Artist Statement

Karen A Taverna

I have a horrible sense of direction. Telling me to go north or west, assumes that I understand that I’m currently driving in a direction. Instead, I can tell you what landmarks to look for. It’s a connection to a place, to a time, and to a person that I relate to, but put me in nature and I’m never lost because nature is inside me. And so began my latest design collection. A play on words, rooted in my love of trees, dirt, and flowers.

I bang on metal and light metal on fire, seems like an overly simplified view of my work, but in many ways it is completely accurate. I also, simply string beads. A customer, after looking over my designs, declared, “You just string beads.” Yes, sometimes I thoroughly enjoy stringing colorful parts of nature on string and calling them a necklace. I’m actually quite content with this statement, because as a creative person, I see color, shape, texture, and beauty in so many ways. So, yes, sometimes I just string beads.

Current Techniques and Skills

Wire Wrapped Designs– The process of turning, twisting, and combining copper and silver wire into designs and shapes using gemstones, beach glass, and Czech glass beads. Wire weaving is similar to string weaving, in terms of design concept, and planning. Using these two techniques, endless possibilities for style and creation are possible.

Copper Enameled Designs– This process involves heating fine grit glass into fun and wearable art. I use a torch for this process. Each layer of glass is fused onto the copper, with cleaning, and preparation, between the creation process.

Bead Stringing– Bead stringing can be as simple or as intricate as you make it. Choosing beads, color, texture, size, and meaning makes each piece truly unique.

Hammered, Stamped Metal Designs– Creating copper and silver designs using metal stamping, embossing, and hammered techniques takes precision, and careful attention to spacing. Learning to use the hammer to apply to right pressure and force takes time, as well as an understanding of how metal reacts to being hammered. Through a process of firing the metal to soften it, known as annealing,  to work hardening to create a more solid and stable piece, metal working is a loud and delicate process.

I am a self taught jewelry maker.  My jewelry design started one summer after attending a week long workshop series taught by Eva Medsgar. Until that week, I had never fired a torch, or banged metal. It ignited a passion that was locked inside of me, waiting to explode into my own designs, and creations.

As I learned, as I practiced, my own style began to emerge. My Designs are inspired by nature, forged with spirit, to be treasured by you. I want each person to find their own spiritual meaning from my jewelry. So, for every piece I create, I add my own intention, and then set that free with its new owner. Every copper wire wrapped, coiled, weaved and intertwined has a purpose. Each hammered indent, strike, and dap is intentionally imperfectly struck. Each layered and fused glass sets a tone, and evokes a feeling.

My mediums are ever evolving, but metalworking is my main focus. I’m a budding copper enamel artist.

As a self taught designer, my ideas stem from images that pop into my head, mostly when I’m trying to focus on my kids, or attempting to sleep. I then jot a simple drawing of the idea and make notes about the color, size, and context for the piece. My drawing skills, while improving through art classes, are simplistic and just a glimpse into my final depiction. Honestly, the wire often tells me what it should become and how it should be shaped. This organic way of creating, allows me to create truly one of a kind pieces. While there may be repeating patterns, there is never the same piece twice.  The ability to adapt the concept

I’m rooted in the colors of nature, but the subtle hues, to the bright contrast. My designs reflect also reflect my love of learning, and personal growth. Each moment I spend working in my studio, allows me to improve, create, and work with materials in new ways.