Emily Ridings

Emily Ridings

About The Artist

Emily Ridings • Lexington, KY

Emily Ridings is a designer and artist. Her work explores unconventional applications of traditional craft, manifesting in basketry and clothing. Each piece is a celebration of process led by intuition, innovation, and play. Pieces are formed from found and surplus materials to honor sustainable production and the beauty of transformation. There is a narrative throughout every piece, fusing past with present and skill with curiosity.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

My process is very organic and instinctual; it works best for me to go in with a simple framework (maybe an overall shape or pattern in mind), then let my hands lead the way. The design is largely determined by the needs of the piece; patterns that are visually pleasing are often also functioning to form the shape. I used to have a simpler approach with color, but now I love playing with stains to add dimension.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

At this point I've tried nearly every form of weaving, and I think basketry clicked with me because it's simultaneously hard and soft. There's a satisfying structure to the reed, but it's still so easily transformable, inviting tenderness and strength. I've always been inspired to create functional objects that I can relate to, even if I reinterpret the craft more conceptually. It's comforting to connect with ancient techniques, then keep questioning what else I can do with it.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

I love asymmetry. Instead of weaving over uniform molds, I usually embrace organic shapes that look different from every angle. I also often combine plain and twill weave, creating continuous diagonal patterns that lead your eye throughout the basket. I ultimately want to create worlds in my work that you can look at forever and continue to notice something new.