We first took notice of tapestry artist Judit Just after stumbling upon her extraordinary Instagram page, organized as a gradient color-wave checkerboard that subtly weaves tones in and out, in rhythm similar to that of her artwork. Originally from Barcelona, Just now calls Asheville, NC home, and has set up her studio in the green energy house she shares with spouse Samuel Clemons. After meeting her future husband, who was an American teaching English in her hometown, they visited his family and daytripped to Asheville. Upon finding a supportive creative community, they decided to take the international jump and move to the comfy, fun-loving city nestled into the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Though now far away, Barcelona and its rich artisanal history have shaped how Just works. She is deaf in one ear and wears glasses, so touch is her strongest sense — she describes how she “almost sees with her hands.” Just originally planned to become a designer, but left fashion school with a desire to instead create the very fabric that designers use. She has mastered all types of textile art techniques, learning dyes, fabrics, applications, embroidery, weaving, techniques old and new, natural and chemical, with big projects and small works.
In Asheville for the last two years, Just has taken her traditional skillset and applied it to the wealth of materials available in her new country. She also adores living in the River Arts District, has adopted a lovely pooch, and tends to a vegetable garden with a big strawberry patch. In her new hometown, Judit has been able to play with her craft in a great space and have a lot of fun while she’s at it.
Just’s main mission is to avoid superficiality and always embrace a DIY technique that encourages new discovery. She patently avoids the easy way, and seems to find the mysterious in everyday things. Her greatest passion is reworking an old technique and updating it for the 21st century in a way to looks new to people’s eyes. She has never lost her hometown ethic, and in the land of opportunity, feels more free than ever to let it grow. —Annie
Photography by Judit Just