Barb Lund


Barbara Lund has designed Village pieces for Dickens' Village, New England Village, and the North Pole for the last 28 years. She began her Department 56 career working with her father, Neilan Lund.  As his able assistant, Neilan groomed Barbara to take the reigns and now she is well versed in creating the buildings doing extensive research to make the pieces extremely authentic. “Our options in design are almost limitless so long as the factories have the technologies to create what we have asked for. Now having said that, we do push the envelope a bit each year. As the Department 56 team is fond of saying, ‘these little houses are not widgets.’ Sometimes we ask factories to solve challenges, and once they find the solution, we have something new to offer our collectors.”

When designing a piece, which comes first, the name or the idea? “Once the research is done, I concentrate on the design. I have incorporated historical peoples’ names into buildings as a way to honor them or to honor something that is currently happening in our culture.”

We know that our Village artists need to be creative all the time and wondered if they ever get a creative “block”. Barbara shared, “As you might guess, sometimes there are assignments for pieces that stretch our imaginations – as much exercise as they get. I think that the cure for a block is the same the world over. If you get stuck, you walk away. You may see something or work through a problem when you least expect it.”

One of Barbara’s favorite parts of designing buildings for Department 56 is “meeting the many people who took long and sometimes very long trips to meet me. This would be true for all the artists and I bet we all find it pretty humbling. I know, I do.”

Department 56, the leader and gold standard in lighted collectible Villages, is part of the Enesco family of brands and is located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.