In the early days of her career as a designer, Judy Ross commuted between her houseboat and her artisans’ homes in a shikara, a slender skiff with palm leaf paddles used in the lake region of Kashmir. Every element of her life in India was fresh, inspirational, a creative journey.
From her start back in the ‘80s in India with a team of artisans, designer Judy Ross continues to produce intricate work, and now brings those designs to Garnet Hill with a distinctive home collection.
The quality and originality of Ross’s textile and rug collections remain definitively out of the ordinary, and her graphic designs are unmistakably hers. She’s forever evolving her sensibilities, but there’s a constant thread that has run through her beautiful designs for decades.
We recently caught up with Judy Ross to discuss her creative vision and her connections to the artisans that she works with.
“My first trip to India in 1989, I remember walking into a little mud-brick production hut in Srinagar where an early collection was being prototyped. The artisans had put my full-size paper collages up on the walls to show placement and coloring. With all the motifs hanging on the walls, it looked like a gallery show. The artisans support me in what I do, and I support them. It takes a lot of loyalty and the wonderfully collaborative spirit of working together.”
“I have a fine-art degree and studied painting in school. My painting style was always decorative, so it was easy to move back and forth between painting and textiles. Working with artisans, they get to translate my brushstrokes into stitches. This creates a collaborative vision.”
“From hand-dying the color and hand-weaving the fabric to embroidering and embellishing pieces with print, it is a luxury to work with artisans since 1989. I love things that are made in this fashion. All the products I have done with Garnet Hill have that same care and attention to detail in the way they are made.”
“I love India and cherish the relationship I have with my artisans all these years. I really love the colors, the culture, and the spirit of the people. There’s a great sense of humor there and I love to laugh when I am working!”
“I love creating the pillows with artisans and seeing what they come up with and how they interpret the vision with their stitch work. I still to this day enjoy the surprise when I receive my first prototypes.”
“When I create, I usually use a sketch, a watercolor, or a pen-and-ink drawing. I choose the application: the type of embroidery, the colors, the stitch work. I primarily work with chain-stitching. I love the straight simplicity of it, the feel that it creates — the texture. That’s my medium of choice in terms of how I interpret my work. I approach all my designing in that manner, and hope to get the simplicity and texture in other mediums like printing and weaving.”
“I realized early on that I had an original design voice, and I followed this passion throughout my career, working with artisans in India and Nepal. From my sketches to their careful handwork, a collaborative vision is created.”
About Judy Ross
Judy Ross Textiles® is a NY-based design studio known for its distinctively clean and modern design of products ranging from pillows, rugs, throws, and curtains, to upholstery and bedcovers. Judy Ross brings together color, detail, and texture to create distinctive home textiles. Attracting a loyal clientele, Judy Ross has designed custom pieces for interior designers, architects and major hotels around the world, among them the Hyatt, Hilton and W Hotels. Her heirloom-quality hand-embroidered textiles are included in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Garnet Hill is thrilled to launch our exclusive design collaboration with Judy Ross. The collection includes bedding, rugs, towels, storage solutions, and more. It’s an ideal partnership, balancing Judy Ross’s fresh, modern aesthetic with Garnet Hill’s signature quality.