Design Links: Laura Fischer, Alma Allen & Erika Lynne Hanson


Editor’s Note: This is part 36 in Emily Potts’ inspirational series, Design Links. Every other week she features three artists whose work offers fresh, fun, and stimulating creative inspiration. Each artist picks the next link—someone who personally inspires him/her. Check out the thirty-fifth part in the series, featuring Anna Nordström, Johanna Friedman, and Kate Nartker.

Kate Nartker is inspired by …

Laura Fischer

Laura inspires me because of her way of working. She creates warps onto cast concrete supports and then weaves detailed patterns with a needle and thread. It is a slow, rigid process, yet she works intuitively and makes decisions off the cuff. The work is confident, and carries with it her unquestioning commitment to the process.


She first started making these weavings on small wooden blocks, with bright, neon colors. Some of the work is unfinished with ends of thread hanging off. She describes Sheila Hicks’ weavings as a form of note taking and you can see that influence here. The miniature weavings are like quick thoughts, as though she is trying to figure something out.

This year she had an exhibition in Oakland at Øgaard gallery. She showed dozens of weavings on geometric concrete forms. The work has been stripped of color and blown up in scale. I love this direction because she is teasing out the contrast between materials, and the weavings are becoming wild and strange.

Laura Fischer is inspired by two people:

Alma Allen

I wish I were in New York right now, at Alma Allen’s solo exhibition on view at Blum and Poe. Years ago I learned about this self-taught, Joshua Tree-based sculptor while holding one of his weighty, cast bronze bowls in my hands—one of those rare objects so perfectly humble and glimmeringly beautiful that it never quite leaves the periphery of my subconscious.


I am inspired by the elements of play that are present in Allen’s objects and sculpture but I also find inspiration in the strength that can be felt in his dedication to singular materials. Process and material are entwined in each piece and there’s a vacillation between planned and unplanned forms and surfaces.


Allen often works with the assistance of a computer-automated stone-carving robot. This was his solution to a debilitating case of carpal tunnel syndrome, and I find it bold and inspiring. I’m intrigued by the idea of using intermediary methods to create form and creating at a scale far beyond one’s own physical means is exciting to me!

Laura Fischer is also inspired by…

Erika Lynne Hanson

She creates work that explores slippery and elusive ideas about landscape through a combination of weaving, installation, sculpture and video. I am inspired by the visual and conceptual language that has evolved out of her ongoing study of what intrigues her.


The intersection of place and time is continuously revisited in Hanson’s investigations.  The question “How can we interact with a space that can never be reached physically?”  is one that she approaches with a variety of potential solutions. This is an image from her series Initial Encounters, a project that initiates on-site encounters between actual and depicted spaces.

The artist circles back to weaving as a way to explore the idea of mediated views.  Hanson meanders through complex conceptual ideas by providing material touchstones along the way, fleshing out and providing possible connections between tangible and intangible.

Tune in next time to see who inspires Erika Lynne Hanson!

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