ARDEN + WHITE in conversation with Molly Haynes

Los Angeles-based weaver and artist, Molly Haynes, explores the interplay of structure and materiality, reflecting the dynamic between humanity and the environment in her tactile woven sculptures.  Haynes constructs undulating shapes using unconventional materials like raw plant fiber and salvaged marine ropes, blurring the boundaries between the natural and the human-made.


After earning her B.F.A. in Textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design, Haynes went on to design for the interior textiles industry, where she gained a deep understanding of fibers and the construction of cloth.  After several years, she decided to immerse herself in her practice, devoting herself entirely to crafting handmade pieces that transcend the boundaries of utility.


In 2023, Haynes participated in Volume, a group show at ARDEN + WHITE GALLERY, which considered how art occupies the physical spaces around them and the perceived depth of the three-dimensional and two-dimensional qualities that they express.  Haynes' utilization of unconventional materials, organic alongside the humanmade, creates immersive environments devoid of clear beginnings or endings, enhancing the interplay of dimensions and perception.  


We had the opportunity to conduct a brief Q&A with Molly, delving into her artistic practice and offering insights into what we can anticipate next.



"I find the duality between natural and synthetic fibers creates a vibrating tension which enlivens the surface of the weaving." -haynes

A+W: We truly appreciate the harmony between manmade and natural materials evident in your artwork. Could you share with us the inspiration behind integrating these two elements?


HAYNES:  It’s hard to pinpoint one single inspiration— but I would have to say that growing up in New England and visiting the commercial fishing docks and marshlands sensitized me to a certain tactile sensibility from a young age. 


I find the duality between natural and synthetic fibers creates a vibrating tension which enlivens the surface of the weaving. Each material stands out in contrast to its neighbor. The monofilament fishing line provides an invisible hold that brings clarity and strength to the vulnerable plant fibers, allowing them to appear suspended in a synthetic skin.  This hybrid combination also speaks to our complicated relationship with manufactured materials and their entanglement with our daily lives. 



A+W: There is an organic, yet architectural element within your work, unlike traditional weaving techniques.  Is there a connection between this and the materials?


HAYNES: There is a “soft order” to my work which stems from the union of structure and material. Most of my works use a weave structure called deflected wefts: composed of two layers weaving simultaneously, one interlaces tightly in the background, and the other forms channels which distort a thicker weft (the natural fiber) on the face.

Instead of rectangles and sharp corners found in traditional plaids and coverlets, ovoid patterns emerge. I’m interested in how this weave structure mimics patterns found both in nature (snakeskin, honeycomb) and industrial settings (nets, architecture). The duality and tension between these two associations are what keeps me excited about the work. 

A+W: Where do you source your fibers?  Tell us a little about your journey to discovering and acquiring different fibers.
HAYNES: My fiber investigations started about ten years ago when I took a spool of sisal twine from the hardware store and unraveled it. I found that releasing the fiber from its tightly coiled state revealed a sort of liveliness that harkened back to its past life as a plant.  I built the foundation of my works on this hardware store sisal twine— unraveling heaps of it for hours to create the bursts that would emerge from the edges of the weavings. Tired of untwisting, I researched where I could find similar fibers in raw form.
A supplier of kenaf fiber—similar to jute—actually contacted me out of the blue about using their product, which is mainly used as a sustainable building material (similar to hempcrete). In early 2023 I was able to visit Mérida, Yucatán where henequen (a type of agave plant used to make sisal) is grown and processed. Sometimes materials fall into my lap and other times their acquisition is a long circuitous road.
A+W: Throughout your practice over the years, how would you say your work has evolved?
HAYNES: I have been gradually refining my material selections and zeroing in on what is “essential” to the work. I’ve shifted from stark black-and-white compositions to quieter, more monochromatic sculptural forms.


A+W: What should we expect next?
HAYNES:  I recently exhibited a cavernous, translucent work at LA Beast Gallery in LA fall of 2023, which is the largest of that series of works. {now}...I am experimenting more with dyeing— you can expect more indigo-saturated formations comprised of denser materials.


 For more information on available works by the artist, contact


April 15, 2024