Interview with Lauren Miranda — a fiber artist based in Los Angeles, California. Lauren practices a variety of crafts, creating work that embraces the tactile beauty and natural variation of slow, handcrafted art.
1. You work with natural materials - cotton, reed, cane, wool, stones - what do you look for when sourcing raw materials?
A common denominator of these materials, save for the stones, are that they can all be quite fibrous. I’m deeply drawn to the various textures they all exude both visually and physically. I can’t exactly pin point when I began to notice myself gravitating towards this tactile matter, though I do feel strongly that because they are all found out in nature that my subconscious hones in on them. With stones, the mere fact that they are all hidden within/in close proximity to water is enough to draw me in, as it’s a source of profound peace for me, and I can really get lost while combing for them. It's as much to do with the surroundings themselves as much as the process of the sourcing.
2. You utilize traditional crafts and methods that embrace repetition; for you does the act of repetition clear your thoughts, process them, or create new thoughts?
I would definitely say it’s a sprinkling of all three. Acquiring my Studio space has been such an aide in my mental health this year. It provides solace in world that can sometimes be very loud, most specifically in my head. I often have trouble articulating my thoughts and feelings and I can’t seem to line up with what I would like conveyed vocally and it’s always caused this internal struggle. Having these hands-on outlets allows me the freedom of an alternate vocabulary. When I am immersed in my craft I can quiet my mind and only listen to the stimuli that’s created whilst engaging these things: the clicking of my needles, the hum of my machine and those in neighboring studios, the splashing of my fibers being soaked in the water. It all yields some unintentional yet highly welcomed ASMR which also soothes me!
3. Where in the natural world do you draw inspiration from?
Instantly my mind goes to plants! Whilst living in Washington I worked at a plant nursery and it had a lasting impact, and even prior to that I have always needed to have greenery around me. I look to those with whimsical foliage, cacti with stark thorns and patterns, vines with perfectly symmetrical coils. They fascinate me, pacify me, some of them even weird me out. It boggles my mind how they aren’t growing to show off for anyone, it’s simply how they are meant to exist.
4. Alternatively, where in society do you draw inspiration from?
Out in society, I look to my friends and loved ones. I’m surrounded by such a talented and intimate community here in Los Angeles, though it also extends to the Pacific Northwest and Mexico City. They all play such vital roles in my life. I like to think that Mexico is my heart, the PNW is my mindset, and LA my drive/hands- always busy always the desire to discover.
5. What's your latest curiosity and how are you following it?
A tiny spot in my brain is really itching to tinker around with some wire sculptures, another zone wants to get funky with a larger scale paper mâché piece. And with the summer heat lingering around, making my spicy Tepache as much as I am able.
See Lauren's work on her website, here.
Lauren wears the Ema in Hueso