Sadly, this is the last group of work we will have from Karen McCreary. She passed away this year after a long struggle with cancer.
“Karen McCreary was a bold adventurer in the jewelry field, using acrylic and electronic technology to forge new paths. A native Californian, Karen epitomized the forward thinking aesthetic of California jewelry in the 1980s and her work evolved constantly over the forty years of her career.
In 2004, Karen was invited to participate in the 25th Anniversary exhibition planned by Gallerie Beeld und Ambeeld in Enschede, Holland. Karen included me in her project for the anniversary and created a brooch for me titled From the Heart, a sterling and acrylic wearable sculpture with an electronic, pulsing LED device that brings soft red light and life into the form. I accompanied Karen to Holland for the opening of the exhibition, where jewelers, collectors and curators from throughout Europe greeted her as the visionary jeweler she was.
One of my favorite pieces of Karen jewelry is the oversized, beautifully shaped acrylic bangle imbedded with plastic charms and miniature electronic components: an invitation to attach personal stories to a wearable sculpture. Karen’s mind and creativity was focused on both art and science. It was always a treat to have her visit Freehand and show us her new pieces.” – Carol Sauvion
Karen McCreary was an artist who had been exhibiting her jewelry and sculpture extensively since her graduation from the School of Fine Arts at the California State University, Long Beach.
In early 1983, the artist started her own studio, bringing her extensive formal training and professional background in traditional jewelry techniques to the field of art to wear. Later, experimentation with various materials and techniques resulted in a decision to work with the multitude of plastics and precious and non-precious metals available in order to achieve designs complementary to the colors and textures of contemporary fashions. These materials also allowed her to produce imaginative, handcrafted designs that were accessible to a wide range of customers. Karen exhibited her work in such shows as the American Crafts Council Craft Fairs and the Buyers Market of American Crafts since 1983.
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