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House Call: A Textile Artist at Home on the Hampstead Heath

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House Call: A Textile Artist at Home on the Hampstead Heath

January 9, 2017

I recently spent an afternoon with weaver, sculptor, and textile artist Amy Revier at her two-bedroom flat on the woodland borders of the Hampstead Heath. (Revier, a Texas native, is having something of a moment; her garments are sold at Hostem in London and she’s been profiled in T Magazine and elsewhere.)

“When we found the flat, it was very sterile and cold but with great bones,” she says of her apartment, which she shares with her partner Clayton Littlejohn, a philosophy lecturer at King’s College London. “Despite the constraints of renting, we are very pleased with the results of our attempts to add love and warmth to the space. We painted the walls in shades based on our location within the Hampstead Heath (we have resident owls and hear geese landing on the pond behind the communal gardens), so we experimented with natural colors that feel still and soft—gray-green, soft white, peony, and plum-brown.”

The flat is furnished in vintage and flea market finds: “On a sunny Saturday, if I have no obligations, I’ll drive down to the Sussex Coast to hunt for treasures,” she says, “I’ll start in Petworth and work my way through to Lewes, then back to London with a car full of gems.” Join us for a tour of the premises:

Photography by Rory Gardiner and styled by Emma Archer for Remodelista.

Art Deco apartment building in Hampstead Heath

Above: Revier’s flat is on the ground floor of an Art Deco building on the Highgate side of Hampstead Heath. “I love having this flat to cook in, drink in, and to brighten the mind and spirit with all the fascinating people we have living nearby,” she says.

Amy Revier sitting on sofa comprised of soft colored linen cushions

Above: Revier is originally from Austin, Texas, and graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in sculpture and art history. A Fulbright scholarship took her to Iceland for two years and from there, she came to London. “Only when I moved to London did I begin to connect the dots of performance, the body, and ideas of cocooning and hibernation to my longtime fascination with clothing,” she says. “Approaching it from a sculptural and art historical background allowed me to think broadly about how clothing can be transformative, and to deeply attach myself to the ritual and performance of building each piece.”

Safari chair and wooden dining room table in green living room

Above: “The safari chair was the first piece of furniture I bought after moving to London,” Revier says. “I found it in a wonderful shop called The Peanut Vendor, which is crammed with classic pieces.” The artwork on the wall over the dining room table is by Revier’s good friend artist Jane Bustin.

kraft paper covered books

Above: Revier’s bookshelves are filled with her collection of travel books. “We got the idea for wrapping Clayton’s contemporary academic logic and philosophy books—paperbacks with garishly colored covers—in kraft paper from Virginia Woolf, who wrapped the books in her Sussex house in marbled paper.”

Sofa with linen cushions

Above: Revier’s loom occupies the second bedroom and is visible from the living area. She compares her garment designs to “shelters or cocoons—voluminous skins with minds of their own—in which you move with the world.”

Amy Revier weaving at her loom

Above: Revier’s loom is a Swedish Glimakra Standard, which is a large countermarch floor loom. “This is perhaps the most traditional and classic loom around,” she says. “I found this one by chance in Wales and chose it because it is an older model from the 1960s, with original wood spacers and ceramic weights. It’s wonderful to work with, your body naturally dances with it as you weave.”

soft lght coming through dining room with wood table

Above: The communal gardens of the apartment building come right up to the windows of the ground floor flat.

dark green dining room

Above: “I love these glazed pitchers, especially the deep blue color of this one displayed on the windowsill,” Revier says. “Everything in our house has been sourced this way. I love to treasure hunt and have been doing it since I was a kid in Texas, which is full of antique shops.”

hall way with bookshelf with terracotta bowls and welsh blankets

Above: Arrayed on a bookshelf from Keith Fawkes Books: Welsh blankets from Jen Jones, a quilt and blanket collector, and a pair of terracotta bowls, “a birthday present from Clayton,” Revier says. “They’re from the Peanut Vendor and I fill them with my favorite potpourri from Santa Maria Novella.”

kitchen painted london clay by farrow and ball

Above: Revier’s solution to the lack of task lighting in the kitchen? A table lamp. The kitchen walls are painted London Clay by Farrow & Ball.

cheese and walnuts on wood cutting board

Above: “Entertaining at home is more important to me as a result of living in London,” Revier says. “Meeting someone at a cafe is a different experience than to having them over to your home. I love to entertain because there is a certain kind of looseness that comes with it.”

table set for lunch

Above: “My parents are great entertainers and cooks and I’ve followed in their footsteps,” Revier says. “We love to gather together for loud, hearty, happy meals. There are more possibilities in coming to know a person in a different way, seeing their body language relax and become more intimate. Many of my favorite memories come these meals. “

brown butter apple tart

Above: For dessert, Revier favors a Brown Butter Apple Tart. “I’m an inveterate collector and my cutlery is a mix of vintage finds from Rye in East Sussex and from my grandfather’s ranch,” Revier says. “My grandfather was a hog farmer; he had an agreement with a handful of restaurants in Dallas to collect their food waste as food for his hogs. Everything, including an errant fork or spoon, would go into the slop bin, and after forty years, he amassed a nice collection of silver cutlery.”

bedroom with linen curtains and linen bedsheets

Above: In her bedroom, Revier pulls together textiles from her favorite haunt, The Cloth House in London. “While I don’t weave the textiles for our soft furnishings, I have sourced and made most of them, including the curtains in our bedroom and the sofa cushions in our living room,” she says.

bedroom with candlesticks and linen bedsheets

Above: “A favorite source for bed linens is LA-based Matteo, which makes beautiful quilts and duvet covers. My latest purchase is a result of a recent stay at The New Road Residence, where I discovered Once Milano bedding—absolute heaven.”

bathroom ledge with free standing mirror and brass candlestick

Above: Revier addresses the decor of her bathroom with the same amount of attention as the rest of her flat. “I look at the bathroom as a space to unwind. I often take soaks in the bath to ease tension from my muscles from weaving and read in the tub by candlelight.”

N.B.: Revier’s garments are available to view and purchase through Hostem.

For more textiles, see:

Christine also writes Fabulous Fabsters, celebrating women who are FAB (Fifty and Beyond) and sharing their stories; head on over to read more.

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