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Art Fx is a year-long series on Huntsville Doppler featuring Huntsville-area visual artists.
“I find inspiration everywhere,” says fibre artist Karen Thorn. “More frequently it is found in wonderful bright colour combos that most people would back away from. I love how certain colours blend together. Blue, green, and orange, for example, blend together in a dye bath that is beyond verbal description for me. It is satisfying in a way that makes me feel inspired to create that rich blend similar to the palette of a fall forest or the fresh blooms of summer flowers for more eyes to see.”
Karen tends toward unique colour combinations, “not the road most travelled…it allows me an opportunity to show people that you have to ‘wear the clothes’, not let them wear you. I find that colour is simply a means of expression and if it makes me happy to wear it, then why not? The fact that people will try on some of the coats I make, which can be outside their “normal” is one step closer to clothing freedom for them. When they light up in the item—that is so satisfying.”
No matter where she wears the coats or other items she makes, they are complimented without fail. “That makes anyone feel good!” she says.
Karen adds that ultimately she is “just hoping to bring a little colour into everyone’s life. We need it—especially now!”
All of the hats pictured sell for $79, and most are reversible. The coats have all been sold; others are available in Karen’s studio and she also accepts custom orders. (The coats pictured in this post ranged in price from $449 to $599.) Pillows sell for $39.99 each or two for $75.
About the artist:
By the age of four Karen was already a knitter, intrigued by unusual colour combinations and a desire to push the boundaries of “normal”. She was fascinated by eclectic use of colour and patterning, always.
Growing up, Karen was never satisfied with “off the rack” clothing, as her mother dressed her in custom made clothes at a very early age. It seemed unusual to Karen to have mass duplication when you could have fashions that fit your own personal style. Consequently, Karen’s main focus in textile exploration produces niche fibre ensembles that challenge the status quo of expression, themed with wear it well, and with your own personal flair. Wear the clothes, don’t let them wear you.
Karen studied at the Haliburton School of Art and Design, receiving a Certificate in Fibre Arts in 2016 and previously at Sheridan College, majoring in Fashion Technique and Design – Knit (1989). She is currently on the faculty at HSAD for Basic Construction in the Fibre Arts Certificate Program.
Karen’s fibre talents include knitting, crochet, weaving, wet/dry felting, pattern design, textile dying, painting, and sewing. As a published knitwear designer, and past yarn shop owner, Karen’s artistic focus presently is fantastical themes that mix mediums, colour and textures. She is an avid thespian in her free time. Karen currently hones her craft in Huntsville at Fibre, her studio/gallery of fibre arts.
Find her online at fibrestudio.ca, on Facebook @frockfuloffunk or @fibrehuntsville, and on Instagram @frockfuloffunk or @fibrehuntsville, or in person at 494 Muskoka Road 3 North (watch Facebook or Instagram for hours during the pandemic)
See more local art in Doppler’s Art Fx series here.
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