Aug 11, 2023

Designer of the Day: William Storms

Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.

Age: 32

Occupation: Artist, weaver.

Instagram: @william_storms

Hometown: Sparta.

Studio location: Brooklyn and Shelby, NC.

Describe what you make: Sculptures, textiles, and objects in between.

The most important thing you’ve designed to date: …is currently on my loom. It's been a year-in-the-weaving and installation begins next week. Saying I have butterflies in my stomach wouldn't begin to describe the feeling. I’m devilishly giddy about it.

Describe the problem your work solves: Site-specific sculptures and custom textiles woven with in-studio blended yarns.

Describe the project you are working on now: Developing my line of small batch "fabric by the Yard." I purchased two double-beam Dornier weaving looms last year. They’re from 1971, so no computers or displays. It's all timing belts, punch cards, and gear changes. I’ve woven around 600 yards since then and am learning something new every single time I power them up (with major guidance from my local mentor because the South knows fabric). Never thought I’d own a forklift, but those beams have to be lifted somehow, right?

When I purchased the Dornier Looms, I also bought a Calvani Yarn plier from ‘73. Creating yarn in my studio has been a total game changer; my practice feels more intuitive now that I can create a custom blended color while simultaneously making my warp, end by end.

A new or forthcoming project we should know about: The piece I’m currently weaving required the acquisition of an 8.5-foot handloom, on which I’m weaving six feet at the reed. Scale has been my latest frontier and it's been fascinating to apply (generally small) structures to playfully large materials. It's a monumental sculptural work that has already changed the way I view my practice, and it's not even installed yet.

What you absolutely must have in your studio: A trio of beverages because I’m that person. Usually the classic water/kombucha/coffee combo but hey, throw in coconut water too!

What you do when you’re not working: Weaving is how I self-soothe, so if I’m alone, that's likely what's going on. I’m also the friend that’ll book a last-minute flight and come visit you abroad upon a 24-hour notice, so I stay moving to say the least. I’m currently living between my Brooklyn apartment and (small) studio, and my (big) studio in Shelby, but now I’ve gone off-topic.

Sources of creative envy: Designers proficient in Grasshopper, the Rhino plug-in. (call me ;-*)

The distraction you want to eliminate: Constantly losing my scissors and never knowing where my reed hook is.

Concrete or marble? Yes.

High-rise or townhouse? Half-wood, half-glass cabin in the woods.

Remember or forget? Those two don't dance without one another.

Aliens or ghosts? Ghosts.

Dark or light? Single stream of light.