Working in her apartment with one small loom and a home sewing machine – this is how Dee Clements started building steps to her biggest dream, her own textile and fiber studio. After almost a decade, today Dee is a creative mind and designer behind the brand of Chicago based design studio ‘Herron’. It’s a place where a craft of weaving and modern needs meet, a place where handmade textile goods for interiors and home decor are born.
Where did the love for textile and all things woven come from? How has it all started?
I taught myself to sew when I was 13. I made my own backpack for school with a home-sewing pattern. I think it began there. I made a lot of my own clothes when I was a teenager and when I went on to college that is where I learned weaving. The idea that you can make a piece of cloth by hand, thread by thread touched all of my interest in a very deep way. I really fell in love with weaving and began a mature relationship with it as a medium. Now I work from my instincts and things that intrigue or excite me.
Do your works reflect your personality? If yes, how?
I am a big introvert. I think that my work is the way in which I can have a voice without actually talking. I didn’t realize how stylized my work is until a friend pointed it out to me recently. It’s just natural to me. It is colorful, often geometric, playful at times, softer at others. I’m drawn to nuance and asymmetry. Creativity is a never-ending process and I think all the best things about myself come through in my work. I just try to keep it simple.
What is the meaning behind the name ‘Herron’?
The name ‘Herron’ comes from a love of bird watching. In instances where I have had the pleasure to observe a Blue Heron, usually at dusk which is feeding time, I was always struck by how patiently it waited in the water for fish to swim by, snatching its dinner at just the precise moment. The level of majesty, instinct and calculation was what I envisioned for my business in a sense so I named my business after the bird. I changed the spelling and added an ‘r’ because I liked the double ‘r’ aesthetically.
What is your biggest passion, excluding textiles and woven fabrics?
I love to draw and paint. It is the foundation of all my work and everything I do in my life starts with drawings. If I did not have art in my life I couldn’t exist as a whole person. My passion in life is art and ideas. I also have a passion for office supply stores. The potential for all that organization is exciting.
How important for you is the atmosphere of your working place/studio?
It’s important to me. My studio is a special place to me. I am here seven days a week. It has good light, it’s quiet and it has a bathroom. Everything I need to work is here and there are no distractions. Someday I hope to relocate my studio out of the city to a farm where I can go for walks in the woods or have sheep to tend to.
Could you give a little insight into your studio?
It’s a 400 square foot loft space on the outskirts of the meat packing district in Chicago. It has two floor-to ceiling windows that let in tons of natural daylight. It’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I can hear the train speed by throughout the day. My dog, Penny, comes here with me everyday and in the afternoons we go for a walk together no matter the weather. I’ve been working really hard this year to turn my business into textile brand. It’s been a lot of hard work. I have plans to release a collection of woven blankets and rugs in the Spring of 2016 and right now, my studio is filled with the production process of this work.
What was the most exciting project you have even been involved in?
All of my projects are exciting and I am personally invested in each one of them. I really enjoyed designing and producing the pillows for The Freehand Hotel in Chicago, it was my larges project to date and I am really proud of the work.
What is the biggest influence for your work and style?
Architecture and nature are the two major inspirations, there is so much pattern, color and light in nature. Craftsmanship and seek of quality are another issues that motivate me try harder and keep creating.