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Genue Inc.
February 25, 2019

Artists We Love: Textile Designs of Caroline Z Hurley

textile sampes by Caroline Z Hurley

Samples, Caroline Z Hurley

I have mixed feelings about Instagram. Yes, I use it, and I definitely see the positives of what it has done for the creative community. But I also do not think that it’s an unquestionably good thing to have access to perfectly curated and edited lives of all the people around you on your phone at all times. As an artist and designer, I engage with Instagram, but I try to be aware of the negative impacts the app can have on your well-being, just as much as the positive.

 

That being said, I do think Instagram is really great for is discovering new designers and artists – I mean, it’s why I have a profile on Instagram after all. One of my favorite ‘discoveries’ in the last six months is Brooklyn-based product and surface designer, Caroline Z Hurley!

 

Caroline Z Hurley in textile studio

In the Studio

 

Hurley’s designs are simple and soothing. She also tends to work a lot in collage – our theme of the month! – to create her artwork for the beautiful textiles and products she sells. Working in traditional, but of-the-moment techniques such as block printing, quilting and weaving, the end results of her labors are unquestionably modern, while respectful to the handmade nature of the items.

 

Originally trained as a painter, Hurley’s understanding of composition, positive and negative space, and the power of subtle color can probably be attributed to her education at the Rhode Island School of Design. Although I think her patterns are more geometric and minimal these days, I just love her calm but chic color palette!

 

Something I always love is when a company, designer, or artist is transparent about their production. For example, Everlane is a clothing brand that only works with ethical factories for large scale production, and they make their mission for ethical and sustainable products clear on their website. This conversation about transparency and honesty in the industry is becoming more commonplace. But, something I think a lot of people probably don’t always realize is that small design studios often can’t do all their own production – and a lot of artists don’t do all of their own fabrication either! For Hurley, she clearly lays out where each category of product is made – New Bedford, MA for her quilts, Brooklyn NY for her prints and South America for her wovens. I absolutely appreciate knowing a bit of the backstory of a made good I’d like to have!

 

If you’ve enjoyed this designer spotlight, be sure to check out the others Genue has to offer: read up on the gorgeous lifestyle and graphic design of Corina Nika, modern heirloom quilts by Louise Gray, and enjoy the larger-than-life fabric installations by artist Rachel Hayes.

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