A Textile Artist Lives and Works in Brooklyn

Before Rachel Gottesman moved into this Crown Heights, Brooklyn apartment (just 2.5 months ago), she lived in a small one-bedroom in Chicago. While her Chicago apartment was nice, it was also very dark. Rachel embraced, what she calls, the apartment’s cave-like nature, painting the walls a deep slate blue and accenting the dark color scheme with occasional pops of colors. But this space – with its extremely tall ceilings – gets much more sunlight so Rachel embraced the white walls, which are a perfect backdrop to her ever-growing yarn collection. Even though she went to school for illustration and has been painting for nearly fifteen years, Rachel only recently discovered weaving and she fell head over heels for it. That love quickly grew into a business – Heddle and Needle. She creates tapestries and woven jewelry (Her jewelry pieces are tiny works of art). Thanks Rachel! And thank you to Michael Marmora for the lovely photos! –Amy

Image above: Since I live in a relatively small apartment in Brooklyn, I don’t have my own separate studio space here. I’ve split my bedroom into sleeping and working areas. My workspace is a mix of fancy and not-so-fancy. The desk is a wall-mounted Ikea piece, but the chair is from Craigslist. The seller didn’t know what he had so he gave it to me for $15, but as far as I can tell from my research, it’s a genuine Paul McCobb!

Image above: The artwork is all by Sonnenzimmer in the bedroom, and the wooden cabinet above the bed is an antique that my mom was getting rid of. I filled it with little tuxedo cat figures that look like my cat, so I guess it’s like a little shrine!  


See all the images of Rachel’s Brooklyn home after the jump!

Image above: The dresser was a Craigslist find, and is my most expensive piece of furniture, clocking in at a whopping $300. I bought it from a woman in Chicago who restores old furniture, and she told me that it was likely from Japan, although I have no way of really knowing because it’s unmarked.  

Image above: Since the place has such a nice airy feeling, it gave me lots of room to decorate with abstract artwork, weird Etsy finds and lots of plants. I wanted the place to feel comfy, but not cluttered or stuffy; I don’t own a lot of stuff. There’s just enough to make it feel lived in and very “me!”


Image above: My big ol’ fatty cat Miles just relaxing.

Image above: The artwork is a mix of mine and my roommate’s. The masks (and some of the other stuff like the wooden hand, silly ceramic skull and planters) I found on Etsy. I know the wolf head is from Mexico, but I don’t know where the leopard was originally from or if it’s even that old. It doesn’t matter to me though, he’s my favorite decoration.



Image above: Most of the furniture in the living room, including the lamp, blue chair, credenza and couch, were inherited from my Grandfather who recently passed. They were in a room in his house I called the “Glass Room” because it was filled with china and other delicate things. The room was hardly ever used, and so the furniture was nearly pristine.

Image above: My kitchen isn’t anything unusual itself, but I collect wheel-thrown pottery so none of my dishes match (on purpose). They’re all handmade and very special!

  1. Jessica says:

    I love everything here. Which etsy stores are the masks from?

  2. Claudia Diamond says:

    Wow. Beautiful apartment. Love the Mid-Century furnishings. Rachel’s wall weavings in Heddle and Needles sold section are beautiful. Hope you have more for sale soon-would love to have one in greens.

  3. Isabel says:

    I think the jaguar mask is also from Mexico. I have one at home and it was gifted by a friend from Oaxaca!

  4. Kathleen fancher says:

    Rachel your apartment is gorgeous. I like living spaces that hold such meaningful pieces. Keep creating!!!

  5. Kathleen fancher says:

    I love living spaces like yours that have interesting objects with history. I think you are an extremely talented artist.

  6. Anoushka says:

    Makes me want to go home and clean up!

  7. Rachel says:

    Jessica, the wolf is from a shop no longer in business unfortunately, but the jaguar is from: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SirRafflesArtHistory

  8. Alice Birnbaum says:

    You have beautiful taste Rachel, which is no surprise. What a great apartment and home you’ve made. You are so talented.

  9. Amelia says:

    I love the yarn display! How are they attached to the wall?

  10. Liz Butler says:

    Rachel, What a wonderful bright apartment. Love the decorations and exquisite taste you have. Such talent with your work ! I hope you never lose your enthusiasm for your creativity and creations.

  11. Denise says:

    What kind of loom do you have?

  12. Rachel says:

    Denise, I have a bunch of frame looms and a Schacht Wolf Pup LT.

  13. Nancy says:

    So nice! I also recently moved to Crown Heights from Chicago… Did you make or purchase the rack above your dresser?

  14. Rachel says:

    Nancy: My stepdad made that for me!

  15. Jean says:

    how are the skeins of fiber attached to the wall? I love this idea! I am very crafty and am looking for new ways to display some of my projects. This fits the bill on one front. Yea! great idea.


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