February Guest Artist Karen Cohen
Karen Cohen’s artistic pursuits have included jewelry designing, enameling, beading, and authoring a book, The Art of Fine Enameling. Most recently she has been creating bead embroidery, which incorporates her love of color and glass, as she uses various finishes and colors of beads to play off each other to produce works that have enough detail that each time one looks, there is something else to see. Her combination of beads and enamels is fairly unique in the art world. Bead embroidery is basically stitching beads to fabric, and includes studio buttons for button collectors, wall pieces, jewelry purse mirrors, spirit dolls, and more. Karen decides on a color scheme and focal point, and then stabilizes the fabric by stitching an acid-free interleave paper to it, then the beading starts. Karen uses an improvisational technique where the piece is not designed from the beginning, but occurs in stages during the beading process. Her pieces may include pleated silk ribbon, and a jewelry piece, both of which influence the design process. For the finishing, Karen usually wraps the beaded fabric around a stiff plastic, adds a backer, and stitches these two pieces together with an edging stitch to create a “frame” around the piece and finish it off. Karen has taught many workshops and has exhibited in galleries and art shows nationwide.