“I am very interested in traditional craft,” says fashion industry consultant Tracy Wilkinson. “I love the feeling of using my hands to form something.” Her paper-rush and cane baskets are exuberant with individuality. “I try to make them uneven,” says Wilkinson, a Brit who lives in L.A. “I leave spaces and sometimes decorate those spaces with colored twine. I never want anything to look symmetrical or regular.”
“I love baskets as sculptures,” says L.A. artisan Jo Abellera, who makes hers with jute, sometimes adding a pop of texture and color by way of her friend Bari Ziperstein’s handmade ceramic beads. “I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, and macramé was everywhere. I’m not interested in recreating the planters from that time but in incorporating macramé in a new way.” Abellera also makes sweaters and accessories under her KKIBO label.
Tanya Aguiñiga, who grew up in Tijuana, uses cotton marine rope to make her baskets, knitting them on a circle loom she originally intended for seat covers. “I quickly loved the outcome as baskets,” she says. “I like the immediacy of creating functional work with flexible materials.” In her L.A. studio, Aguiñiga dip-dyes her rope, sometimes wax-coated, for an ombré effect.