Karen enjoys working across all areas of design as many of them are inter-related which also helps to keep ideas fresh and interesting. She also enjoys working with many different types of materials from wood, leather, fabrics, china and glass. Within product design she often likes to mix media where manufacturing allows. She is also interested in new materials and technologies and how they can be incorporated into contemporary design.
Karen has always been interested in re-purposing old elements be it pieces of architectural heritage being built into a new building or old pieces of wood being made into beds or general pieces of furniture with the help of amazing crafts people. This ethos can also be seen in her range of bags using unusual elements found in antique markets to give them a quirky and unusual twist.
Over the years Karen has also undertaken a wide variety of project management roles from complete house and hotel refurbishments to shop refits and exhibition stands. This is an area that she really enjoys, the organising and working alongside all the trades and crafts people to collectively create something special.
In recent years she has become increasingly interested in the design and manufacture of goods from recycled and emerging new materials. This is an exciting area where there is a lot of scope whilst working alongside and collaborating with like minded people and companies. She feels that you should not be able to tell whether a product is made from new resources or recycled ones, it should purely be a beautiful or functional object in it’s own right.
Having always been a maker as a child, Karen also designs and makes her own bags. They are handmade and hand stitched by her, using traditional skills and tools. Whilst all items are branded, she takes a very minimal approach and prefers to keep the branding very small and low key to allow the designs to speak for themselves. A traditional saddle stitch is used which is much stronger than a machine loop stitch. Linen thread is mostly used which is very strong and available in a beautiful array of colours to match the leathers.
As we live in an increasingly competitive world unfortunately there is so much indiscriminate copying, so Karen is proud to be a member of ‘Acid’ who try and take steps to safeguard original design.