Colourful handwoven necklaces and bracelets by Melbourne maker Tahli Kornhauser for her label, DAGNY. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.
Our favourite DAGNY necklace design! (How about that fade from blue to burnt orange?!) Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.
Tahli creating her DAGNY hand braided jewellery pieces on her Marudai. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.
DAGNY pieces being made on the Marudai. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.
Detail of the braiding process. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.
Tahli Korhnauser in her Collingwood Studio. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.
Queensland-born, Melbourne-based designer Tahli Kornhauser makes the most exquisite handwoven accessories using a traditional Japanese technique of braid-making called Kumihimo (meaning ‘gathered threads’). Tahli’s pieces, created under the name DAGNY, are meticulously crafted using a wooden loom called a Marudai, which looks kinda like a giant and slightly more elegant ‘Knitting Nancy’, if you remember such things from your childhood. Braided by hand using the most beautiful combination of hand dyed Japanese silk threads paired with carefully selected vintage lucite beads, each DAGNY piece is one of a kind.
Tahli originally studied interior design at Swinburne University, and went on to work as an Exhibition Designer at The National Gallery of Victoria for three years. During this time, Tahli worked on the design and production various amazing exhibitions, and was part of the team team that refurbished the Permanent Asian Galleries at NGV International.
In 2009 Tahli’s NGV contract could not be renewed due to lack of funding, and she returned to Queensland for a few months to consider her options. ‘Whilst taking some time out at my parents’ house, I became reminded of childhood days, when I had a passion for learning Japanese and making jewellery’ says Tahli. She began teaching herself the intricate Kumihimo technique from a book, and later she travelled to Japan, seeking advice from Japanese artisans to further her skills. Slowly, the concept of DAGNY emerged.
As a former Exhibition Designer, Tahli draws on design influences from her time spent surrounded by artworks and treasures from various cultures, coupled with an insatiable appetite for travel! ‘Much of my aesthetic holds roots in African patterning and bold use of colour, yet the braiding technique is inherently Japanese’ Tahli explains. ‘Colours in nature constantly inspire me as well – I dream about colour all day long!’
Tahli now operates DAGNY out of her studio in Collingwood, and will also soon complete a Graduate Certificate in Arts and Community Engagement through The University of Melbourne. In tandem with developing her handcrafted range of accessories, she is also currently developing an exciting new project that pairs community groups with artistic practitioners to create collaborative outcomes. One of these projects will soon see Tahli collaborate with her talented friend, illustrator/designer, Timothy Rodgers.
Beautiful DAGNY necklaces. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.