Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Women's History Month

You already know I'm a fan of women potters...so be prepared for more to be showcased here.  I started talking about Karen Karnes having an exhibit in the museum in Asheville...and here's a bit more info about her. 

Another woman will be featured each day of March, or till I run out of them...unlikely!


Karen Karnes was a dominant force in the beginning of the crafts movement during the early 1950's. She has influenced generations of potters and is widely recognized as a ceramic educator, although she never taught through traditional college programs.

Karen's parents were Jewish immigrant garment workers from Russia and Poland, and raised their daughter in a housing project in Bronx, NY.  She studied at Brooklyn College's Art Department where she developed artistically, leaning towards the proponents of the Bauhaus. Karen did not work with clay until she married David Weinrib. He brought clay home for her and thus changed the direction of her life. Karen soon began earning her living as a studio potter.

Karen was a Potter in Residence, teaching at Black Mountain College.  She then taught at the Penland School of Crafts and Haystack. She left teaching in the 1960’s, becoming an influential participant in Stony Point, N.Y., an artist community founded on communal living and art production. It was there that she lived and worked for 25 years, establishing herself as one of the leading ceramists in America

A great tragedy occurred for Karen when a fire destroyed her house and studio in l998. From the love of potters all over country, financial support flowed in which enabled her to rebuild her life and studio. She has worked in clay for over 60 years, and continues to produce beautiful artwork in her Vermont studio. Her work is in major collections throughout the world.

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Thanks for making this a more personal connection by saying what you think. I'll post your comments for others to see soon!