This week’s designer is Tanya Aguíñiga, whose work can currently be seen in the window of 1000 Westwood Boulevard, where Arts ReSTORE LA is trying to revive the village. But Tanya, whose work has been shown at JF Chen, Parachute Market, CAFAM and other art and design venues, is getting widespread attention.
Located in a room at the Atwater Crossing complex, Aguíñiga’s workspace is an explosion of textures with coils of yarns, ropes and cables dripping down from every surface like stalactites. As part of her work, Aguíñiga travels around the world, learning traditional craft techniques.
On an interview a few months back with Alissa Walker on this DnA, Tanya spoke about a trip to Chiapas, Mexico where she learned backstrap weaving, a full-body weaving technique that requires the weaver to be tethered to a tree, almost like performance art. In fact, she recently used it that way by backstrap weaving in a Beverly Hills parking space, a happening that was featured on KCET’s Artbound.
What’s most striking about Aguíñiga’s furniture, fashion and accessories is that they all have this playful, tactile sense to them, like her now-famous Felt Chair, a mundane metal folding chair encased with bright felted wool. At a show at JF Chen, Aguíñiga showcased many of her furniture pieces which all show evidence of the handmade. She’s also using her aesthetic to create installations, like Sea Change: Tanya Aguiñiga’s Bluebelt Forest for the Laguna Art Museum where she is knitting and knotting a touchable, textile “coral reef.” Another wall-hanging is expected to be on display at the new Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Aguíñiga’s Rope Knot Bracelet, handmade right here in L.A., is also a DnA Design Pick. This chunky cuff is knotted using a traditional Turk’s Head knot, found in nautical applications, and is custom-dyed in KCRW colors, maroon and light plum. Pick up the Rope Knot Bracelet in the KCRW Store and proceeds will benefit KCRW. Aguíñiga also makes a matching necklace, made of unraveled cotton rope dip-dyed in two colors. You can buy that directly from tanyaaguíñiga.com.