April 15, 2013

Tahli new studio buddy

Being at home with Lukas means I don’t get to spend as much time in the studio as I used to.
So it was a happy surprise to one day find that a great new jewellery designer named Tahli Kornhauser had moved in and filled her space with beautifully braided necklaces and colourful vintage beads. Tahli’s work is so new you wouldn’t have seen it around yet, but you can be sure that her stuff will be everywhere soon. Tahli is only just setting up her business but has already been on the catwalk with bikini designer CLEONIE and is soon to head OS where she might even take a necklace or three to show NYC. Here’s a little Q & A with Tahli.

Your label Dagny, what’s the story behind the name?
My label is entitled ‘Dagny’. For anyone who has ever read the novel, Atlas Shrugged by
Ayn Rand, they will remember the amazing and headstrong female character that is Dagny Taggart. Dagny embodies all of the things that I wanted my label to represent – femininity, simplified elegance, uniqueness and a strong sense of self. To me, she defines the new-age working woman.

When did you decide to make jewellery? 
I was working last year as an exhibition designer for the National Gallery of Victoria and in October, completed my contract. The company could not keep me on for financial reasons, so I was forced to take some time out and re-direct my attentions. I went to my parent’s house in Queensland and sat in front of the ocean for weeks – releasing stress and connecting with myself. I remembered how much I enjoyed learning Japanese for years at school and how in awe I was of the culture. I started researching Japan’s traditional craft techniques and this lead me to the art form of braid-making, or kumihimo (meaning ‘gathered threads’). I ordered a braiding stand and some guide books and began teaching myself the technique. The kumihimo braiding technique is intended to be performed with a relaxed, Zen mind and that’s exactly where it lead me.

Tell us a bit about Kumihimo and what it means to you.
Why did you choose this process for your design?

Kumihimo is traditionally used to lace samurai armor and tie Kimono outfits together. But I decided to use it to make jewellery instead; combining the ropes with dead-stock vintage elements I spend hours and hours finding on the internet. Both the beads and the ropes are created through historical, old-world techniques (be it manufactured or hand-made), and this is something I attach deeply with. It’s that sense of learning something that has evolved over time and been passed down throughout history like a quiet secret; It’s so romantic!

What are your plans for 2013?
Well, I am quite excited to be heading on a world-wide adventure from now until August. I am starting in Japan, moving to the states and then finishing my time away hopefully working as a children’s art teacher in Thailand on a volunteer program with Art Relief International. Japan will see me learning new braiding techniques from the place where it began. The states will be about finding vintage stock for the label and generally mucking around with my gorgeous little sister (a designer, also!). Finally, Thailand will be about giving something back to this world in the way that I know how. Obviously I am putting a hold on the business side of things for a while, but I truly believe this trip will help me to develop and solidify what Dagny stands for as a label.

Where can we buy your jewellery?
I am currently working with my good friend Christian to develop my online shop. By September you will be able to buy everything online and through some select boutiques. Eventually, it will live at www.dagny.com.au (stay tuned!)

In the meantime you can email me at tahlikornhauser@gmail.com or follow my travel adventures on my blog dagnyaccessories.tumblr.com