Discover Jessica Geach’s hand-sewn baskets

With a passion for tactile crafts inspired by the colours in nature, Jessica Geach has created her business, Ruby Cubes, turning unbleached cotton braid into beautiful accessories and homewares

Jessica Geach

What’s your background?
Unofficially, it’s a huge hotchpotch of creative things! I’ve worked for a number of independent businesses, but made a decision back in 2015 to set up my own studio. I think textiles have always been there in the background. I love the organic nature of working as a textile artist.

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Tell us what you make
Working with unbleached cotton rope is the mainstay of Ruby Cubes. I use it to create 3D objects, such as baskets, bowls, bags and sometimes wall art. I like to make things that are purposeful as well as aesthetically pleasing. The rope I use is wonderfully tactile. This year I’m experimenting with natural dye, testing it on the rope,
and also natural fabrics. 

A selection of tools

What inspires you?
I’m hugely inspired by the textures I find in nature – but I tend to apply these in an abstract way. I live in a beautiful part of the world – just inside Dartmoor National Park – so I have landscape to take inspiration from. I’m only a few minutes away from the windswept moors, ancient woodlands and the most breathtaking beaches. I’m also inspired by a lot of ancient art – chiefly basketry. Early examples from Rome, Africa and Australia are beautiful in their own way and an excellent reference. I try to put a modern take on this classic craft.

Do you take inspiration from other makers?
Something I’m quite passionate about is exploring my own path as a textile artist and not allowing myself to be swayed by what other people are creating, or be too bothered by trends. For me, personally, my journey as a textile artist is about it being a whole lifestyle. 

Jessica Geach stitching pieces by machine

What is your making process?
It always starts with a huge pile of rope on the studio floor, which then has to be measured and organised into the correct lengths for creating whichever product I’m working on that day. Then I wind up plenty of bobbins in the colours I need and get stitching. Most days I sew for about four hours. The most exciting time for me is when there’s a big heap of rope on the floor that I’ve set aside specifically for experimenting and I create just for the sheer pleasure of it. I sketch out the bigger pieces I have in mind, but mostly I tend to visualise a picture that I then try to stitch into being.

Can you describe your studio for us?
It’s actually our conservatory at home. My sewing table faces a wall with shelves above that are overflowing with cones of colourful threads. I have to face the wall when I’m sewing so that I don’t get distracted!

Jessica Geach's finished baskets

Any future plans?
I’m in it for the long haul. Now I’ve found my passion I intend to stick at it for as long as possible. Right now I’m focusing on creating good work and building the business on a solid foundation. My main ambition is to keep to my artisan roots.   

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See more of Jessica’s striking designs at rubycubes.co.uk