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Genue Inc.
August 15, 2019

Artists We Love: Blake Kahan of Willow Ship Textiles

willow ship textiles napkins

Napkin Assortment, Willow Ship

 

Willow Ship is a line of hand printed, designed, linen home goods. A one woman enterprise, Blake Kahan is the designer, printer and seamstress behind Willow Ship’s gorgeous and colorful offerings.

 

Kahan started Willow Ship in San Francisco and recently relocated to Portland, Oregon with her family after many years working as a graphic designer.

 

I think I stumbled upon Willow Ship one day while browsing Instagram, but I immediately recognized some of the prints and patterns – and with good reason! Kahan and Willow Ship have been featured in Apartment Therapy, Designsponge and other popular design oriented blogs.

 

Willow Ship’s patterns are clean and geometric, with bold, crisp colors. While I really appreciate all of her designs, I think my favorite might be the Block Printed Linen Table Runner – the perfect mix of something special and beautiful, while being unfussy and utilitarian.

 

Kahan cites her influences as ranging from quilts to Danish modern furniture, and acknowledges that good design is made for busy people. I think that’s a really important aspect to think of when designing any homewares, but especially of the fabric or textile variety. Willow Ship’s designs look impeccable ironed and fold neatly for a dinner party, but when thinking about approachable design, I like to consider how things will live during the majority of their lives. For me, that would mean less about dinner parties and more so, out of the dryer, slightly crumpled, and honestly Willow Ship’s designs would still look really great!

 

Designed for the aspirational life, but lovely in a realistic life – that’s what good design does. For an inspiring account, and to stay up to date with what Willow Ship is up to, follow Kahan on instagram @willowship!

 

What do you think of Willow Ship’s designs? Are there any other designers that approach their work with a sort of “easily usable” aesthetic? Tell us about it in a comment!

 

If you enjoyed this designer spotlight, check out a few of our others: modern tapestries by Maryanne Moodie, dainty floral surface design by Rifle Paper Co., and whimsical sustainable fashion by Adrienne Antonson of STATE the Label!

 

 

 

 

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