Karen Hansen

Karen Hansen

Artist, Maker, Curator, Project manager, Teacher

Working with Design and Natural Form to create contemporary furniture and sculptural construction, my practise is based on strong sustainable ethics both in process and outcome. I am inspired by nature and seek to emphasise the connections between us and our environment. This might relate to the use of local material to promote the survival of the woodland resource or build on particular site specific elements within a commission. The design ideas develop with emphasis on clear clean lines and comfortable function and are based on a long developed experience and good understanding of material and structure. My Danish roots continue to influence both approach and result. Projects vary from private and individual commissions that fulfil needs within personal space to large scale research and developments for public clients within civic, health and leisure facilities. Design and development will often involve in-depth consultation with client or community group as well as facilitation of workshops and experimental processes on both social and practical levels. Working with the given qualities of the material, I create simple design-solutions which allow the natural form to make each piece of furniture unique. The strong sculptural element is integral by a subtle use of the changing form – either on the basis of its origin in the natural world or by shaping and manipulating the material to achieve the fine balance between dynamic form, comfort and strength in structure. I mainly work hands-on as an artist through research and concept development to final outcome but also enjoy opportunities to collaborate across disciplines and with other practitioners.

Career path

2013 Marchwood Vale Design Award, Dorset

2012 Awarded Guild Mark 442 for Ceremonial Wedding Seat,- meeting the finest levels of furniture making in the categories of Design, Workmanship, Use of Materials and Function. Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, London

2012 Awarded the Exlab research bursary in connection to Exploratory Laboratory, UK - a collaborative project between scientists and artist to explore and further the understanding of the natural environment. Dorset Visual Arts. UK

2008 RICS London Awards. Craftsmanship in conservation, Special Award with St. Blaise, for St. George's Chapel, Bloomsbury

2002 Allsop Arts and Crafts Price, Allsop Gallery. Bridport 2002 

2002 Princes Foundation Craft Scholarship award, carving.

1996/02 Constructing green oak timberframe house and strawbale studio using local materials. 

1996 Teachers training, Agenda, Landbase training, Stoneleigh 

1994 Conservation work in Joinery and Architectural carving at English Heritage sites all over Britain, with St Blaise, Evershot

1994/03 Starting own business as furniture designer/maker, taking on public and private commissions

1994 MSc Forest Product Technology, Design, Manufacture. Hooke Park College, Bournemouth University, Dorset

1993 Diploma in Forest Product Manufacturing, Hooke Park College, Parnham Trust, Dorset

1982/87 Various employment as joiner cabinet maker in Denmark, USA., UK

1979 Manual skills training, Aarhus Vaerksteds Skole, Denmark

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Location Evershot, South West
Activities Workshops, Arts in health, Community arts, Public art, Private commissions
Artforms / type of project Project, Environment, Furniture, Sculpture, Woodwork
Website http://www.karenhansen.co.uk