There’s an undeniable joy in Judy Ross’s work. The New York textile designer, whose graphic, punchy pillows are now available through Viyet, melds centuries-old embroidery techniques with a thoroughly modern sensibility.
What inspired this career path for you?
I grew up knowing I was an artist and studied painting throughout my school years. After college, I was involved in the decorative pattern movement happening at the Holly Solomon Gallery as well as art to wear, which was big at the time. I started creating painted fabrics, and then on a trip to India, I saw what was next: hand-embroidered shawls. I thought they would be a great vehicle for my designs, my paintings, and my voice. I began doing embroidered textiles in India and have been ever since. The artisans I work with now are the artisans I started doing the embroidery with in 1989. That’s part of the reason I do what I do. There’s a great love and human connection with my products rather than just a factory producing them.
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
Everything influences and inspires what I create. It comes from my training as an artist and the visuals — the day-to-day, the travel.
Tell us about your creative process.
When I create, I usually use a sketch, a watercolor, or a pen-and-ink. I then choose the application — type of embroidery, colors, and stitch-work. I primarily work with hand-embroidery or hand-knotting. I love the simplicity of it, the feel that it creates, and the texture. That’s my medium of choice in terms of how I interpret my work into products.
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
A signature look of strong color sense, modern design sensibility, richness in texture, and quality.
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
A sketch pad and some pen and ink.
Who do you look up to in the design world?
Florence Knoll, Anni Albers, Sheila Hicks, Sonia Delaunay, Eileen Gray
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
I enjoy a minimalist house with a curated composition in mind. I like white spaces with a mix of neutrals and pops of color within. With my designs, I’m always thinking about that: what’s going to be the pop of color? My design aesthetics have a post-modern, Scandinavian feel. I would design this for someone who appreciates simplicity and elegance.
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote.
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
World of Interiors and Interior Design magazine
Share a little bit about the pieces you’re consigning on Viyet.
Many of the pieces I have consigned are one-of-a-kind works that were created for projects, and I happen to have the initial showroom piece that has never been used. At a certain point in a designer’s life, it is important to let those pieces go out into the world to someone who will enjoy having them as part of their life and home. My pieces are of heirloom quality, so it is really buying a piece that can be passed down to the next generation in someone’s life, and I think that is a wonderful thing. It creates a design history.
What do you love about Viyet?
I love the fact that you can search and find great one-of-a-kind, iconic design pieces at a good price. It is a great treasure chest of work, many of which could not be found anywhere else.