About Karen

For the past three decades I’ve been earning my living by creating one of a kind and limited edition jewelry. Most of that time I’ve explored the world of lamp worked glass bead making. I was the first person to jury into the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen as a glass bead artist. In the early 1990s I had the privilege to meet Helen Banes, who demonstrated a technique she had developed called off loom bead weaving. I briefly explored that work and as much as I did love it, compared to making individual glass beads, which is very labor intensive, the weaving was not something I felt I could invest my time in. After three decades of showing my work at juried craft fairs, with the unfortunate economic downturn in 2008, the craft show world has all but fizzled out. I am now retired from that world. Last year, as I was organizing the closet in my studio I discovered a box of my first tries at bead weaving. It was like opening a time capsule at the perfect moment in my life. I began playing with the technique and felt like lightning had struck. All the things I love doing came together–my love of color, glass beads, gems and the soothing effect that weaving offers my soul. One of the problems I always had with glass beads was being able to make a statement piece without it being too heavy. Robert Lui, the editor of Ornament Magazine did a beautiful article on my work 25 years ago and he was kind enough to photograph my pieces. Robert’s comment at that time was the detail in my pieces was hard to capture because if he shot a close up the whole piece would not be seen. Finally, using the bead weaving technique, the pieces have a magnificent presence and are very lightweight. Being able to play with all the skills I’ve acquired is pure joy.