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In the Studio with Kara

 I thought I would take you on a behind-the-scenes visit to my studio and share with you what these work days look like.

 The studio is where I slowly work on my creative practice; developing print collections and designing pieces for the home. I crave this time at the studio and it’s where I can centre myself and dedicate a few precious hours to just my work.

Above left: Margot, my old 1968 Mercedes in the driveway outside the studio. / Above right: An early morning arriving at the studio wearing my favourite palazzo pants.

On my studio days I drive Margot, my old ’68 Mercedes from home. It’s like the whole world slows down when I’m driving her, it certainly does for all the people stuck behind me on the road :)

I like to arrive early, when it’s just me and my thoughts, before my small team arrive. It allows me to have some thinking and doing time within the space.

Above: Outside in the carpark, and having fun taking portraits. I love out of focus portraits, they somehow feel so real and in the moment.

Above left: The roller door goes up to reveal the downstairs studio / Above right: Looking into the studio from outside. I love how high the ceilings are.

The roller door comes up and I put the music on straight away. I can’t ever be in silence here, even for a second.

I usually put on a Spotify playlist (here is a favourite one)  and turn the music up loud, then walk around and take in what’s been happening downstairs.

One song I have on high rotation right now is an old cover by Bob Dylan called ‘Corrina Corrina’. I don’t usually like a lot of Bob Dylan, but this song seems to add to the atmosphere of the early mornings, plus I love a bit of harmonica.

Above left:  This is ‘Twinkles‘ ‘on the lean’ in the medium size of 20 x 30″ with my signature framing. I love to have the entrance looking impactful. / Above right: A medium size ‘Seaweed Pearls’ with my signature framing in the entrance nook, amongst the linen love seat and travertine coffee table, with piles of books and a ceramic moon vase.

The entry to the studio really sets the tone for the whole space and I love to walk in and see it looking beautiful. There are always stacks of photography books and magazines on the coffee table and vases of fresh flowers.

I really go out of my way to make the studio feel like home with these layers. I think it makes a huge difference to the quality of the work which is created here and the homely mood brings a sense of comfort for everyone.

Above left: My reflection in an old foxed antique mirror I found in London / Above right: My trench flung over a woven chair and ‘Byron Bay Salt Haze’ in the small 11 x 14″ size ‘on the lean’.

Now that it’s a bit cooler in temperature I’m enjoying wearing my vintage trench coat with deep pockets. Funnily enough this trench used to belong to Mirka Mora, the French born Australian visual artist.

It has splashes of purple paint on it, which I love…  it also came with a few old tissues in the pockets, which I didn’t love so much.

Above left: I love to rearrange the pieces of work, understanding which ones work best together and compliment each other. This is a small ‘Byron Bay Salt Haze’ and a glimpse of an extra large ‘Sea Life’ / Above right: The view from the love seat looking at ‘Sea Shell Still Life’ amongst the books and flowers.

The entrance is flooded with natural light and is a place where I style new prints and play with sizes and scale. I like to be very hands on with the works.

I move the frames around all the time, like pieces of furniture. I do this here at the studio and also at home. I love how a ‘move around’ instantly revitalises a space and in doing so also revitalises me, and how I feel within the space. It lifts the mood and gets my creative ideas flowing. Basically it just makes me happy!

This process also helps me understand how the pieces can add dimension into the homes of our customers and collectors.

Even though I love to hang the photographic prints, my favourite way to display them is actually ‘on the lean’. All sizes look great ‘on the lean’ and can look so artful and contemporary.

Above left: The view downstairs as you go up the stairs with ‘Sea Life ‘ and a small  ‘Weekend’ print / Above right: A glimpse into the entrance area where a medium size ‘Seaweed Pearls’ hangs, complimenting the tones of the linen love seat.

I then head upstairs to check the emails and to see what orders and activity has come in overnight from the USA and Europe.

My photographic pieces are often included within interior schemes and commercial fit outs, by both interior designers and architects. I always find it exciting to see how my photographic pieces will be incorporated into their concepts.

Above left: My loves; my husband and baby Edie, at the beach on the island, framed in a secondhand 1940s shell-art frame / Above right: My ever growing moodboard, layered with much loved torn out pages from magazines, print outs and sentimental bits, which inspire me daily.

This is where I sit at my desk and this is my view. I’m working on two new photographic print releases at the moment. They are both at difference development stages.

I have a nostalgic print release called ‘Sunseeker – portraits of the coastline’ which is about to launch. The collection dedicated to the iconic headland at Noosa.

The other release is square format release of prints called ‘Ode to Olive’, which is a collection dedicated to the 1940’s Australian photographer Olive Cotton. The pieces are all bronze and sepia landscapes, all shot on my medium format Hasselblad, on film.

If you would like to know when I release these collections sign up here and I will email you.

Above left: Collections of framed works ‘on the lean’ in the entrance / Above right: A medium size ‘Twinkles’ photographic print in the entrance on the travertine console. I love this view through the linen curtains.

Above left: Inspecting a test stip of ‘Childhood at Seal Rocks’ with the lights off and using daylight to check the colours and tones / Above right: My favourite part of the print, the two children playing ‘Patty Cake’ in the water.

This is a test strip of a new print called ‘Childhood at Seal Rocks’. When I introduce a new piece into the print shop I always arrange test strips to check quality and to make sure the colours are spot on and exactly how I want them to be.

Because I offer 5 difference sizes from small traditional sized prints through to the extra large prints, I need to be thorough and ensure the printing is of the highest quality.

I actually photographed this print while on an East Coast road trip before Covid. I was patiently waiting for the scene to unfold at the beach, then when the children started playing the childhood clapping game ‘Patty Cake’ in the shallows I knew it was ‘the moment’.

That feeling of nostalgic childhood holidays. These simple pure moments are the ones I’m always looking for.

Above left: A medium size ‘Sacred Ground’ being prepared to be signed. I always take my watch off and wear white gloves when handling the photographic prints / Above right: Taking in all the details. When I sign the prints the photographs have a way of taking me back to the moment of when I captured the shot.

Once a week I sign and date photographic works which have been ordered from my online shop. Each print is specially custom printed for our customers and then we carefully package and ship them all over the world to their new homes.

Knowing my work is going into peoples homes – the place where they feel protected and comforted – is a feeling I never take for granted. To be included within their home is a very sacred thing.

Above left: A detail of ‘Sacred Ground’, I find these tones work with so many colours / Above right: Quality checks are vital. Each piece must be perfect before it leaves the studio.

This particular piece is called ‘Sacred Ground’ and it’s about to be delivered to a regional customer out west for their homestead.

I love seeing the addresses come through of where the works will be headed and then seeing which prints they have selected.

The golden tones will work very nicely with where they live within the landscape and this medium size is the most versatile size I offer. It also means that this piece can be moved around from time to time within their home, from the hallway, to the bedroom or even into the lounge room above the sofa.

Above left: An extra large ‘Sea Life’  sitting on the studio set which we are building. This is where we shoot the product shots for the shop  / Above right: Me, at the print signing table, signing an extra large ‘Childhood at Seal Rocks’.

Here I’m signing the first edition extra large sized print of  ‘Childhood at Seal Rocks’ that you saw on the test strip a little earlier. This is a new favourite piece. I find that the beach in sepia is a match made in photographic heaven and always looks so good.

The extra large photographic pieces are very special pieces of work. The scale is extraordinary and they really add so much impact to a room so effortlessly.

I know selecting prints can be tricky and it can be hard to decide which prints are right for your home. If anyone is feeling indecisive I always encourage them to email me and send through shots of their home. I love to help and talk interiors and find the right piece for your space.

Above left: Unrolling a medium size ‘Gum Tree’ photographic print, which has arrived from my printers / Above right: It’s always such a beautiful process carefully unravelling the prints, when you start to see the colours and the narrative.

We often send pieces of work to Australians living abroad who are feeling a little homesick, which has been rather popular over the last year or so.

This medium size piece titled ‘Gum Trees’ feels like Australia. You can almost smell the scent of the eucalyptus. It really does feel like ‘home’.

Above left: I always make sure to take in all the details of each print / Above right: I just love the colours in this print. I find the colour so gentle and beautiful.

I remember reading a passage from an Australian gardening book where Dame Elisabeth Murdoch sent an envelope of lemon scented gum leaves to her husband who was abroad, to remind him of home.

When he received the envelope he scrunched the leaves in his hands, releasing the scent of Australia, which I’m imagining would break your heart if you are longing for home. He then kept the leaves in his pocket until he died years later.

This print has the same effect on me.

Above left: Signing ‘Australian Summer’ in the small size at 11 x 14″ / Above right: This piece works in each of the five sizes I do, as the sepia tones work with all interiors.

This piece called ‘Australian Summer’ is a photograph I’m really proud of. I had a very particular idea for this shot and it took months to find just the right group of trees, with just the right amount of calm ocean.

Whenever I sign this print for customers who have chosen to collect this piece I always think to myself that this person who has bought this work ‘gets it, they get it’, they understand the gentle beauty of this photograph’.

Above left: Signing and seeing the prints really do evoke so many emotions  / Above right: The heavy weight custom tubes we send the photographic prints in.

Above left: A glimpse of a display cabinet brimming with sourced and designed lifestyle pieces such as the mugs, knitted tea cosies and copies of my book ‘Weekends’ / Above right: A reflection

All the lifestyle pieces which I introduce into the shop always enter via my home first.

If I feel there is a gap for something at home, I will find a piece or have it custom made and test it out at home first.

The pieces need to give a sense of comfort and warmth to home life. Mouth blown glass, glazed stoneware, knitted yarn and woven straw. I love to live with natural materials from the earth.

Above left: Lifestyle prototypes and current examples I’m working on / Above right: A glance into a corner of the studio with some of my favourite things, a beeswax candle and a framed ‘Byron Bay Salt Haze’.

When I’m in product development mode I like to observe the forms of the lifestyle pieces.

The pieces have to both look good and feel good while being held within the hand.

Currently on the table I’m about to introduce Australian beeswax pillar candles and I’m selecting glazes and working on forms for a stoneware tabletop release later in the year.

Above left: Dashing out the door with my daily essentials, keys, bag, basket / Above right: The time to leave always comes around so much faster these days. I wear my ‘Kara Rosenlund’ leather bag daily, you can tell it’s well loved.

Before I know it it’s usually time to grab my leather bag and head home to our new baby Edie.

To be honest I generally always feel a bit torn. I love my work and always want to stay, though I know there is now a little bundle who I love so much, waiting for me at home, who is hoping for milk and wanting to yank on my hair with her little hands.

I don’t always get everything done, but I always leave feeling happy, knowing things are under control and moving forward. My small team are incredible and so supportive, I love them.

I grab my essentials, keys, bag and basket then dash out the door home.

Above: The interior of Margot the Merc. I love holding that thin steering wheel and winding the windows all the way down on the way home.

Then it’s back in Margot with a head full of ideas, my heart racing and the music up loud.

Hope you enjoyed seeing what these days look like at the studio.

If you liked this, you can see more of the studio with the Studio Tour from a couple of years ago when I first moved in.

And remember, if you would like to know when the new print releases are launching you can sign up to the mailing list.

Kara x


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6 Comments to “In the Studio with Kara”

  1. Kara, you are such a role model for young women today. You embody quietness and peacefulness. I love cats, they are so relaxing to watch. They stretch out in the sun without a care in the world and just make you feel peaceful. Looking at your blog makes me feel like that. Keep happy.

  2. Thank you Kara. I love the garage idea! Now I see the other part of your studio.
    Beautiful. Do you do the post process of the photos yourself? my eyes can get really tired from the screen…after some hours.


  3. Your studio looks amazing! Even from the pictures you get the feeling that you created a lovely space where creativity just flows around! I love it how every corner and every piece has a reason for being there! Wish you all the best!

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