In all honesty I was nervous about asking Judit to be interviewed for Embellished Talk. With nearly 80,000 followers on her Instagram account that catalogues her skills, crafts and colourful textiles I was intimidated and thought she would say no. I assumed that someone so generatively creative would not have time to share their ideas with me. After receiving her reply arranging a video Skype call I was happy of course and thought long and hard about what I wanted to ask her. I’ve been a fan of her work for years and wondered if she ever slept because she’s so productive, where she bought her materials from and how she got into being an amazing and admirable textiles designer. Through our Skype call she opened up her studio to me and showed her vibrant and uplifting wall hangings. Asides from her enviable work being so incredible Judit is a really sweet and warm person that inspires you into wanting to make more and from the images below you’ll understand why.
How did you get into weaving and embroidery?
My mum used to weave in framed looms and make tapestries when I was growing up; she had a very classical style. I was 11 years old when I made my first weaving of a little elephant. I stopped weaving for a while and started again when I moved to Asheville a few years ago. I’ve always been a creative person. I studied fashion design in Barcelona but I really didn’t like it so I decided to move to a small town and worked on sculpture for four years. After that I studied textile art in a school in downtown Barcelona called La Massana, where I focused and learned more about embroidery, pattern design and weaving on a loom. In school I didn’t learn to work from a framed loom like my mum so I ended up combining her skills with the ones the school taught me.
Do you always use a framed loom now?
Not always, I like to work in a variety of ways. I also work with a 8 shaft harness table loom.
Do you weave full time?
I do. I work throughout the week on customer orders and sometimes on the weekends I work on personal projects. I normally work around 8 hours a day and can spend one week working on a really big wall hanging. People really like my colourful pieces and they’re popular on my Etsy shop. A lot of my hangings are predesigned but I sometimes offer a made to order service. With my predesigned wall hangings I always keep one for myself so I have something to refer to when I have to recreate them.
Do you ever want to work with fewer colours?
I’ve made a few things but they’re not as popular. It’s funny actually because I’m not that much of a colourful person myself, I normally just wear black! People are surprised to find out that I make really bright textiles. My customers really like the colour combinations so I stick with them.
As well as the colour combinations I really love the threads and materials you use too.
I mostly use wool and other threads like silk cords, cotton threads, satin ribbons, laces, lurex threads and fabric scraps. I collect a lot of textile materials and my mum had a bunch of fabrics that she kept over the years that I sometimes use.
Where do you buy your materials?
I have some favorite shops back in my hometown in Barcelona, there I can find all kinds of awesome materials, new and vintage. A few months ago I went to an exhibition in France and bought a lot of fabric from Mahlia Kent. She makes really amazing tweed for Chanel. I bought a lot scrap pieces. I’m a fabric addict and buy a lot of stuff without knowing what to do with them! I collect a lot of thread too and I also have a little vintage collection of handmade laces.
Who would you like to collaborate with?
Loads of people! I really like the work of Tanya Aguiniga, May from HIMOART, Maryanne Moodie, and the Spanish rug company Nanimarquina, it would be really interesting to work on a rug with them as I’ve never made rugs before. Ten years ago I went to Morocco and saw how rugs are made there, it really fascinated me and has been in the back of mind since. I would like to go back soon.
What about making clothes?
When I was in fashion school I worked on a tapestry project and made a small collection of dresses.
Which one is easier to do tapestry or weaving?
With tapestry it’s much more immediate. With weaving you have to make a lot of preparations before starting like threading the loom and getting the warp ready.
What other types of textiles do you make?
I do like working with embroidery. When I moved to the States I was more inclined to making embroidered jewelery but I don’t sell them as much as my wall hangings so I stopped making them, just a couple once in a while.
Where do you get your inspiration?
You know, a lot of people ask me that but I don’t really have one source I just throw myself into my work and see what happens, like an improvisation. I do love the work of Louise Bourgeois; she’s an artist that works with a bunch of different materials. She really got into textiles after working with sculpture and created patchwork and embroidered pieces. I’m really in love with her work and feel very connected to her.
While you were studying you worked with sculpturing would you go back into it?
I’m not sure. When I did work with it I found it very therapeutic and it taught me a lot about ceramics, wood, metalwork and stones too.
Would you combine your textiles with sculpturing?
In my final project at school I mixed the two together but if I wanted to do it again I would need to find an atelier of ceramics to be able to do so.
What do you love about textiles?
You can do anything with it, it’s a really flexible and open craft. I love creating 3D designs because of my past working with sculpture. There are so many possibilities… it’s endless!
First image from WONDERFILLED