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WORKSHOPS: April - October 2013

Course Dates 2013

April 27/28
Totem carving

June 6/7
Totem carving

July 4/5/6
Totem carving with tool care and sharpening

August 8/9
Masks & Grotesques

Occtober 4/5/6
Totem carving with tool care and sharpening

Click here for more information: workshops
Contact: Karen Hansen Tel: 01935 83580



EXHIBITION: 24 September, 2011


WOWOWO - a touring exhibition to celebrate the work of leading female contemporary furniture designers and makers working in wood, debuts at Walford Mill Crafts, Dorset, on September 24th 2011.

A select group of international, established and emerging designer makers have responded to a design brief to develop and encourage innovative design in furniture using sustainable processes and materials. The exhibition includes work by Tomoko Azumi, Karen Hansen, Akiko Kuwahata, Lorraine Moore, Katharine Fernie and Alice Blogg.

Some exhibits will have been developed as speculative work by the artists exploring any aspect of furniture-making and others will have been designed and made to commission for a client setting out specific criteria. The design development has in each case been documented to illuminate the decisions regarding techniques and process. These narratives, as well as the more personal deliberations to do with career paths, will form part of the exhibition showing the richness of skill and approach and add to the debate about design, responsibility, opportunity, expectation etc.

The WOWOWO exhibition is the first dedicated showcase of contemporary work by woman designer makers and has been curated in collaboration by Karen Hansen and Walford Mill Crafts.

WOWOWO will be at Walford Mill Crafts in Wimborne from 24th September - 30th October and the London Metropolitan Works Gallery from 24th November - 22nd December.



Karen Hansen
Karen Hansen


A hundred years of change, Bourne Hill, Salisbury

Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex opens the Wiltshire Council Bourne Hill Offices in Salisbury on Wednesday, 30th March 2011.

In connection to a major restoration and extension programme for the Bournehill premises, Karen was commissioned to transform a 100 year old Sweet Chestnut tree into seating for the Magnolia Court and entrance area at the offices. During the period from autumn 2006 to final installation in 2010 she worked to develop the concept design - through site observation, workshops and consultation with local people and historic research into life and events in Salisbury over the lifetime of the tree.

Focusing on the tree as a symbol of longevity bearing witness to change and acknowledging the strong spiritual connection, we as humans have to these giant living organisms, led to the development of four seat designs representing four generations living through a hundred years of change.

The tree was converted into appropriate sections and then stored for seasoning with smaller sections dried in a dehumidifier. The main construction work was carried out using chainsaw, arbotech and carving gouges.

1. Germination
The new leaf emerging from the seed.

2. Youth
The young stems growing up create a split and diverting paths in life. The seed remains as a continuum with the spherical shape symbolising the wholeness in change.

Two individuals have developed to be comfortable in their own space. The sphere remains as the link between different points of view.

4. Roots & Seeds
The old roots and vital foundation that generally remains unseen is crossing paths with the new energy in the seeds to create the unpredictable and inevitable future. This seat is made from the main branches of the tree.




  Karen HAnsen
Karen Hansen
Karen Hansen
Karen Hansen
EXHIBITION: 18-26 September, 2010

Victoria & Albert Museum. London Design Festival

A handpicked selection of contemporary furnituremakers are invited to exhibit their latest work at the V&A Sackler Centre supported by the British Furniture Confederation.

The London Design Festival has developed a unique partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum - the world's leading museum of art and design. As the Festival Hub, the V&A is the first point of call for visitors to the Festival; there are resources and information available alongside a number of specially commissioned design installations and displays plus a wide range of events throughout the Festival week.

Monday 20th September

Meet the Designer Maker

Gallery 220, Sackler Centre
11.00 - 17.00

Karen Hansen, Alun Heslup, Nick Langan, Simon Yates will be available to discuss their work and practise.


Karen Hansen
EXHIBITION: May 29 - June 13, 2010

Dorset Artsweeks' Open Studios Exhibition Event

Latest work on show in oak timberframe house and the strawbale house and garden.

We are running introductory carving workshops as part of the event. Please see workshop for details.

  Dorset arts weeks logo
WORKSHOPS: June - Oct 2010

Course Dates 2010

June 3 & June 6
Introductory day carving courses / Dorset Artweek

July 10/11
Pole carving for the family

Aug 25/26/27
Totem carving for women

Sept 2/3
Masks & Grotesques

Sept 24/25/2
Totem carving

Oct 2/3
Masks & Grotesques

Click here for more information: Workshops
Contact: Karen Hansen Tel: 01935 83580

  karen hansen
EXHIBITION: Sept 6 - Oct 4, 2009

21st Century Furniture - Making the Future

An exhibition of Today's Key Designer Makers
Seymour Place, London


WORKSHOPS: May - Sept 2009

Course Dates 2009

May 28 - 29
Pole Carving for the family

June 17 - 19
Totem carving

July 24 - 26
Totem carving for women

Sept 23 - 25
Totem carving

Click here for more information: Workshops


In collaboration with Real Ideas Organisation-Rio

The project aim was to develop awareness of holistic living and how we can pass on the world to the future - in a lively and positive way.

The children, a great group of 9-10 year olds - had the opportunity to spend time in the local woodland environment - to study, work and play and debark the tree, which had been chosen for the pole.

Back at school we worked on drawing and choosing images to be carved into the pole and the tree was moved and laid up in the school grounds. The children spent many enjoyable hours carving and painting to complete the pole.

The pole was unveiled in celebration on July 13 2009.

  Thorncombe school, Dorset
PUBLIC COMMISSION: Sept 6 - Sept 7, 2008

Totem carving at Moors Valley Country Park

In connection to the annual Woodfair held at the park, Karen was commissioned to carve an oak pole showing the Dragonfly lifecycle. The public had a chance to take part in the open workshops running over the Woodfair weekend and Karen spent the following weeks working through to completion of the pole. The Dragon fly pole will be erected in the lake near the visitor centre.

EXHIBITION : Aug 13 - Sept 13, 2008

Made in Dorset

Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset. A special event to celebrate the talents of Dorset artists and makers.

WORKSHOP: Aug 9 - Aug 10, 2008

Pole Carving Workshop

Your have the chance to contribute to and take part in the Made in Dorset event by carving your mark into the two wooden flag poles. These poles will become part of the display- flying the Made in Dorset Flag all through the event.

What do you think is special about Dorset and how can you translate it into a simple design to be carved. Anything which is personal to you or which relates to the bigger Dorset environment can be included and you can carve it yourself or have someone else carve it for you. We are only limited by time and space. The Workshop takes place in the Bridport Arts Centre Café Yard.

Sat Aug 9, 2008 - 3.30pm to 7pm.
Sun Aug 10, 2008- 10am - 1.30pm 2pm - 6.00pm.



WORKSHOP : August, 2008
Artsreach Summer Programme

Wooden Beasts or Beauties
You will be shown how to construct in round wood using hedgerow material such as hazel and ash. Using the natural shapes in the wood we will spend the day working with saws, drills, gauges and mallets to create and carve log creatures and stick insects.

Moving Objects
Spend the day creating wooden toys or moving sculptures. You will work with small roundwood and learn greenwood skills using shaving horses, draw knives, gauges, drills and saws. Learning  about both fixed and flexible jointing you can construct your own figures, vehicles and interactive boxes of tricks.

Both workshops are for 9 year and up.


WORKSHOP : July 31 - Aug 1, 2008 and Oct 23 - 24, 2008
Totem Pole Carving

By the end of this two-day course, you will be taking home your very own garden totem pole.

Among the Native Americans of the northwest coast of the United States and Canada, the totem pole had a function similar to that of the heraldic emblem in medieval Europe. The animals, spirits and symbolic forms carved into its length signified the identity of a family or tribe or served as a pictorial account of their history.

In this Dorset woodland workshop you will have the opportunity to spend two days making your very own contemporary totem pole.

The course covers preparing the wood for carving, drawing up simple patterns and not too ambitious symbol designs and then carving them into your personal totem pole. You will be guided through the techniques of cutting the shapes you require and you will be shown how to use the drawknife and a basic selection of carving gauges.

The two days are intended to be creative and fun and whether you decide to make a simple spiral shape, carve an image from your dreams or a grotesque caricature of yourself, you will come away with an insight into 3D and relief carving and a totem pole which could become a welcoming gesture to the visitor or a garden feature to inspire discussion.

For further information please use the contact form.

Contact form

EXHIBTION: July 19 - Sept 14, 2008

Wonder Wood

Inspirational Contemporary Designers from the South West.
"Wonder Wood" is the climax of a series of exhibitions in a year-long "Wood Culture" festival which has celebrated the beauty, usefulness and sustainability of wood and explored its many uses in contemporary
architecture and design.

The exhibition draws on the work of 20 designers in wood across the South West region, from established makers to this year’s graduates, ranging from innovative steam-bent seating to a woven boat and a timber bicycle. Most work will be for sale.

Exhibition launch: Saturday 19 July, 12noon-3pm.

Admission free


WEBSITE: June 18 2008

New website online at long last!!

www.karenhansen.co.uk v2.1 ONLINE NOW!


EXHIBITION : May 21 - June 7, 2008

Trig Point

Dorset Visual Arts showcase. A selected exhibition at the Study Gallery of Modern Art, Poole, Dorset


EXHIBITION : May 21 - June 7, 2008
The Little Art Gallery

Beaminster, Dorset
Exhibiting as part of Dorset Art Week


PUBLIC OPENING : May 17, 2008

Thornford Playground Teenshelter, benches and picnic tables

Thornford village playground project wanted to provide facilities for children of all ages and therefore dedicated an area to the teenagers of the village. A keen group of young people worked hard to fund raise through The Youth Capital Fund and their successful bid allowed among others for the design and making of the Teenshelter - an area of covered seating.

Karen designed the project to allow the teenagers to make their own mark on the cedar structure by carving images into the wood and laying mosaics into the base of the structure. A series of workshops took place before the installation and the final outcome is a true indication of community pride of place. The formal opening took place on the 17th May 2008.



Creative Footsteps Project, Wessex Ridgeway, Artsreach 2007

Creative Footsteps is a project based along the Wessex Ridgeway led by local poet, James Crowden. James walked the Ridgeway and on his travels wrote poems, which reflected the geography, geology and natural history of this long distance path. Sections of verse have been incorporated in to specially commissioned sculpture, which now punctuates the route from Ashmore to Lyme.

“She gave me eyes she gave me ears
humble cares and delicate fears.”

The 65 mile long Wessex Ridgeway track is a rich tapestry of chalk ridges, steep grassland fields, copses and thick ancient hedgerows. The Ridgeway enters Dorset from Wiltshire at Ashmore, crosses the Blackmore Vale before finally descending to the sea at Lyme Regis.

An exhibition of photographs and poetry is currently touring Dorset.


WORKSHOP: Spring, 2007

Big Ears, Beaminster School, Dorset

Carving project for all of year 6 pupils. Based on the theme of listening - the children worked together to create a giant pair of ears – named “The Listening Post” which has been installed as a sculpture in the school grounds.

EXHIBITION: May - Oct, 2007

Art in the Garden

Exhibition of art in the grounds of the Sir Harold Hilliers Gardens, Hampshire.


© 2008 - 2016 All works copyright Karen Hansen