Meet the Makers: Fishnet Sculptor Janet Echelman

In this Meet the Makers blog series, we will feature an artist that, quite simply, makes something. Drawing inspiration from custom works handcrafted in various media, we travel beyond the pieces by diving into the minds of the creative makers themselves.

Today, we feature our interview with Janet Echelman, an American artist who defies categorization, creating experiential sculptures at a large scale that transform by wind, water and light. Echelman combines ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to create these large sculptures. Her work graces urban spaces all over the world.


GPI Design: What (3) words best describe your work?

Janet Echelman: Soft – Monumental – Billowing

GPI: What compels you to create with this particular medium?

Echelman: I wanted to be underneath something monumental and soft that billows in the wind. Every time I can experience this, it makes me happy.


GPI: What is your biggest constraint in the creative process?

Echelman: My Biggest constraint is reality. I have to understand materials and wind loads and build these forms that I imagine and corporate that into real life.

GPI: What would your 5 year old former self say about your work now? And what do you hope your future 90 year old self will say about your current work?

Echelman: My 5 year old self would say, “You can never do that!” My 90 year old self would say, “She was always pushing herself to grow at every phase in life.”



GPI: What other maker would you most like to collaborate with?

Echelman: There are so many great engineers and architects, lighting designers, music composers… I would like to work with Renzo Piano’s Architecture because it creates a calmness within which we can notice the choreography of wind.

GPI: What do you think the future of creation/creativity holds (for you, and the artistic world as a whole)?

Echelman: That I will know nothing else.


GPI: What does your work space look like right now? Send us a selfie of you in your creative arena!




Many thanks to Janet Echelman for the insight into her craft. Stay tuned to our next Meet the Makers interview coming up in two weeks! The interviews will publish every other Tuesday throughout the remainder of the year, focusing on a wide variety of makers, which has us truly redefining what it means to create.

 View this maker’s work:  Janet Echelman