A Finnish Textile Designer Who Tossed Out All the Rules of Textile Design
Reeta Ek is one of those fine artists who studied design — in her case, textile design, because of her innate love for patterns — for practicality’s sake, as a way to ensure she’d actually be able to get a job upon graduation. Yet when it came time for her to start her thesis, she gave herself one last taste of freedom, opting to throw out all of textile design’s typical rules and restraints, such as repeats and roll sizes, and just create whatever pleased her. “Instead of repeating elements, I started to look at the compositions more like art pieces,” the Helsinki-based talent says. “I wanted to find some kind of formula for my working process — one that, in the future, would help me to face the inevitable fear of blank paper.” The result was two sketchbooks worth of painted compositions that she not only published, exhibited at the Milan Furniture Fair this past April, and created a purchasable print series from, but also sold to her freelance clients, like Samuji. We’ve excerpted some of those compositions below — as well as some of Ek’s work for Marimekko, Samuji, and Nanso — but you can also view the entire Sketchbook I on her site, right here.