Kara Laughlin's Profile

About

I've been a student of needlework for longer than I can remember. My mother still has the 4"x12" sampler she helped me to make when I was six or so. She got a scrap of carpet canvas and some of that thick acrylic yarn girls used to tie their pigtails with, and I went to town. I've been working with a needle ever since.

In my early twenties, I took a job as a studio assistant to a fiber artist. My boss, a nationally known rug maker, opened a world of color and texture to me that I had no idea had been hiding just behind the Precious Moments samplers I had made as a kid.

My work for her, along with nearly ten years of writing about the art and business of fine craft, did wonders for my aesthetic and fed my interest in the value of the handmade.

The story of my own work is the typical beginning to…

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  • Female
  • Born on September 16
  • Joined February 21, 2008

Favorite materials

silk, linen, wool felt, sequins, seed beads, milagros

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About

I've been a student of needlework for longer than I can remember. My mother still has the 4"x12" sampler she helped me to make when I was six or so. She got a scrap of carpet canvas and some of that thick acrylic yarn girls used to tie their pigtails with, and I went to town. I've been working with a needle ever since.

In my early twenties, I took a job as a studio assistant to a fiber artist. My boss, a nationally known rug maker, opened a world of color and texture to me that I had no idea had been hiding just behind the Precious Moments samplers I had made as a kid.

My work for her, along with nearly ten years of writing about the art and business of fine craft, did wonders for my aesthetic and fed my interest in the value of the handmade.

The story of my own work is the typical beginning to a story of "women's work." I started making embroidered jewelry shortly after I left the rug studio to move to the Midwest and marry a (no joke) rocket scientist. Suddenly confronted with an extremely domestic life, missing the studio and most of my writing gigs, I needed a form of creative expression. I did what women have done for centuries before me—I picked up a needle.

In my work I marry traditional processes with a modern sensibility. Just between you and me, I think most of my designs are about how the sacred intersects with the mundane--but I don't mind if you don't see anything more than something to make your world a little prettier. It can be a cruel world out here, and a little beauty goes a long way to make it better.

One of the most common questions people ask about my work is, "How long did it take you to make this?" In our overly scheduled lives, time is a premium commodity. I think of my pins as little totems of time: a reminder that slowing down to create beauty has always fed our souls.

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