My background as textile designer evolved out of my passion for interiors and textiles and these interests merged when I studied Fibers at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). As I studied Fibers, I fell in love with weaving, a creative outlet that requires both planning and a willingness to be spontaneous. Upon graduation, my portfolio consisted mainly of woven design samples from Dobby and Floor looms and a small selection of hand rendered designs. There was a slow shift towards CAD design starting to happen in the school and the industry, it was a time of transition in the industry (NAFTA had just passed). I literally felt I was in a race to get a job before the textile industry disappeared in the USA!
My first job opportunity couldn’t have been more perfect, one of the oldest weaving mills in the US. I was hired at Churchill Weavers (no longer open) to help them transition to new loom technology and I helped teach the staff and senior designer how to create woven designs for Dobby looms. While was there I learned the fundamentals of woven production design from an historic and culturally relevant company. I loved working within the limitations of woven design, focusing on just color and structure you can create endless patterns such as color gradations, textures, plaid, stripes and small geometrics’.
Being on site with production taught me how important it is to understand the technology, products and people you are designing for.
I went on to work for Mohawk Industry, where I was woven Jacquard textile designer. I was eager to learn more while they were still manufacturing in the US at a time when I saw many mills closing or moving mills off-shore to China, South America or India. While there, I became curious about woven carpet design. Carpet designs were more sophisticated (than the products I was designing at Mohawk). This was vastly more appealing to me than designing Easter Bunny placemats or college football themed throw blankets so I eagerly took the opportunity to learn more.
After moving to Tai Ping Carpets I used my knowledge and technical background fully transition to woven carpet design. I mainly created custom design for hotels and other commercial spaces, collaborating with Interior Designers and Architects on projects around the world! During my time at Tai Ping, I was able to travel to the mills in Thailand and China and see manufacturing of both Hand Tufted rugs and woven carpets. Designing for carpets and rugs was tremendously rewarding! When I started out as a textile designer, I could not have imagined how fun it would be to created these designs. Now, when I walk into a room or public space, I look down and admire the rugs and carpets. They anchor the room and are a vital and important part of creating the feel for the overall space!
I share my background because I will always see the projects I work on from a Designers perspective. I believe in the power of beauty to motivate and heal us! I continue to create textiles through a variety of applications including weaving, print design, mixed media and dyeing (mostly natural-lots of Indigo!). I have create custom commission pieces from time to time and have showed a small sample of my work over the years, but mostly I am connected to the process of creating and designing textiles. For the time being, I do this mainly as a form of creative personal expression.