Juliarose Triebes had just had a baby when she picked up a copy of Arts & Crafts Homes and the Revival on a newsstand. For Triebes, who holds professional degrees in fiber and textile arts, it was a moment of epiphany. She had discovered her people. “When I opened the magazine,” she says, “everything else in the world dropped off.”
Triebes experienced that eureka moment about seven or eight years ago. At the first available opportunity, she took an embroidery workshop with Ann Chaves at the Arts & Crafts Conference in Asheville. The next year, she took another workshop. And then another. When she returned again, she had finished the project begun the previous year. Ann told her: “You always hope people take it home and finish it. But it’s really rare that someone has gone home, designed something, executed it, and brought it back.”
Triebes considers her work to be art, not merely craft. She sees Arts & Crafts as a movement that’s still evolving, and believes that today it should reflect the world we live in now. “I want the art to be narrative, to have a story behind it, and I want that story to be relevant to my values.”
Much of her work deals in mythological and ecological themes. Her most ecological series to date are the pillows and table linens she showed at the 2019 Arts & Crafts Conference. The exquisitely detailed works combine bees and honeycombs—favorite Arts & Crafts motifs— except that, in this case, the bees are dead or dying.
“What needs to be understood is that these dead bees are really metaphors for ourselves. And what we are doing to our smallest ecosystem partners is going to boomerang on us.”
Future plans include creating an entire series of indigo-dyed textiles with embroidered waves: “I’ll call it the ‘Rising Seas’ series.” Now in her mid-40s, Triebes has concluded life is too short to make only what other people want. “I’m going to make what I want. If people want what I’m making, then that’s great!”