With a background in the fashion industry and an emphasis on Slovak folk cultural heritage, Katarina of Bylina Studio has crafted a stunningly colorful line of home décor with a focus on vintage embroidery. I instantly fell in love with her embroidery hoop wall hangings and began plotting where I could squeeze another pillow into the house. Read more on Katarina and Bylina Studio below…
You mention you are originally from Slovakia, now living in Barcelona. Is Bylina a way to stay connected with your Slovak heritage?
Yes, it is. It is a great way to keep in touch with my heritage. Slovakia is also where I get all my embroidery from.
Your work begins to give me a sense of the beauty of the Slovak folk culture. Are there any favorite traditions you have or pieces of the culture you would like to share?
Slovakia is a country very rich in folk tradition. There is wood carving, glass painting, weaving and many more. But my favourite is obviously the embroidery, wonderfully rich in colour and diverse in techniques. I am by no means an expert but I have been collecting vintage embroidery for years now and with each piece I learn something new.
I think there is something so beautiful about giving new life to items that seem to have a place in another world and finding a home for them in our lives today. Where did the inspiration for turning these vintage pieces into modern art come from?
I think the inspiration came from necessity. I have collected so many wonderful vintage needle-crafted pieces over the years and I wanted to incorporate them into my own interior …and that is where the idea came from. The largest part of my collection are embroidered tablecloths which I find are not very practical for every day use. So I started to repurpose them into objects that could easily be incorporated into a modern day home. I have started with pillow covers, wall art and there is much more to come.
You mention a background in the fashion industry. Can you elaborate on your experience and how your previous work helped form or influence Bylina?
I have worked in buying and quality assurance but I always craved the creative side. So in terms of experience it is definitely helpful to understand the technical side of textiles.
Many of your pieces are one of a kind and all of them are hand crafted. Do you ever feel a reluctance to give them up or is Bylina an opportunity to share the Slovak folk cultural heritage with the world?
Well all of my pieces are one of a kind because they are made from vintage textiles. But I think the hard part is selecting the piece for upcycling. Once that is decided it is easy.
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