Kaarina Talvila

Kaarina Talvila

KOTI Designs

Medium: Fibre Arts and Paper
Location: Vancouver, BC
Member Since: 1987


Kaarina is a Vancouver artist, originally from Toronto. She received her craft training at Capilano University in North Vancouver, and has a previous Geology degree from the University of Toronto. She is best known for her highly structured, geometric silk handbags which often include vintage elements such as early- to mid-century vintage buttons and brooches and vintage kimono fabrics. She also works with handmade Japanese and Nepalese papers to produce her series of boxes. Kaarina’s work is marked by its precision and attention to detail. She has exhibited widely, including exhibitions in Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Colorado and California. She is a recipient of the Niche Award for Fashion Accessories (Handbags) and has been interviewed by Sheryl MacKay on CBC’s North by Northwest. Kaarina plays an active role in the arts community, having served for several years on Circle Craft’s Board of Directors. She is also the Show Co-ordinator for the Society for the Museum of Original Costume’s twice-annual fundraising sale of vintage fashion.


In my work, I try to reflect the harmony and balance I so admire in traditional Japanese craft, as well as the geometry of Art Deco. It could be that my fondness for precise, geometric forms is a legacy from a previous career in computer mapping. My label ‘KOTI’ means ‘home’ in Finnish, which is a tribute to my Finnish mother, who taught me how to sew and to maintain exacting standards.

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