We asked Janelle Pietrzak of the creative workshop and textile studio All Roads to give us a little tour of her studio and to highlight a few of the things in the space that makes it so unique and awesome. We know this girl has a good eye, but a table from the house of the early 20th-century avant-garde composer George Antheil? Too cool. Read on for more inspiring artifacts.
STUDIO BRUSHES (left):
Old brushes and brooms are so beautiful. I keep these here to remind myself of the beauty of simple and rustic materials. Last year I visited Doug Johnston of Hawk Trainer in his Brooklyn studio, and he gifted me this little rope vessel that he makes. Two days later I quit my office job and started working for myself. It is a little reminder to keep working hard and to stay focused. The blue, green, and red weaving is a woven leather experiment, and the small arrows are our cast arrows that we make into ornaments.
BULLETIN BOARD (right):
A collection of inspiration, photo booth strips, and postcards. The babe on the bicycle is my grandmother Dolores. My grandfather used to take photos of her that look like they came out of magazine. The metal heart is stamped with “All Roads” and is the first thing that Robert ever made me, and the first time we really started chanting All Roads as our catch phrase. My Object + Totem necklace with ceramic beads is one of my favorite pieces that I wear all the time. My friend and amazing LA artist Kris Chau sent me the postcard with the mermaid drawing on it. I love mermaids and she draws them the best!
GEORGE ANTHEIL TABLE:
My desk is a table top given to us by a friend here in LA. He lived in the Mount Washington home of famous avant-garde composer George Antheil. The house was full of the Antheil’s life belongings; his wife owned an art gallery in Culver City in the mid-century. Our friend found all these amazing artifacts from the time period, like letters from Salvidor Dali asking Mrs. Antheil if he could maybe show in her gallery, letters from Miro…it is wild and magical. No one quite knows who painted the black and white shapes on this wooden table top, but the Antheil’s had so many artist friends, so who knows? George also worked with actress Hedy Lamarr (she was in the first movie to ever show a sex scene!). Together George and Hedy invented a “Secret Communications System” called Spread Spectrum, which was an early form of wireless communication. So maybe George and Hedy worked late nights over this table inventing things? We don’t really know the true story about the table, but it is totally magical and I feel so lucky to have it in my studio.
This is a detail of my work table, my main weaving table. Robert made this table. It is a welded steel base with a wood chevron top. He cut plywood into strips and then laid them, cut edges out to create the intricate looking pattern. The loom and all the tools shown here he made as well. All of the tools I weave with, Robert made for me.
This mid-century chair I found at a thrift store for $12. It is leather, and it says “Made in Italy” on the underside, but I am not sure if it is the real thing. Anyways, someone spray painted it white so it doesn’t really have any value now. I love it because it is comfortable and I sit it in to rest my back and take breaks from weaving. On the bulletin board wall behind the chair are test swatches for new projects.
I collect vintage weaving books. This is a part of my collection, which I will be bringing to my workshop in June. There are some good bits of inspiration in them I think the students will enjoy.
The Loom Weaving Workshop with Janelle Pietzrak on June 21st at the Poketo Flagship is already sold out, but you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the waiting list.