Playful nostalgia and sensory stimulation are the foundation of Denja Harris’s approach to art. The self-taught textile artist has been crafting large-scale fiber works since she bought her first tufting gun two years ago. Inspired by texture and cheerful patterns, Harris has stitched together a style that’s bold, funky, and versatile.
“Creating a conversation between color and pattern has always been a common theme in my style,” she says. “I love playing with texture—different pile cuts, lengths, and depths—to create a dynamic, layered contrast.”
Harris is also keen on sustainability, sourcing dead-stock yarn and incorporating natural fibers like cotton and wool as often as she can. No matter the medium, most projects start the same way—stretching monk’s cloth over a frame to create a blank canvas. Then she waits for intuition to prompt her first move—sometimes it’s inspiration from a particular texture, other times it’s an organic process of just starting and seeing what happens.
Her portfolio consists of stand-alone work, rugs, an ultra-cool car dashboard cover, and mini collections, like her debut exhibit Soft at Mortis Studio in Golden Hill this January. That experience led to her next event, a live demo and workshop at the Mingei International Museum March 5–6. See the artist at play, and pick up a tip or two to inspire your own “paint by yarn” creation.