As an embroiderer…

I bridge a vast textile tradition with a contemporary feel.

STUDIO- Karen Barbé.

Located in one of the busiest and most vibrant areas of Santiago (Chile), my studio is the perfect space to achieve the calm and clarity needed for doing and learning embroidery.

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Profile Education Experience Teaching

Artist statement

My background and expertise is in design and textiles with more than a decade of experience working as a textile designer for a wide scope of clients and multicultural settings, developing projects for clients in Chile, Europe, North America and Asia. I have developed the ability to work in all phases of the design process: concept, design, production, styling and product photography. I have particular interest in hand embroidery and the intersections between functionality and embellishment.

2015

Royal School of Needlework

Technical hand embroidery England - Certificate

2003

Universidad Católica de Chile

BA (Hons) Design

2001

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid - CSDMM

Textile Identification, Dyeing and Quality Control - Certificate

2012-Today

Karen Barbé Studio

Workshop teacher

Group classes held at private studio on a weekly basis. Each student is guided individually in the stitching of a sampler or a personal project. Duties include teaching, mentoring, sampler design and stitching, printed material design and illustrations.

2013-2016

Universidad Católica de Chile

Lecturer at Design School

Guidance to undergraduate students in courses and degree projects related to design practice and textile production. Some led courses include: Design Studio, Production Processes, and Introduction to Textile and Pattern Drafting. Guidance to students in Continuing Education programme.

2005-2007

Concha y Toro Winery

Product Designer

In-house packaging and branding designer for a wide range of marketing initiatives. Designed, produced and implemented design work for wine families Casillero del Diablo, Frontera, Sunrise and Viña Maipo. Duties included overseeing brand consistency across a wide range of formats, languages and media.

2003-2005

PUMA Chile

Product Manager Junior

In-house designer for both apparel and style accessories collections for the Chilean market. Designed and developed technical packs and conducted QA on production processes overseas. Managed sample collections, catalogue design and catwalk presentations for clients.

On teaching

Teaching has been central to my role as a designer as it has pushed my own understanding of design and handwork practice into core terms that can be grasped not only by undergraduate students but also by Continuing Education participants and crafts enthusiasts. I always stress the meaning and expected learning from each project so students can see new lessons as empowering tools rather than closed knowledge. I encourage students to make mistakes as a means for achieving unexpected results and learning.

As a lecturer
I bring my knowledge of textiles, colour and crafts practice to inspire and guide undergraduate students in their course projects. Main taught concepts are shape or motif design, pattern repeat, surface composition and attention to detailed work.

As a workshop teacher
I introduce students to traditional hand embroidery and colour use through a contemporary point of view in its application and stitch use. The class method promotes stitch comprehension for furthering the expressive possibilities of each stitch and material.

Artist statement

My background and expertise is in design and textiles with more than a decade of experience working as a textile designer for a wide scope of clients and multicultural settings, developing projects for clients in Chile, Europe, North America and Asia. I have developed the ability to work in all phases of the design process: concept, design, production, styling and product photography. I have particular interest in hand embroidery and the intersections between functionality and embellishment.

Education

2015

Royal School of Needlework

Technical hand embroidery England - Certificate

2003

Universidad Católica de Chile

BA (Hons) Design

2001

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid - CSDMM

Textile Identification, Dyeing and Quality Control - Certificate

Experience

2012-Today

Karen Barbé Studio

Workshop teacher

Group classes held at private studio on a weekly basis. Each student is guided individually in the stitching of a sampler or a personal project. Duties include teaching, mentoring, sampler design and stitching, printed material design and illustrations.

2013-2016

Universidad Católica de Chile

Lecturer at Design School

Guidance to undergraduate students in courses and degree projects related to design practice and textile production. Some led courses include: Design Studio, Production Processes, and Introduction to Textile and Pattern Drafting. Guidance to students in Continuing Education programme.

2005-2007

Concha y Toro Winery

Product Designer

In-house packaging and branding designer for a wide range of marketing initiatives. Designed, produced and implemented design work for wine families Casillero del Diablo, Frontera, Sunrise and Viña Maipo. Duties included overseeing brand consistency across a wide range of formats, languages and media.

2003-2005

PUMA Chile

Product Manager Junior

In-house designer for both apparel and style accessories collections for the Chilean market. Designed and developed technical packs and conducted QA on production processes overseas. Managed sample collections, catalogue design and catwalk presentations for clients.

On teaching

Teaching has been central to my role as a designer as it has pushed my own understanding of design and handwork practice into core terms that can be grasped not only by undergraduate students but also by Continuing Education participants and crafts enthusiasts. I always stress the meaning and expected learning from each project so students can see new lessons as empowering tools rather than closed knowledge. I encourage students to make mistakes as a means for achieving unexpected results and learning.

As a lecturer
I bring my knowledge of textiles, colour and crafts practice to inspire and guide undergraduate students in their course projects. Main taught concepts are shape or motif design, pattern repeat, surface composition and attention to detailed work.

As a workshop teacher
I introduce students to traditional hand embroidery and colour use through a contemporary point of view in its application and stitch use. The class method promotes stitch comprehension for furthering the expressive possibilities of each stitch and material.

ENCORE! The New Artisans Mar | 2015 imagen
ENCORE! The New Artisans

“Meet a self-proclaimed 'craft guerrilla fighter', an expert who lives, breathes and dreams textiles. Chilean designer, embroideress, weaver and blogger Karen Barbé has devised the concept of the 'handmade lifestyle'.”

(Thames & Hudson)

Martha Stewart LIVING

“Known for her impressive screen-printed, woven and embroidered textiles, Chilean based designer Karen Barbé reveals the inspiration behind her coveted creations.”

(On Our Radar)

Martha Stewart LIVING Jan | 2012 imagen
Martha Stewart LIVING

“Known for her impressive screen-printed, woven and embroidered textiles, Chilean based designer Karen Barbé reveals the inspiration behind her coveted creations.”

(On Our Radar)

Martha Stewart LIVING Jan | 2011 imagen
Martha Stewart LIVING

“Give sewing projects–quilts, pillow covers, you name it–a subtle patchwork look with this kit of 16 screen-printed fabric tiles.”

(Great Finds)

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