December Visiting Artist: Ami Textiles

Could you tell us about your brand, Ami?

Ami is inspired by nature, the slow craft of weaving, earth friendly practices and the incomparable warmth and beauty of all things handmade. Everything we make is 100% natural and every process we practice is earth-centered.

How did you start making textiles?

My love for weaving began while I was studying painting at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University. I took a weaving course as an elective and started weaving my own canvas for my paintings. I was interested in challenging the hierarchies in fine art, specifically the idea that painting is a higher art than craft by drawing attention to the materiality and importance of the canvas itself. This is where my obsession with weaving began and I filled all of my following semesters with as many weaving courses as I could. The intersection of craft and fine art both amuse and inspire me endlessly.


With your mission rooted in ethical and sustainable practices, you find inspiration through the colors of natural dyes. Can you speak to your inspirations when creating?

I am constantly amazed by the natural color we have available to us, from our kitchens to our city parks, there is dye material all around. One of my favorite things about natural dyeing is that the color extracted is completely unique to the maker. It’s unique to the acidity or alkalinity of the water, the combination of organic material being used and a host of other small but meaningful details. Another thing I love about natural dyes is the opportunity to use a material that may have otherwise gone to waste - like onion skins for example! From the beginning, my mission with Ami was to use natural materials exclusively. Specifically, natural fibers in order to keep plastics out of our oceans and waterways. This limitation, working with natural materials only, has been a driving creative force in my art practice and has shaped the mission and look of the Ami brand. I love being outside in nature and using natural materials in my art practice connects me to that love and appreciation for the natural world.

What do you like most about being a creative maker?

I love working with my hands - it makes me feel connected to something greater than myself and my small sphere of being. I also love problem solving and finding creative ways to recycle materials, minimize waste and use what’s available to me. I love that no matter what material I’m working with, my approach to craft, design, color etc. is unique to the way I see and experience the world - what a gift to be human and completely unique.

What is next for Ami Textiles, and what are you looking forward to in the future?

Developing a Spring and Summer collection. I am really looking forward to designing and incorporating more wearable pieces into the Ami brand.

How would you describe your personal style?

Resourceful. For better or worse, I think resourcefulness is behind everything I do and create. What I do and don’t have access to, what I can make or wear with what I already have in my possession - these limitations are some of my key creative muses.

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