Karen has a BA degree in English from UC Davis, where she took a smattering of undergraduate art classes, followed years later by further studies in weaving and jewelry making. She began knitting at the age of 6 and played with fabric throughout her growing years. It was during a year spent in Hawaii in her early twenties that she taught herself macrame' knotting from directions in a book. She began by making knotted necklaces from waxed linen and seashells she gathered on the beach. Moving back to California, she discovered a finer fiber in nylon, allowing her to make more intricate knotting designs, which she integrated with gemstones and antique jade. These she sold to Macy’s and Nordstrom’s for a short time.
During the 80s and 90s, Karen’s work evolved into highly patterned tapestries. Her necklaces were shown at the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery and the Textile Museum in Washington DC, the American Craft Museum in N.Y., in the gift shops of the Chicago Art Institute and the Oakland Museum Collectors Gallery, and in various craft galleries around the country, including the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite. She has been a regular exhibitor in the American Craft Council shows in Baltimore and S.F., in the Contemporary Crafts Market in Santa Monica, and at the Scottsdale and Sausalito Art Festivals, where she has received several first place awards in her medium.
Karen is currently cutting back on traveling to shows in order to spend more time in her studio. She hopes to maintain contact with her loyal customers through this web site.
-- Contact Karen Smith