Still waters run deep as they say. Below Leah’s stoic countenance and calm demeanor is a mind brimming with creative energy. We are lucky that Leah chose to direct that energy towards textile design. Her curiosity and admiration for nature’s offerings inform her work and style, leading her to create a rich body of work. Read on to learn more about her design process and experience below. You can see more of Leah’s work on her website here and on her Instagram account, textilesby_leahdodd.
When did you learn to knit/weave/print and who taught you?
- Knitting professor, Meghan Kelly taught me how to knit freshman year.
- Weaving professor, Bridget Foster taught me how to weave sophomore year.
- Printing instructor and technician, Wendy Anderson taught me how to print junior year.
Tell us about the colors, landscapes, artists, or architecture that inspire your design work.
I get a lot of my inspiration from landscapes in nature. I think there is so much to work from such as colors and textures and objects. Some inspirations I took from nature are water, textures found in ocean life, Amazon forest fires, wood, vegetation in the rainforest, and flowers. I like to work with darker-toned colors because some of my favorite colors are navy blue, army green, burgundy, and mustard yellow. Art styles that I lean towards and admire are more abstract art and simplistic art.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from another designer?
The best piece of advice I have ever gotten from another designer is to do something out of the ordinary with each project. Try to do something that someone has never done before with your style, colorway, texturally, or concept-wise. Stand out in the crowd.
Which design from your portfolio are you most proud of, or is most special to you?
My favorite design from my portfolio is this jacquard I made just for fun. I loved this image of the ocean waves and tried to see how I could play around with different weave structures to create different textures throughout the fabric. The back and front turned out so nice. I am very proud of it. 🙂
Are there any techniques in textile design you’d like to explore further?
Some techniques I want to explore more in textile design are creating a wide variety of small and big textures when weaving on a loom and in my jacquards. Also, I would like to explore blending filling colors in my weaves.
How has the pandemic changed your creative routine?
The pandemic actually helped me to paint and draw more and do hobbies that I wouldn’t do before the pandemic. Some of the creative hobbies I make time for now are painting, drawing, and sewing. Others are gardening, cooking, and working out. Also to get outside more and get inspired by different scenery.
What will you miss the most about JeffU/DEC/Textile Design once you graduate?
I am going to miss being able to make jacquards so quickly and easily on campus. I feel like I just learned how to make them and I don’t want to stop exploring different structures and constructions.