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Meet the Artist

  • About This Artist

    Going back to my German roots, I aspire to design + craft heirloom-quality clothing, accessories + home goods that fit a sustainable lifestyle. I am inspired by ancient textile techniques and am interested in re-envisioning them in a minimal + timeless way, using prime quality natural materials.

    I believe that the slow process of hand crafting adds a deeper value to the created good and reminds us of our social and environmental responsibilities, especially in times of excess production and throwaway culture.

    My pieces are handcrafted in my studio in Napa, CA where I live and work with my husband and daughter.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: I apply the values I was raised with and skills I have accumulated growing up in Germany and attending two residencies in Mexico to create timeless + long-lasting designs. My pieces are meticulously hand crafted from high quality natural materials and designed, cut, sewn and often hand embroidered at my studio in Napa except for a few pieces that are collaboratively made in the Bay Area or with artisan friends in Mexico. Every piece that leaves the studio has a handmade feel and tells a story.

    A: I have been drawn to fibers and textiles and the make of them all my life and I love figuring out how the material can be manipulated. At the same time, I'm interested in drawing attention to the positive impact that living a more responsible life can make. Considering that the quality and source of a cloth in combination with the techniques used to turn it into a product immediately determines the level of sustainability of the product is fascinating and guides me through my creation process.

    A: My pieces have a minimal and timeless appearance but with a closer look one can find out that materials and applied techniques used often have a deep back story and their production is inclusive of community and in tune with the environment. E.g., the sustainably hand-spun, hand-woven Khadi cottons and silks I’ve been using or the durable loden wool that is traditionally milled in small batches in a 500-year-old Austrian mill. I use it for our labor-intensely hand-stitched Johnna Tote Packs.

    A: It’s often the process itself that makes me experience those moments. I love trying out new techniques and then work with them over and over again in different ways to see what else I can achieve with them. Sometimes the outcome is not satisfying but the process to get there was, other times the process is tough but the outcome is great. Often it is surprising though and opens up overwhelmingly endless possibilities.

    A: My older sister Andrea Woerner, an incredibly talented master wood carver in Germany. Her dedication to her craft, the amount of research and the attention to detail she applies to each one of her projects have shown me how to push and be patient with myself. My husband, painter and sculpture Mikey Kelly. His meticulous preparation for each piece he creates and savviness when it comes to colors and materials inspire me on a daily basis. We discuss all of our work and feed off of each others skills and inspiration. Mexican fashion designer Carla Fernández and her head of design Erin Lewis with whom I have done two residencies have been major inspirations for all things design, collaborating and applying ancient textile techniques to contemporary fashion.

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