I first fell in love with Liane Tyrrel’s work at the sight of her gorgeous handmade pillows and collection of vintage wares in her beloved Etsy shop, enhabiten. Her textile experiments and daily inspirations are documented in her personal blog, an Internet haunt of mine. My fangirldom was officially launched into orbit after seeing her home featured in a Design*Sponge sneak peek. Liane is a truly lovely soul, and I have been dying to feature her from the very beginning! Enjoy this tour of the creative world of Liane Tyrrel! — Ginny
1. Design*Sponge: What’s in your toolbox?
Liane Tyrrel: Old white sewing machine to be replaced this week with a used commercial machine. Finally! Also, iron and ironing board, dye pots, ginghers, thread, pins and pincushions, vintage fabric and new hemp materials. Ultra important: MY THIMBLE! I couldn’t live without it.
2. Design*Sponge: Fill in the blank, “When I’m in my studio, I feel _________.”
Read the rest of the interview after the jump!
3. Design*Sponge: What are on the top shelves of your inspiration library right now?
Liane Tyrrel: I just bought a book called Eco Colour by India Flint, which I love. I also have The Craft of Natural Dyeing by Jenny Dean close at hand these days, as well as an old copy of Dyes from Nature put out by the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
I also have to say that I am a really prolific and vivid dreamer these days. I can remember so much more of these nighttime stories than I used to be able to. Oftentimes, the things in my head that find their way into my dreams are the fiction books and historical documentaries I like to watch. I find myself thinking of these things as I work and feel like they make their way into the textiles in some intangible but definite way.
4. Design*Sponge: How do you keep yourself organized? Do you have an agenda book, and do you make to-do lists?
Liane Tyrrel: I scribble a lot of lists, ideas, drawings. I try to keep it contained in my pile of Moleskines, but that doesn’t always happen. And then accessing the right notebook I wrote that thing in a couple weeks ago that I really need to see now can be a challenge! I will write on anything, and I also have a chalkboard wall I use. I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as organized in a traditional sense, but it all seems to work out in the end!
5. Design*Sponge: If you could have one superhero (or magical) power, what would it be and why?
Liane Tyrrel: This is hard, but I’m going to sneakily combine two in one! To be able to fly to the different time periods in history that I dream about.
6. Design*Sponge: What is the best advice you have ever received, and what is the one piece of advice you would offer to a young artist/designer?
Given: If you do what’s in your heart, the rest will come.
Give: Life has some really unexpected rough parts. But even through those rough parts, keep in mind that if you do what’s in your heart, the rest will come.
7. Design*Sponge: How do you combat creative blocks?
Liane Tyrrel: My life is sort of seamless meaning that I live and work in the same space and everything melds together. So if it’s a short-term block, I just move on to something else, like dishes or laundry or weeding, until I find better equilibrium. I can also just do more of the production work instead of design stuff if I’m feeling uninspired.
8. Design*Sponge: Where do you like to shop for inspiration?
Liane Tyrrel: Color and texture are two of the most important things to me with my work, and I suppose I get my inspiration from nature. Also, the things I surround myself with are almost all old, as I do most of my shopping at flea markets and antique shops and auctions, and that environment informs what I make.
9. Design*Sponge: If you could peek inside the studio/toolbox of any designer/artist/craftsperson, whose would it be and why?
Liane Tyrrel: My background is in painting and what first comes to mind is that I’d like to poke around the studios of Agnes Martin (when she was alive) and Richard Tuttle. I am also an admirer of J Morgan Puett and would love to visit Mildred’s Lane someday.
10. Design*Sponge: If you could make a master mix-tape of music that is inspiring you at the moment, what would it include?
- The Cave Singers
- AA Bondy
- T. Rex
- Dark Dark Dark
- Regina Spektor
- Devendra Banhart
- Joanna Newsom
- Born Ruffians
- The Bowerbirds
- Josephine Foster
- The Felice Brothers
- Bonnie Prince Billy