The 1970s-inspired wall hangings by All Roads founders Janelle Pietrzak and Robert Dougherty had their unlikely beginnings among the oily rags and engine blocks of a Philadelphia motorcycle garage.
Two years ago, Pietrzak was working as a fabric researcher for Anthropologie when she decided to apprentice in a garage to tune up her 1971 Honda bike. She fell for mechanic Dougherty, and after decamping to Los Angeles in the summer of 2012, the couple’s relationship grew into their current creative partnership. “The weaving started when we moved here,” says Pietrzak. “I felt like I needed a big bohemian tapestry, but I couldn’t find one I liked.” So she set about making her own, dusting off techniques from her college days and tasking Dougherty, a carpenter and welder by trade, with building her a loom. She creates her pieces with highly textured materials—thick cotton rope, vintage yarns and curly sheep’s wool—and palettes drawn from the flora of her adopted state, such as pink bougainvillea and native grasses.
This California weaving, hung from a steel arrow welded by Dougherty, interprets the Pacific Ocean with dip-dyed indigo fringe and evokes the state topography with wool and jute in green and orange tones. “I used to tell my mom that I just wanted to live in a picturesque, beautiful location,” says Pietrzak. “California is that place.”
This was originally published in California Home + Design’s Winter 2014 issue. Click here to subscribe.