5 Under 40 2017: Ellisha Alexina

Text by Erin Marvin

New England Home is thrilled to present the eighth annual “5 Under 40” awards, celebrating our region’s finest emerging talent in residential design. The honorees—all of whom are under the age of forty—were nominated by their peers and then selected by a committee of local design leaders.

Over the next few weeks leading up to the September 14 party celebrating the award winners, we will be featuring all the talented winners on our blog. First up is textile designer Ellisha Alexina.

Photograph by Bruce Rogovin

As artistic as her collections may be, Ellisha Alexina was initially drawn to textiles for their practicality. “I come from a painting background, but wanted to have a more useful reason to paint,” she explains.“I liked the utilitarian aspect of textiles.”

Utilitarian may not be the first word one associates with Alexina’s beautiful collections of bespoke textiles. The designer uses a unique mixed-media technique that blends polychromatic screen-printing and hand-painting to bring her designs to life.

Yard by yard, Alexina personally develops each new pattern and creates custom colors. Everything is handmade and, because of this, no two yards are exactly alike; color variations throughout the repeated design make for an unforgettable watercolor effect. Her textiles lend themselves beautifully to draperies, pillows, bedding, lampshades, and even wallcoverings. She especially enjoys working with local designers to bring their ideas to life.

Alexina’s textiles represent the artist’s love of color mixing and problem solving, as well as her interest in ancient textiles. Her third and newest collection, Gobi, is inspired by the colors of the Gobi Desert and harkens back to her roots in color mixing. She calls Gobi her strongest collection to date. Its hues are bolder and patterns more geometric, and in these new designs Alexina plays with color throughout the pattern to, in turn, create pattern with color. “I did my earlier collections when I was younger, so the colors were lighter,” she says. “Now I know who I am as a textile designer, so I’m not shy about the structure of the pattern or the colors I’m using.”

Her newfound confidence is sure to contribute to exciting new collections in the years to come.

The “5 Under 40” celebration is open to the public. Join us by purchasing your tickets here.

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