Karen started small and fired her work at a local clay studio. As her business and customer base grew, Karen knew she would need to be able to fire from home. Meet Bertha, Karen's kiln.
And here are Karen's beds of nails. Seriously. That's what they're called, and they ensure that Karen's work does not get stuck to anything in the kiln while it is being fired at up to 1945 degrees.
In these trays, you can see Karen's sculptures before they are painted.
Here are some gnomes that are painted, but not fired or glazed.
And here is a finished matryoshka doll.
By day, Karen works at Webster University. At night, she works at her kitchen table and makes her art. This year, she will do around 16 shows - all in the St. Louis area. Karen is thinking about starting to travel with Binx. She has a following now, and knows that several of her customers come to St. Louis for her shows.
"If you loved cute, tiny things when you were little," she said, "you will love them when you're older." This evening, Karen was making earrings. These small shapes are going to be birds, or post earrings made from button molds.
best friends with this artist immediately!
She also tries to focus on more "common" creatures in her art. She calls them "backyard buddies" and purposefully stays away from exotic animals to be true to the aesthetic she is creating.
Fall and the Christmas seasons are her busiest. This winter alone, she participated in 12 shows.
For this first quarter, she sculpted in January, she will paint and glaze in February and she'll work on presentation and preparation for her shows in March. She also works from large to small so that everything gets enough drying time.
This little cottage is one of my very favorite things that Karen makes.
And here is a little bonus look into Karen's life. One of the perks of having a home studio is that you can be surrounded by the things you love most. In addition to vintage figurines, Karen collects garden gazing globes. Did you know that gazing globes date back to the 13th century? Karen's collection is extensive. The photos below show about half of it.
Karen's next show will be Green with Indie on March 8th. I should have mentioned earlier that Karen is hilarious! She often posts funny anecdotes, photos of her works in progress and show updates on her Facebook page.
Thank you Karen!!!