About the Artist
Karen Fenwick's career as a basketweaver/gourd artisan began quite unexpectidly while visiting The Henry Ford Greenfield Village Museum (dearborn, Michigan) in 2003. It all began when she purchased a beginner shaker basket kit at the gift shop. Little did she realize that after finishing her first basket she had found her passion. Many trips to Cherilyn Fontana's basket studio in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area ensued over the course of a handful of years which helped her follow this passion, soon creating her own designs. One of those trips included a gourd workshop which once again sparked her creativity. Urged by friends and other local artists, she decided to launch her business, "From the Forest Floor...Baskets and More" in 2005. Karen Fenwick has since been featured on Fox 2 TV, published in several widely circulated magazines and appeared in various local newspapers. She received two first place awards at the Bloomfield Hills Nativity Festival of the Arts juried art fair.
In her other current career as an outdoor educator for the Bloomfield Hills School District's Bowers School Farm and E.L. Johnson Nature Center, Karen has taught beginner basketry to elementary through high school level students. As co-director of summer camps at the E.L.Johnson Nature center she has taught basketry and gourd camps for students as well as conducted gourd workshops for adults.
Karen Fenwick is currently a mamber of the Michigan Basketweavers Association and the American Gourd Society.
The beautiful gem stones, fossils, agates, pods, wood and fibers along with so many other things from the earth are truly nature's works of art. It is just fascinating that one can make a beautiful basket from simply wood and sticks. Gourds have been around for 8,000 years and many cultures have incorporated gourds, whether it be for drinking, carrying items or for artistic purposes. I get so much joy from creating art using materials from the earth. To this day, when I begin a basket or a gourd, I may have the initial concept of what the finished piece will look like, but many times, as I am working, the art itself leads me on this journey and I am amazed and quite pleased at the finished product. Working on a basket or a gourd is the best medicine and great mental therapy, as I totally lose myself in whatever project I am working on. I am truly amazed that this is something that I've created.