In 2005 Karen made the decision to exchange her nurse’s buckle for a sketch pad and embarked on a National Diploma in Craft & Design at Bath City College. This experience gave her invaluable grounding in the applied arts and having completed the course Karen went on to study for a City & Guilds in Jewellery and Design, followed by a National Diploma in Jewellery Design under the tutorship of Melanie Sproat.
Like many artisans, organic shapes and forms inspire my work, in particular seeds and seed pods. They are as numerous and varied as they are complex and beautiful with infinite design possibilities. I have a love for Scandinavian design, with its clean lines, pared back forms and truth to materials and I try to bring this philosophy into my work.
Working predominantly in silver, oxidised silver and occasionally gold, Karen enhances the beauty and individuality of the materials by forging, embossing and reticulating the metal, often giving part of a piece a contrasting surface texture. The reticulation technique, in particular, creates interesting effects on the silver suggestive of natural surface patterns such as the abstract decorative effect of lichen on stone. Karen has an eye for referencing these natural effects in her work, which results in her creating beautiful, wearable, contemporary jewellery collections based around organic forms.