Karen Barbé Workshops

24 Feb 2011


[Karen Barbé | Textile designer | Embroidered pincushions]

[Karen Barbé | Textile designer | Embroidered pincushions]

[Karen Barbé | Textile designer | Embroidered pincushions]

[Karen Barbé | Textile designer | Embroidered pincushions]

I love when things are born like this.

First, I read about the use of medicinal plants among the Mapuche people and learned how you must give something back to the plant (and its spirit) if you pick part of it. Something like a couple of coins, colour yarns or a piece of weaving. How do you give a weaving to a plant, I wondered. Second, I came across this blog and I was delighted to discover how she left small weavings hanging from trees during her walks. Third, I had to make my own small weavings. Instead of dressing the loom, I just picked a needle and yarn and started with this delicate embroidery (that looks much like a weave.)

What do I do with these small pieces? Some pincushions, perhaps? Yes, and I could use some of my own handwoven samples for backing, and fill them with the scrap yarn I've been gathering from scarves weaving, I thought.

This is pretty much how they came to life.

These pincushions are now in the shop.


t a n y a said...

these are both absolutely delicate and darling.

Unknown said...

oh, these are so lovely.
btw. nice to know your blog,
I've finished high school for textile designed, so I really enjoy your photos!

Have a nice day ._.

Jaime Rugh said...

These are lovely:)
You are so sweet...
Did you ever get my package?

The Smallest Sparrow said...

They are soooo cute! I love them!

Karen said...

My ladies: Thank you all for your comments!

Jamie: See? Your weavings proved to be so inspiring! I will let you know when I receive your package.

Jaime Rugh said...

Oh my, so slow,
I think I could've walked the weaving to you more quickly:) it's been at least two weeks since I sent it. Maybe it's taking the long way to you- around the world and back:)hopefully it has some good stories for you once it finally arrives.
It was a pretty one.

C SATHAL said...

Hello Karen,
the story about the birth of the pincushions is very nice! This makes me want to tell you about this wonderful book: "drama and power in a Hunting Society: the Selk'nam of Tierra del Fuego" Anne Chapman.
Your work is very interresting!

Karen said...

Jaime: haha I think that's the main route for packages coming to/going from Chile! It always takes so long...

Céline: I haven't read Chapman's book but some years ago I did a little research on Selk'nam body paint and that book was always mentioned. I think I should borrow it from the library now!

ayelen said...

karen these are beautiful!! your work puts a smile on my face. these are beautiful little treasures. thanks for sharing your process of how these came to life.
as a side note, my name is a mapuche name but I don't know very much about the mapuche people. thanks for sharing!
keep making beautiful things!


Karen said...

ayelen: algún vínculo con Chile, quizás?

ayelen said...

yo naci en argentina pero me crié aca en estados unidos. la verdad que nunca me tome el tiempo de buscar y aprender sobre la gente mapuche pero siempre me intrigo.
con mi esposo viajamos mucho a argentina y bolivia donde vive su familia. nos gustaria mucho conocer chile. quisas algun dia nos veremos por alla.

--bendiciones desde lejos :)

Neus said...

You're an artist!! I really love your work! :)

claire said...


studio meez said...

So beautiful! I love the colors you used.

Erin said...

Lovely! Lovely! -both the pincushions and the story