“I don’t draw much of a distinction between work and life,” laughs textile artist Shelly Klein, who grew up sewing her own clothes,as taught by her mom Mary. After she earned a degree in painting, the pair went into business together making elaborately stitched bags, poufs, pouches, and even wall art. When K. Studio launched in 2004, it was with eight pillows—and a decade and a pair of Klein twin babies later, the duo still works out of the barber-shop-turned-studio attached to Shelly’s house in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
It’s easy to see Shelly’s fascination with closeness play out in her linear designs, which feature sketches of familial clans of all makes and models (pets included!), in addition to more abstract squiggles and patterns. “I am so interested in how we connect with one another, or not, and why,” she explains. The precision of her process is also a counterpoint to the chaos of her live-work mash-up. As she says, "My paintings used to inspire my textiles. But now I find it so satisfying to sit down at the computer and work up a design and then to see it executed exactly as planned on the embroidery machine from my digital pattern."