Interview with Thesis Student Emily Robinson

This semester, Textile Design has two graduating grad students. Today, I’m interviewing Emily Robinson. Her refreshingly straightforward, no-nonsense sensibility comes through in both her interview and her collection. Emily has a keen eye for style and has successfully melded vintage kitsch with a thoroughly modern aesthetic to create a body of work that is the best of both worlds. In the following interview, Emily shares with us her inspirations, her ways of overcoming this year’s challenges, and her favorite things about Textile Design. 

How did you choose Textile Design as a major?

After interning for a textile design company as an undergrad, I knew I wanted to work in the textile industry. I was interested in going back to school, but not for an MFA. I started doing a ton of research on different weaving/textile programs in the country and realized that this program was one of a kind.

 When did you learn to weave and who taught you?

When I was a sophomore at the University of North Texas, I decided to minor in Fiber Arts. I learned many surface design techniques, and how to weave. Lesli Robertson was my weaving professor from 2014-2016 and it was then that I fell in love with the craft.

Who are your design heroes?

Sheila Hicks, Anni Albers, and Gunta Stolzl are my go-to’s for weaving inspiration.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from another designer?

To never go with your very first idea, it’s all about iteration.

Are there any techniques in textile design you’d like to explore further?

I’d love to weave and experiment on different looms, like a TC2 loom.

What do you have on your loom today?

The last bits of my very last warp for my thesis collection 🙂

What kind of music do you listen to in your headphones?

If I’m working on schoolwork, I’m listening to some Spotify playlist with “calm” or “meditative” in the title. Lol. But usually, I’m listening to audiobooks.

What are your hobbies? How do you make time for them?

I love to cook and try new recipes and I love to do yoga. I wake up extra early in the morning so I can get in at least 30 minutes of yoga/stretch time before I start my day. Since I have mostly been doing school work from home this semester, it hasn’t been as hard to make time to cook.

Where do you see design intersect with other parts of your life that you hadn’t noticed before going through this program?

I have become hyper-aware of repeating patterns in wallpaper, clothing, etc. There are a lot of bad repeats out there.

What will you miss the most about Jefferson University Textile Design once you graduate?

The incredible faculty and the equipment! The capacity in which we get to use the jacquard and computerized dobby looms is pretty much a once in a lifetime experience.

What is your favorite thing about Textile Design?

It’s the perfect combination of left-brain & right-brain. There is so much math and logic that goes into planning a woven fabric, it’s like a puzzle, but it is creativity and conceptual thinking that has to get you to that point. Color sense and awareness of design elements are extremely important as well.

Like what you see? You can follow Emily’s creative path on Instagram at @texas_hands or visit her website


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