Artist Jessica Geach founded her creative homeware business Ruby Cubes in 2015 as an outlet for exploring her love of textiles - both as practical and tactile pieces. Jessica’s preferred medium is rope, which she coils and stitches to form beautiful modern vessels, placemats, plates and bags.
Although a fan of arts and crafts since childhood, Jessica only pursued textiles fully when she turned 30, as she discovered rope craft and finally “decided to go all in on it”. We’re very glad she did!
“I had been experimenting with all kinds of textile work for a number of years but couldn’t stick at anything for a long time. It felt like I was missing a key element. When I discovered that you could stitch rope, something just lit up inside of me and I couldn’t stop doing it. It took me a while to realise that it was the 3D element that I loved so much.
Most traditional textile art forms are flat, which is why I had struggled to keep at it. Making forms is what excites me and ignites my creative synapses the most.”
Something else that excites Jessica is the playfulness of creating from a simple pile of rope.
“Free play! A pile of rope that is just for play is my favourite part. Asking myself questions about what is possible and exploring a new element. That’s the best bit.”
However, it’s not all play when you’re a full time artist and are running your own business at the same time.
“Being an artist and running a business are two separate things. Being an artist business is an another beast entirely. The to do list never ends and the goal posts are constantly being moved. Highs and lows are normal in all businesses. As an artist I have to protect my creative time fiercely and as a business owner I have to make sure that my business is sustainable. It’s a tight rope but one I choose to walk everyday.”
As part of Jessica’s business she sells craft kits, as well as her book ’Artisan Ropework’, so that others can experience rope craft for themselves.
“I get a lot of messages from people who want to know exactly how to do some of the things I do. I realised that there was a demand for sharing my knowledge and I have reached a stage in my artistic journey where I was ready to share it. It’s a joy to help people with their own creative journey’s and I’m working on other ways that I can do this.”
Jessica’s joy for the craft certainly emanates from her designs. They are both calming, with coils of natural unbleached rope, but also fun and playful, with pops of colour incorporated through the stitching.
“It might not be obvious but the natural world is a huge influence for me. I love to take patterns from nature and play with them in my work. It’s a very abstract process though. I am lucky to live near the coast, the moor and abundant woodland so inspiration is literally outside my front door.”
Not only is Jessica’s work displayed in homes across the UK, her designs were recently part of an exciting display at the prestigious Liberty of London store.
“The Liberty of London Gallery collaboration with The Crafts Council this year has been an incredible project to be part of…Having my work showcased in Liberty’s has been a dream come true. I’m also working on some exciting projects that will be launched in the autumn, but I can’t say too much about those yet.”
Watch this space then!
In the meantime, Jessica gives some brilliant advice to novice craftspeople and creatives, whether they’re looking to grow their skills or try a something like rope craft for the first time.
“Go all in on the process. Really give yourself over to it. Creativity is a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Also - not all creative endeavours have to become your side hustle!
Give yourself permission to just really enjoy creating.”