John Robshaw

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A painter by training, John Robshaw has built a remarkable niche by drawing inspiration from India and Southeast Asia and translating everything he has seen into richly vibrant textiles and bedding. He employs traditional printing, dying and weaving techniques and reinterprets them in ways that respect the integrity of the original textiles...

Every textile represents a story, a drawing of an adventure in a far-off place – from Yogakarta to Rajasthan, Bolivia to Vietnam. Arriving at textiles from painting and printmaking, he's "interested in the mistakes, overlapping prints and the miss-registrations of woodblocks that record the human hand."

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John Robshaw's involvement with the design and production of his textiles is in-depth and admirable: John works with various workshops in India, where he travels several months out of the year to oversee production, experiment with new dyeing and printing techniques, and to work alongside the artisans creating the fabrics. He takes care to cultivate and preserve their traditional techniques, but not only in India. As a consultant for Aid to Artisans, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating economic opportunities for craftspeople in developing nations, John has traveled to Vietnam, Cambodia, Zimbabwe, and most recently, Bolivia, in support of the textile artisans there.

Pillows run from $80 to $325 and sheets start at $120, blankets at $400. His wares are available through his showroom as well as at retailers like Erica Tanov, Auto, ABC Carpet and Home, John Derian, and Layla, among others.

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(Edited from this post originally published 9.28.04)