Designer Deborah Mills Thackrey

Creating textiles from the textures of the Hudson Valley and beyond.

Award-winning photographic artist Deborah Mills Thackrey is making the transition to surface and product design. After almost two decades as a fine art photographer she started exploring printing her work on textiles, merging two of her primary loves.

Thackrey spent much of her career as a graphic designer and art director in the San Francisco Bay Area working with companies large and small, including Apple, so she has an easy familiarity with high tech tools. The burgeoning digital textile industry has allowed her to experiment producing products from scarves, to shoes, to upholstery on a one-off basis, resulting in an explosion of bold, bright, playful contemporary designs.

Her great grandmother was a Pennsylvania Dutch quilt maker, Thackrey says staring at the myriad tiny prints on the quilt in her crib was her first graphic influence. She was born in the Panhandle of Texas on old Route 66. Traveling across it as a child gave her a love of the textures of the Southwest like peeling paint on old signs and the layers of rock and sand in the desert.

When she transitioned from art director to photographer she began working with the West Coast photography community around Carmel, CA. She worked with descendants of Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock and Edward Weston but found herself not quite fitting into their photographic tradition. She moved to the Mid-Hudson area of New York in 2012 and has happily embraced becoming a New Yorker.