5 for Friday with Justine Ashbee, Artist & Weaver

I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions.

Justine Ashbee

This week I’m actually WITH my friend Justine Ashbee at her flat in Brighton, England. I’ve been wanting to spotlight her for some time and spending time with her the last several days gave me a lucky peak into her work and life. Justine, in the simplest term, is an artist. Quirky and gorgeous, she is always creating amazing items and has a sense of style that is profound and unique. I’m in love with all of her creative pieces, but to be honest, I even love seeing how she pulls an outfit together.

I met Justine several years ago, back in Seattle, at a dinner with mutual friends. She was bright and sunny and made a healthy, delicious seaweed salad – I liked her immediately. Justine attended the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design and honed her artistic craft there. The below pic is of her earlier work, though (like me!) you can purchase one of these whimsical prints for your home.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 7.18.25 PM

Today, she can be found weaving at her farm-side studio in East Sussex, England with her business Native Line. Having moved here for love (she is recently engaged), she is settling into a new space. In her studio she makes gorgeous metallic fiber wall hangings (many of which were just picked up and purchased by the new Ace Hotel in London) and hanging light pendants by hand. This fine craft demands an eye to detail and a steady hand. Her studio is at once pristine and blowsy – clips of inspiration pages piled throughout the room and random found objects displayed. I spied a birds nest, smooth curves of a thin wooden rod and several of her prints waiting to be hung on my recent visit.

Justine Ashbee weave

Ashbee sells her work in the UK and state side. You’d be lucky to pick up one of her pieces via her online shop. For custom orders, you can find her directly on her site, Native Line. Personally, I’m in love with her woven talisman bracelets and I wear mine non-stop. Finally, I strongly suggest you follow her Instagram feed, which offers both new projects and her inspiration boards – all good stuff!

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
Delicious sprouts & cabbage with incredible leftovers of lentils & kale.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice?
I make a vegetable-fruit juice.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc)
I would go down the Nile and see all the ancient Egyptian sacred sites from a house boat.

4. Where is your happy place?
I would say feeling physically healthy is my happy place, amidst efficient productivity. When I am producing a lot of work and I feel like it’s a job well done AND I’m healthy, that’s my happy place.

5. What is your signature dish – something you make well and consistently?
It would either be pulled pork – I wake up really early and make it with hardy cider from the local country and I put loads of fennel, thyme, garlic, paprika, cumin, chili peppers and onions as a base and then dry rub the pork and stuff it full of thyme and garlic. Then, I sear it and put it in a pan and pour in local hard cider (and maybe some beer) and I braise it for hours.

[Editors note. Her finance adds………”And then you do that amazing slaw and that fucking bazang-bazang,” which turns out to be a jerk BBQ sauce that she makes on the side. “A little witches brew with my wizard assistant,” she says, “and a sesame-cabbage slaw.”]