Textile Designer Ellisha Alexina Shares Her Favorite Things
The Massachusetts native blends ancient techniques with modern touches to create one-of-a-kind fabrics.
Ellisha Alexina learned the art of textiles “the way an old-school craftsman was taught,” the fabric designer says. The central-Mass. native became immersed in techniques such as hand-weaving, wool spinning, and block printing while studying painting and textile design at UMass Dartmouth. But once she mastered the methods, Alexina decided to invent her own. It’s a combination of silk-screen printing and hand-painting, “So you get the repeat of a silk-screen pattern, but every shape within the pattern is hand-painted….no shape is alike,” she says. “I created that process not knowing what I was going to do with it. I just knew I loved to make fabric.”
Now her designs, including her latest, the whale’s-tail-inspired pattern “Harlow,” are on display in showrooms around the globe under Alexina’s eponymous fabric brand. As she enters her sixth year with the Boston-based company, Alexina looks to expand her offerings with premade home goods, building upon her current lineup of pillows with items such as drapery panels. “Your home is such a sacred place,” she says. “To have someone say, ‘I want to invest in your craft because it makes me feel good when I’m home’ is a good feeling.”
Ahead, Alexina shares more of what makes her happy.
Vermont’s Long Trail
I began section-hiking parts of the Long Trail in Vermont when I was in college. I have hiked over 40 miles of the trail and have a goal to get to the Canadian border. It is such a rewarding feeling to get to the summit of a 4,000-plus-foot mountain.
This company supports local craftsmen, farmers, and makers. The products they sell are beautiful in every way and all are locally made. I particularly love their serving bowls.
Le Labo “Palo Santo 14” Candle
I visit the shop on Newbury Street for the “Palo Santo 14” candle—it’s a go-to for my home. Burning Palo Santo wood clears negative energy and opens up space for positivity.
Everyday Oil “Mainstay Blend”
This [product] is so good for your hair and skin! I use it to moisturize and to take off my makeup. It’s made from all-natural plant-based oils.
Lily is an American artist and writer who lives and works in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree [National Park]. She uses the power of hue in such a mesmerizing way. I follow her on Instagram and absolutely love seeing her process, her paintings, and what is influencing her at the moment.
What I’m Reading
I recently read Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren. It describes the principles of wabi-sabi, which is a Japanese belief that true beauty comes from imperfection and consistent change.
What I’m Watching
The Spy on Netflix. I love a good thriller that isn’t a murder mystery.
What I’m Drinking
I really enjoy the process of pour-over coffee as a way to start the morning. I like to purchase coffee beans from different local shops around the city. Right now, I’m drinking Intelligentsia Coffee’s organic French roast.
What I’m Listening To
Anyone who knows me knows that I always have music on. I’m really into the new Bon Iver album, i, i. I am a huge fan of Justin Vernon’s musical projects and have such a soft spot for Bon Iver.
What I’m Wearing
To say I’m obsessed with my new pair of Asportuguesas shoes is an understatement. They are made out of 100-percent-natural raw material and are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned. Every time I wear them I get compliments, too, which makes them even better!