Karen Thuesen Massaro


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  • MassaroKT_Necklace_No25A_w.jpg
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Necklace 25

    Porcelain hollow reversible beads with garnet spacer beads, sterling silver hand forged clasp

    20.5" long, longest bead side 1", tallest bead .5"

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  • MassaroKT_Necklace_No25B_w.jpg
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Necklace 25

    Porcelain hollow reversible beads with garnet spacer beads, sterling silver hand forged clasp

    20.5" long, longest bead side 1", tallest bead .5"

    Inquire

  • MassaroKT_Necklace20_InterruptionsbyLetterandWord_Back.png
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Interruptions by Letter and Word (Necklace 20)

    Porcelain hollow reversible beads with onyx spacer beads, sterling silver hand forged clasp

    24" long

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  • MassaroKT_Necklace20_InterruptionsbyLetterandWord_Front.png
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Interruptions by Letter and Word (Necklace 20)

    Porcelain hollow reversible beads with onyx spacer beads, sterling silver hand forged clasp

    24" long

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  • 19-15-04s
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Accordian

    2015. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.

    4" x 13" x 8"

    2 parts
    Photo: Paul Schraub

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  • MassaroKT_Accordian2
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Accordian

    2015. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.

    4" x 13" x 8"

    2 parts
    Photo: Paul Schraub

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  • MassaroKT_WedgeA
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Wedge

    2015. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.

    5" x 12.5" x 5.5"

    2 parts
    Photo: Paul Schraub

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  • MassaroKT_WedgeB
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Wedge

    2015. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.

    5" x 12.5" x 5.5"

    2 parts
    Photo: Paul Schraub

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  • MassaroKT_ClayTablets
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Clay Tablet (Pair II)

    2008. Assembled, slip cast clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglazes. Multi-fired.

    4.25" x 17" x 9.5"

    2 parts
    Photo: Paul Schraub
    Left part in Private Collection

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  • MassaroKT_Novella_closed
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Novella

    2006. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.

    Covered: 4.25" x 9.75" x 6"

    3 parts
    Photo: Paul Schraub

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  • MassaroKT_Novella
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Novella

    2006. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.

    Uncovered: 3.25" x 14.5" x 6"

    3 parts
    Photo: Paul Schraub

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  • MassaroKT_LTrain
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    L Train

    2003. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired

    7.5" x 3.75" x 9"

    3 parts
    Photo: Paul Schraub

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  • MassaroKT_ClayTablet1B
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Clay Tablet 1

    2008. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.

    4.25" x 9" x 9.25"

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  • MassaroKT_ClayTablet6
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Clay Tablet 6

    2008. Assembled slip cast elements: clay, underglaze, glaze, overglaze enamels. Multi-fired.

    4" x 9" x 8.25"

    Photo: Paul Schraub

    Inquire

  • KTMnecklace21.jumble.detail
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Necklace 21, detail

    Porcelain hollow reversible beads, jade spacer beads

    30" x 1.25" x .5"

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  • KTMnecklace21front
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Necklace 21, front of beads shown

    Porcelain hollow reversible beads, jade spacer beads

    30" x 1.25" x .5"

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  • KTMnecklace21back
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Necklace 21, back of beads shown

    Porcelain hollow reversible beads, jade spacer beads

    30" x 1.25" x .5"

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  • Massaro_15A_Necklace
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Necklace 15, front of beads shown

    Porcelain, hollow, reversible beads, onyx spacer beads, sterling silver clasp

    23.5" x 1.125" x .5"

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  • Massaro_15B_Necklace
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Necklace 15, back of beads shown

    Porcelain, hollow, reversible beads, onyx spacer beads, sterling silver clasp

    23.5" x 1.125" x .5"

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  • ThuesenMassaroK_Necklace12
    Karen Thuesen Massaro
    Necklace 12

    Porcelain, hollow, reversible beads, jade spacer beads, sterling silver clasp

    22" x 1" x .5"

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Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 25

Porcelain hollow reversible beads with garnet spacer beads, sterling silver hand forged clasp


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Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 25

Porcelain hollow reversible beads with garnet spacer beads, sterling silver hand forged clasp


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Interruptions by Letter and Word (Necklace 20)

Porcelain hollow reversible beads with onyx spacer beads, sterling silver hand forged clasp


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Interruptions by Letter and Word (Necklace 20)

Porcelain hollow reversible beads with onyx spacer beads, sterling silver hand forged clasp


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Accordian

2015. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Accordian

2015. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Wedge

2015. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.


Artwork Inquire Form

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Karen Thuesen Massaro
Wedge

2015. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Clay Tablet (Pair II)

2008. Assembled, slip cast clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglazes. Multi-fired.


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Novella

2006. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.


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×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Novella

2006. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
L Train

2003. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Clay Tablet 1

2008. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.


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×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Clay Tablet 6

2008. Assembled slip cast elements: clay, underglaze, glaze, overglaze enamels. Multi-fired.


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Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 21, detail

Porcelain hollow reversible beads, jade spacer beads


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Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 21, front of beads shown

Porcelain hollow reversible beads, jade spacer beads


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×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 21, back of beads shown

Porcelain hollow reversible beads, jade spacer beads


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×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 15, front of beads shown

Porcelain, hollow, reversible beads, onyx spacer beads, sterling silver clasp


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×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 15, back of beads shown

Porcelain, hollow, reversible beads, onyx spacer beads, sterling silver clasp


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 12

Porcelain, hollow, reversible beads, jade spacer beads, sterling silver clasp


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  • MassaroKT_Necklace_No25A_w.jpg
  • MassaroKT_Necklace_No25B_w.jpg
  • MassaroKT_Necklace20_InterruptionsbyLetterandWord_Back.png
  • MassaroKT_Necklace20_InterruptionsbyLetterandWord_Front.png
  • 19-15-04s
  • MassaroKT_Accordian2
  • MassaroKT_WedgeA
  • MassaroKT_WedgeB
  • MassaroKT_ClayTablets
  • MassaroKT_Novella_closed
  • MassaroKT_Novella
  • MassaroKT_LTrain
  • MassaroKT_ClayTablet1B
  • MassaroKT_ClayTablet6
  • KTMnecklace21.jumble.detail
  • KTMnecklace21front
  • KTMnecklace21back
  • Massaro_15A_Necklace
  • Massaro_15B_Necklace
  • ThuesenMassaroK_Necklace12

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 25

Porcelain hollow reversible beads with garnet spacer beads, sterling silver hand forged clasp


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 25

Porcelain hollow reversible beads with garnet spacer beads, sterling silver hand forged clasp


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Interruptions by Letter and Word (Necklace 20)

Porcelain hollow reversible beads with onyx spacer beads, sterling silver hand forged clasp


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Interruptions by Letter and Word (Necklace 20)

Porcelain hollow reversible beads with onyx spacer beads, sterling silver hand forged clasp


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Accordian

2015. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Accordian

2015. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Wedge

2015. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Wedge

2015. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Clay Tablet (Pair II)

2008. Assembled, slip cast clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglazes. Multi-fired.


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Novella

2006. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.


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Karen Thuesen Massaro
Novella

2006. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.


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Karen Thuesen Massaro
L Train

2003. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired


Artwork Inquire Form

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Karen Thuesen Massaro
Clay Tablet 1

2008. Assembled clay elements, underglaze, glaze, overglaze. Multi-fired.


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Clay Tablet 6

2008. Assembled slip cast elements: clay, underglaze, glaze, overglaze enamels. Multi-fired.


Artwork Inquire Form

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Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 21, detail

Porcelain hollow reversible beads, jade spacer beads


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Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 21, front of beads shown

Porcelain hollow reversible beads, jade spacer beads


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Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 21, back of beads shown

Porcelain hollow reversible beads, jade spacer beads


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Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 15, front of beads shown

Porcelain, hollow, reversible beads, onyx spacer beads, sterling silver clasp


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 15, back of beads shown

Porcelain, hollow, reversible beads, onyx spacer beads, sterling silver clasp


Artwork Inquire Form

×

Karen Thuesen Massaro
Necklace 12

Porcelain, hollow, reversible beads, jade spacer beads, sterling silver clasp


Artwork Inquire Form

×

 Statement

I make poems for the eye and the hand. Composite moveable arrangements of forms support fired layers of color. Most of my sculptures have remained intimate in scale, and nod to the tactile and visual potential of clay surfaces. The current forms display new geometries that stem from organic shapes of previous work. Added color further differentiates real and implied space. Surface patterns, visual trails left by repetitive hand motions, lead the eye over shadows and enveloped spaces. I use ceramics, an integration of form and surface, to pose questions about placement, movement and perception. I have been interested in making installations/arrangements since the early 1970’s.

Making my current sculptures involves experience, curiosity, and chance. So much of ones time is spent in the studio: ideas and process should be engaging. I try to imagine how forms, colors and patterns might read. It is intriguing how complex, juxtaposing characteristics of repeated lines plus hue and value can be when working with multiple parts and views. Most sculptures are fired 10-15 times. Everything is subject to change until the last firing after which the piece is on it’s own.

Necklace Process

For each bead a prototype was made in plaster and clay using carving and additive techniques. Found parts were imbedded into some of the prototypes. Readied prototypes were encased in plaster section by section, to make multipart molds. For each necklace I increased my library of forms. Mold making is a laborious process but casting techniques afford a particular desired look and enable replication.

The clay for these necklaces is a beautiful porcelain casting slip. You’ll notice that the clay may be white, off white or greenish. Each cast and cleaned bead was sanded before and after it’s first “bisque” firing. A large palette of colored glazes rules my worktables. As you might expect, the process of brushing each bead with multiple glazes was most time consuming. Next, a glaze firing heated the beads to the “maturing” temperature when glazes melt into the dense rich porcelain clay surface. Some beads are refired to add more detail.

The two holes for stringing are glazed to insure a durable hard surface against the 40lb test wire used to string the hollow beads together. Each pair of porcelain beads is separated by a small stone spacer bead. This arrangement increases visual clarity, accents the porcelain beads and helps them to flip 180 degrees. When using a sterling clasp closure, I use one hand forged for me by a Danish silversmith.

My necklaces are reversible, designed to change depending on which bead side faces up from the body. Most beads also rotate individually. The wearer can continue enjoying choices that I have initiated. Form, color, graphics, neighboring beads and the wearer of the necklace all contribute to its personality.

You can see images of Karen’s step-by-step necklace process here: Necklace Process PDF (969 KB)

Selected Collections

  • Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
  • Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin
  • Chazen Museum of Art, Madison Wisconsin
  • Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Columbus, Ohio
  • Crocker Museum of Art, Sacramento, California
  • Decorative Arts Museum, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
  • Kansas University, Lawrence, Kansas
  • Madison Art Center, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
  • Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Mingei International Museum, San Diego, California
  • Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz County, California
  • Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona
  • J. Orton, Jr. Ceramic Foundation, Columbus, Ohio
  • Plains Art Museum, Morehead, Minnesota
  • Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin
  • Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
  • Numerous private collections throughout the United States