Today on the blog we have an opportunity to get an insight into the creative world of a fibre artist and photographer Summer Moore. She creates unique handwoven jewellery pieces in her New York based studio, under the brand name Lesh.
Initially Summer’s interest in fibre arts was inspired by antique Andean textiles seen in Peru, later influenced by the weavings of her grandmother, and finally strengthened by an artist residency she did in Turkey exploring the possibilities of this craft.
Each handwoven piece is made of cotton fibers from Brazil, thread that is produced from recycled plastic bottles, and hand-dyed cording.
And now let’s have a look at the story behind these beautiful fibre creations:
What do we need to know about you?
This can be quite an introspective question! On a less personal level I’m a San Diego native who’s been living in NYC for 10 years. I got my degree in photography from Parsons, and somehow found my way to textiles. More personally, I guess it’s important to know my desire to create things feels like it’s part of my DNA. It’s the only way I know how to exist happily. I’ve tried not creating things and it was the most miserable time of my life!
What are your daily inspirations? What motivates you?
New color combinations inspire me almost daily. I am really into art and design and go to museums, galleries, and see films as often as possible. I like being inspired by mediums I am not using, such as painting or sculpture, and see how I can develop it into something that fits my aesthetic and use of fiber. The best part for me is designing something new, or a new variation of a piece I already created. It’s that first phase of experimenting that motivates me to keep going.
Describe your creative process. What is your favourite part of it?
My textile practice began after being inspired to learn how to weave while in Peru. After learning the basics, I started experimenting on my own with smaller, wearable, handwoven pieces, and worked on them from home for over a year. Ideas were flooding me, so I decided I needed focused time to work them out, and took part in an artist residency in Cappadocia, Turkey. It was an incredible experience, and was the push I needed to get my own studio once I returned to Brooklyn. It’s not easy managing two rents, but having that separate space from home has helped my creative process flourish.
How does your workspace look? What do you like about it? What would you change?
My current workspace is cozy and inviting, and has a sitting area for people who visit, or if I ever need to give my hands a rest from the loom. It was important for me to have a space I visually wanted to be in, so I added a palm tree, rugs, and arm chair, and plan on painting a mural. I’m in the midst of swapping studios after being in the same space for over two years, so am pretty excited to freshen it up a bit and personalize it even more. It’s well organized and I have all my fibers within arm’s reach of my loom. Having your supplies within reach keeps you more focused; I have learned this from experience!
Describe your typical day.
I’m not a morning person so I’ll usually get to the studio in the early afternoon, unless I have a deadline. On nice days I’ll walk through Prospect Park to get there. Sometimes I have a set plan in mind on what I need to get done, and sometimes I wing it, depending on what I feel like making. I’m in the process of experimenting more with dying yardage, so some days I’m on the loom and some days I’m getting my hands dirty with dye. I love the variety, which is also why each of my jewelry pieces is one-of-a-kind.
Your tips for fresh artists, designers and makers.
Keep playing with your medium of choice until you find an aesthetic that speaks to you and becomes yours. You really have to put your heart into it, dream about it, and see it happening. It takes time so start small and build up, and if you’re putting your all into it, it’ll get noticed. Having a nice, clean website to showcase your products is essential! Then try taking part in markets or design shows, they’re a great way to get exposure and meet fellow designers. You have to have a mix of creative exploration and business-mindedness. Keep putting yourself out there!
All the images used in the post belong to Summer Moore.