Maker Monday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With William Storms

William Storms has a true talent for intricately handwoven pieces. For 11 years, he’s been weaving his way through New York City and a smorgasbord of countries along the way. His passion and curiosity for the formula behind operating a loom is what sparks his design fire. Not only has he mastered the French technique of passementerie (decorative trimming such as tassels, braid, and fringing,) but has also studied 3D Print, code, and fiber optics. His work has been featured in Interiors Design Magazine and Apartment Therapy and he is now set to launch his new rug collection with Crosby Street Studios! Introducing this week’s Maker Monday, William Storms.

Williams’ approach to all of his creations is to handle each piece with a delicate labyrinthine. The majority of the materials he uses are wire and yarn, but he makes sure to focus on his pieces and to handle each one with care so the final product turns out impeccable.

Andrew Joseph: What’s a guilty pleasure you have?
William Storms: Watching Survivor while weaving! I don’t get it either but, gentle FYI – there are 40 seasons now.

Andrew: What are you most proud of?
William: Languages have seemed to come very easily to me, which almost certainly has something to do with my Math brain, but I am proud of what I’ve learned and equally excited to see what gets added to that list.

Passementerie is originally a french technique. It is the creation of decorative trims, which are created by hand manipulation. They typically consist of materials such as linen, cotton, hute, and synthetic bolo cord.

Andrew: What would your dream project or dream client be right now?
William: I’m hungry for custom projects; there is something enticing about filtering a client’s vision through my technical mind that I just haven’t gotten enough of, thus far. Collaboration is my favorite part of being a craftsman, and really important in Textiles.

Andrew: If you could live in any home in a movie or television series, what would it be?
William: Murder aside- I have dreams about the home in Ex-Machina… throw a loom in that brutalist, glass-walled, nature retreat and I’m there (and probably never leaving).

Andrew: If you had one more hour in the day what would you do with it?
William: Ride my bike from Bedstuy BK to Central Park, and back.

Experimentation is key in Williams’ work. Playing around in his studio with various techniques has led him to create such wonderful pieces. Photography by Jesse Meredeth.

Andrew: What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
William: Seeing how drastically the Pandemic has shifted people’s relationship with their homes, and the awareness of that relationship. Comfort, Functionality and Tranquility in your space have suddenly become very important.

Andrew: Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
William: Confidence is quiet, and Insecurity is loud.

About The Maker | William Storms is a mathematically driven craftsman fortunate to have discovered the loom- whose work is “an ongoing effort to produce three-dimensional work in a traditionally two-dimensional world”.

Straddling the worlds of Art and Industry, Storms began his weaving career with a bespoke textile studio in Brooklyn, NY- where he was quickly introduced to the world of custom handweaving for the Interior Design Trade. This exposure to crafted, custom luxury became the foundation of his practice; working next as a Designer for a well-noted domestic Jacquard Mill. The continual focus on blending Craft and Custom Manufacturing is a staple in Storms’ body of work, as both a Designer and an Artist.

From his debut collection with Crosby Street Studios, Bullet Rugs with artist Raul Martinez, and New York Textile Month’s exhibition “CONSTRUCTION” with fellow contemporary Molly Haynes, Storms’ playful combination of structure and material provide a rhythmically stimulating landscape for the eye. With a BFA from NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology, William’s work has thus far brought him the opportunity to be classically trained at ENSCI- Les Ateliers in Paris, FR and weave with communities surrounding Chimaltenango, GT.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here.

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