ashbee of Native Line

Justine Ashbee is one of those talents we've been circling around for years — first coveting a fine, copper-threaded special-edition light she did with Iacoli & McAllister, then ogling her beautiful wall hangings in stories like our own home tour with Totokaelo's Jill Wenger and outlets like Maryam Nassir Zadeh. But we've never had a proper introduction to the onetime Seattle-based artist — now living in Brighton, England — until today.
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Mattes makes the slices to order — “you can tell me what toppings you want” — and jokes about creating a webshop “that’s almost like the Domino’s Tracker, where people can see what state their pizza’s in.” She plans to keep making them, but she’s also “interested in creating some other small-scale object weavings that aren’t necessarily pizza.”

Portland Textile Artist Kayla Mattes

Kayla Mattes’ tapestries are an antidote to the disconnection and depersonalization that spending hours online can sometimes leave you feeling. Her work is plugged in to all the technology we take for granted but she recontextualizes it, slows it down, and the effect is immersive, dizzying, a little chaotic, and oddly comforting.
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Maryanne Moodie, Brooklyn Textile Artist

There are few people who get the opportunity to uproot, relocate, and be instantaneously welcomed by a community of powerful and creative women. But Maryanne Moodie — the Melbourne, Australia native who settled in Brooklyn last year after her husband got a job a Etsy — did just that. Since arriving, she says, “I’ve been able to meet and forge fast friendships with so many amazing textile ladies — inspirational women who are creative as well as business focused. I’ve had the chance to collaborate professionally with them — as well as down a few glasses of wine over plans for world domination.”
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Heddle & Needle

Before she got hooked on weaving, Rachel Gottesman was both a painter and a jewelry-maker, and the influence of those preoccupations is wonderfully obvious in her small-scale textiles, which she creates under the name Heddle & Needle. Gottesman treats each small weaving as a tiny canvas on which to work out ideas about things like color, composition, linearity, topography, and adornment. Formerly a director of artist relations at Threadless in Chicago, Gottesman moved back to New York about a year ago, and in the short time since she discovered her affinity for the medium, she's made weavings that incorporate grids, geometrics, hieroglyphs, brass charms — even tiny squares made to look like Boucherouite rugs. The weavings are small – usually no more than a foot wide and two feet long, though she has plans to go big — and accessibly priced, which is why we immediately looked her up when we needed someone to create a textile series for our recent pop-up at Space Ninety 8. At the same time, we thought it was the perfect time to get to know her a little bit better on the site.
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A half-finished piece on the loom. Matson draws inspiration from ethnographic textiles, the history of modernism, and their intersecting histories. “Abstraction gives you this space as the viewer to wade around in the work and draw your own conclusions. That’s what I respond to in work I like as well.”

Christy Matson, Textile Artist

In the parallel universe of false starts, where every cabinet is filled with tools you’ll never use again and every heart with ideas that didn’t stick, artist Christy Matson is a welcome presence, a reminder that sometimes lost things have a way of finding you again. Matson bought her first loom before she’d ever woven, certain that she would take immediately to the repetition and logic of it: “I was, like, I’m going to love weaving, I just know it! I had never met a textile-related process I didn't like,” Matson says. “And then I took a weaving class the next semester and hated it. I thought, this is it? This is boring.”
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Brent Wadden: About Time at Peres Projects Berlin

Until three years ago, the Canadian-born, Berlin-based artist Brent Wadden had never touched a weaving loom. He was mostly making paintings and drawings, but because so many of them featured complex repeating geometric patterns, he was constantly told by friends and observers that they'd make amazing textiles. Most fine artists would have shrugged off a suggestion like that, preferring to hew closer to their own oeuvre, but not Wadden — he asked a friend for lessons on a laser-cut loom, and then stuck with it until he was making full-scale tapestries on his own and showing them alongside his other work.
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The two also often incorporate things that aren’t quite yarn into their weavings. “Anything you can cut, anything you can shred, you can weave with,” says Segreti. “In school, I would weave with like licorice. Anything that was sort of bendy, “I'm was like, ‘Oh, I’ll put it in a weaving. There eventually was a rule that you couldn’t weave with perishable food because someone had made a weaving with bacon and it rotted.” This weaving, which ended up at Totokaelo this summer, incorporates regular wool yarn, paper yarn, alpaca fur, roving, and a stickless holographic tape Segreti picked up at an industrial supply store on the internet.

New Friends, Weavers

Back in 2009, Kelly Rakowski was a graphic designer at Todd Oldham in New York, and Alex Segreti was living in Philadelphia, working in the textiles department at Urban Outfitters. In her free time, Rakowski ran a blog called Nothing is New, for which she scoured image archives on the web, unearthing old exhibition catalogs, classic spreads from magazines like Domus, and vintage ceramics and textiles. Segreti had a blog as well, called Weird Friends, where she documented similar obsessions: craft, pattern, art, ceramics, textiles, and dogs. The two had never met, but when Rakowski emailed Segreti on a whim one day to tell her how much she liked her site, they began to bond; when both expressed a desire to learn how to weave by hand, they decided to embark on an experiment. They shipped each other yarn, so they’d have the same palette to work from, and a few months later Rakowski made the trip to Philly. They had dinner, retired to Segreti’s apartment, and showed each other their weavings. “They kind of looked the same,” Rakowski remembers. “It was crazy. Now we always come up with the idea together but work separately, and when we meet, we forget who did what because everything magically works.” The two eventually made their design partnership official, merging the names of their online identities into a fitting moniker: New Friends.
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