I have been a fiber artist all my life, using one form of fiber or another in art or functional pieces. Self-taught in a family of fiber users, it came natural to me to extend the techniques I learned in the work I do today.
As an artist of my own design, I have the freedom to transcend boundaries of traditional fiber art and welcome in new and creative ways of utilizing materials and techniques. I begin most of my designs with wool because of the earthy nature of it. Wool is a renewable resource and has been used for clothing and adornment for thousands of years.
Using it as an artistic medium highlights its versatility. As man-made fibers become more exotic, incorporating them into my designs adds a modern element of color and texture. To challenge my boundaries of creativity, I break away from traditional techniques by adding non-fiber materials such as metal, stone, and/or beads. Many would consider these materials inharmonious with soft fiber, but I see them as a way to add depth and dimension to my wall hangings.
I’m extending my love of color to floor art. Using the wool that is warm to the touch and durable, my area rug creations add a touch of design and color to the floor.
My inspiration comes from the world around me. An idea might spring forth from the view on a hike or from a silly cartoon. The challenge I have is to make the idea come alive in fiber. I invite people to enjoy my work for the beauty that I see in it as I’m creating it. Fiber is an insulating material which brings warmth to my soul and energizes me and I extend that warmth and energy into each of my pieces.
My work has been nationally shown in galleries and museums.
Karen was recently featured in Hudson Valley Magazine. Read about how she responds to the publication to create new fiber works: Fiber Artist Karen Madden Finds Inspiration in Pages of Hudson Valley Magazine