Meet the Team - Interview with Karena Wiker

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I grew up in a creative family. My Grandmother was an artist & her porcelain dolls that she made are my treasures.  My favorite memories are of helping her in her studio. Her massive kiln scared me.  Both sides of the family lived in the woods, or the Pennsylvania Wilds as it’s called, so I have an affinity for animals & nature. Fast forward to now, I ended up working in horticulture!

Have any special hobbies?
My husband & I love music, so we go to a lot of festivals & shows. I knit the occasional scarf... create Treasuries on etsy...

Your shop address?

How did you find out about metalclay and then start working with it? How long?
I saw a necklace of Hadar Jacobson’s & was instantly intrigued that was clay. That was over 2 years ago.

Silver Spoon necklace

What drives you to make jewelry?
I love to wear it! And it’s a creative outlet that I had been needing for a really long time.

Are you disciplined or do you go with the flow and work when you feel like it?
I pretty much work when I feel like it, which is a lot these days~ just ask my husband...

Do you do any other type of art?
I love to draw.

What is your art sensibility - precise or organic?
I may be precisely organic? I’ve been called “meticulous” many times. My metal clay teacher knew I meant business when I brought a set of toothpick files to class

folk Flower in bronze

When did you feel you had more confidence in your abilities?
When a friend urged me to sell at our local artist’s/farmer’s market, and I actually had sales.

What is your favorite tool for working with metalclay?
My set of toothpick files!

Where do you work?
In our loft. I have to climb a ladder to get there & the cat climbs up right behind me.

What is your favorite thing to make?
Anything with my favorite plants.

Do you ever add commercial components?
Yes. But I’ve been making my own ear wires.

How do you work, and when? (for ex. assembly line or one at a time)
Mostly in an assembly line, and in batches. Especially with the bronze.

Fennel Feather Leaf in Bronze

Do you have any kind of creative ritual?
I usually sketch, & try to plan how the piece will be constructed. I do a lot of ‘mini-scale’ drawings for sculptural pieces. Sometimes it doesn’t work that way. My Mom has given me lots of great ideas, I can always count on her sense of style.

Do you ever use a sketchbook?
Yes, I have 3 & I just bought another from theblackapple on etsy. It’s darling.

Do you make a living at it?
If only.

Do you do custom orders?

What are you working on currently?
Challenging myself to create some new intricate, sculptural pieces which I haven’t done many in a long time. I have been drawing & carving my own designs, so hopefully that will help motivate.

Black Pearl Pagoda

What's next on your agenda to make?
I have a pretty big pendant with a carving of mine in the works. It’s kind of folksy.

How do you make time for everything you want to do?
It’s usually when I end up sleep deprived that I re-evaluate my schedule & prioritize.

Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself?
I live in Pennsylvania with my husband, the dog, & 2 cats.

Thank you Karena,
It has been a pleasure getting to know you.


Anonymous said...

Great interview! I love your workspace!

Soul Harbor Jewelry

Chocolate and Steel said...

I love your workspace too:) It seems quaint.

Your work is beautiful.

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