From the atmospheres crafted behind closed doors to the rituals practiced within, the home series invites members of our community to reflect on the meaning of home, in their own words. We hope this series offers our readers a sense of inspiration and groundedness as we bundle up during this wintertime season.
In our next edition of this series, we have invited Alex Tieghi-Walker to dive into the topic. Alex Tieghi-Walker is a Los Angeles-based journalist and creative director, and the founder of TIWA SELECT (@tiwa_select), a platform selling works for the home by contemporary artists, alongside unusual and useful found objects and artifacts.
How do you describe the work you do?
I'm the founder and owner of TIWA SELECT, an online gallery and store. I specifically work with makers who perhaps had no formal art training, and who utilise traditional materials and practices to make works for the home, like Megumi Arai who practices the Japanese technique of boro (meaning "tatters") to make bedspreads and wall hangings, and Matt Fishman who forages clay in the Sierra Nevada to make really unique plates. The shop is just 8-months-old, but it's been a whirlwind year, and in December I'll be launching a collection of works by eleven artists, each contributing an edition of objects for an 8-place dining table. From plates and sake cups, to wooden stools and linens. The shop is just 8-months-old but it's been a whirlwind year.
What do you enjoy about autumn and winter? Are there particular rituals you adopt during the colder months?
I live in Los Angeles, so we have a very, very small winter window. Back home in the UK though I have so many memories of long winter weekend walks in the Welsh mountains. We lived near Abergavenny, right on the edge of the Brecon Beacons national park; each weekend we would choose a different route across the heaths and scrub, wrapped up in a warm Aran and wearing wellies (which means you can be really messy and traipse through rivers and puddles). There are a lot of ruined abbeys and castles in this part of Wales, too. The finishing post is always the pub, and a warming pint next to the coal fire.
How do you decide what kinds of objects and fabrics you live with? What draws you to particular items over others?
Oh I'm a total magpie, read: hoarder. I like collecting fabric when I travel because it packs so easily. After my last trip to Japan I came back with hand luggage packed with boro and katazome and denim scraps. I loved the flea markets in Japan, so many incredibly crafted textiles and ceramics. I'm mostly drawn to textiles with an abundance of colour or pattern: rich indigo, french tilling, kente cloths, Josef Frank discards. I live in a very white space, so I let the textiles bring the personality.
Can you describe a memory of feeling soothed and warmed in cold weather?
I was brought up in Wales, so I feel most of my childhood memories involve being very wet, or very cold! To this day, one of my favourite feelings is the moment you run into the house from the rain, strip down in the hallway, and wrap yourself in a rug and lean against a radiator, or the aga with a cup of tea. British people do 'warming up' very well. There were folded blankets and rugs all over my house growing up. I still have these blankets; my boyfriend, like a lot of non-British people, thinks they are really "itchy." I think they are so comforting.
Thank you to Alex Tieghi-Walker for opening up his home to us. The yellow blanket featured in this piece is our Nomad Dawn Throw.