Wearing A Story

Katja Bie is an artist in Denmark who creates remarkable art, including wearable art such as scarves and ties as part of her business Storytelling Textiles – many of these ties and scarves are carried by Ingebretsen’s.

Bie studied for five years at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Copenhagen. After receiving her bachelor degree in 1998, she spent a year at a craft school in Granada, Spain studying the construction of Arabic pattern structure, Moorish history and ornamentation in Andalusia. –

Silk scarf with runes from Nordic rune stones and motifs from a carved wooden frieze. Runestones derived from the Viking Age, and are gravestones or memorial stones with rune inscriptions.

Finishing her masters in 2001 Bie began working for various clothing companies and theaters. She tells us

“I love being part of a theater production and have since 2003 been associated with the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, as freelance in their textile workshop. Where I have the privilege to dye, distress and print on costumes for both opera, acting and ballet.”

But Brie said the idea of contributing a new historic design for the Danish museum stores, kept coming back to her.

I’ve always loved walking around museum stores after having seen the exhibition. In search of something to bring with me home to extend my experience. The things I buy when traveling are always carefully selected. It must have soul, be created with care, or awaken a feeling in me.

Silk scarf with runes from Nordic rune stones and motifs from a carved wooden frieze. Runestones derived from the Viking Age, and are gravestones or memorial stones with rune inscriptions.

For the 200 year anniversary celebration of Hans Christian Andersen, she received an assignment for the Odense City museums. She was hired to design neckties, scarves and t-shirts for the museum shop. That assignment was the start of Storytelling Textiles and her collection of historical design.

Storytelling Textiles uses elements from the Scandinavian history, remixed and added with Bie’s personal interpretation and style. Like an archaeologist “I dig into the historic soil, in search of the traces my ancestors have left. Old manuscripts, drawings and maps are extracted form the dark archives and transformed into elegant scarves or decorative home interior.”

How Katja Brie Creates

Brie always works with original historical items, so that the feeling of authenticity is preserved in each of her products.

Silk scarf with petroglyphs from Scandinavia. Petroglyphs derived from the Bronze Age 1800-500 BCE. and are symbols and figures carved on boulders or bedrock. Most of them can be seen in Sweden, Norway, and on Bornholm in Denmark.

“I love to immerse myself in an historical period. The development of a new design can therefore extend over several months until I find the right motive, manuscript page or poem. Afterwards, I designate the motives on my computer, work with the composition and colors until the design is ready to transfer to print screens, so I can experiment with colors and expressions in my workshop at Kronborg Castle in Elsinore. The screenprint table is my playground, it’s here I’m in touch with the craft I love. – In my workshop, I can experiment and let the imperfect be a part of the term.

Brie says “A scarf is that little extra – giving life to your wardrobe.” When satisfied with the design, Brie sends it to production. Silk scarves are printed in China, cotton and wool scarves in India. The silk scarves warm your neck in winter, and works perfectly as a shawl, in a cool summer evening while the cotton scarves are lovely for everyday use, as hair bands or around the neck.