If asked twenty years ago what she’d be doing in the 21st Century, Karen Pierce would definitely not have guessed, "Making art." She grew up in the Midwest and obtained degrees in German, French, International Business and Human Resource Development. Vienna, Austria was her home for twenty years when she worked as an international civil servant for the U.N.
While in Austria, she learned traditional basketry techniques from books and later decided to turn her passion into a second career. She has honed her skills through decades of basket weaving, by attending workshops taught by internationally-known artists and by teaching basketry to teens and adults. Karen has shown her work in juried fiber shows and is a member of the Handweavers’ Guild of America, the Colorado Basketmakers’ Guild and the Pikes Peak Weavers’ Guild.
Now Karen uses traditional techniques in unconventional ways, since 2000 mostly in collaboration with her husband ceramist, Marc Jenesel. Together they create one-of-a-kind sculptural pieces in clay, fiber, metal, stone and other materials. Karen and Marc have participated in and won awards at regional and national exhibitions and have had images and articles published in The Crafts Report; Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot; and 500 Baskets.
"I weave free hand without molds and color the fibers with dye or paint. Basketmaking is a slow and rhythmic process, like a kind of meditation. As a piece grows I watch seemingly lifeless materials join to form a new body with a unique look, touch and smell. Dreams, images from my travels around the world and around the state of Colorado, and American idioms influence my work."