Karen Thorn was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1966. At the age of four Karen was already a knitter, intrigued by unusual colour combinations and a desire to push the boundaries of “normal”.
Karen’s early influences were Elizabeth Zimmermann (b. Aug 9, 1910 – November 30, 1999) and Meg Swansen, her daughter. Brilliant knitters both technically and innovatively, Elizabeth and Meg pushed the boundaries of form, and pattern in knitted textiles. Karen was fascinated by their use of colour and patterning.
Growing up, Karen was never satisfied with “off the rack” clothing, as her mother dressed her in custom made clothes from a very early age. It seemed unusual 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 in fashion and home decor.
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).
Her show credits include the Wearable Art Show, where her won the Peoples’ Choice Award, HSAD Fashion Fallies 2019, where her Frockful of Flowers Coat won second prize in Judge’s Choice Category. She was also elected to represent the Haliburton School of Art and Design Faculty’s choice for the BMO 1st Art school representation in Fibre Arts, a nation wide competition, and true honour.
Karen’s fibre talents include knitting, crochet, weaving, wet/dry felting, pattern design, textile dying, painting, and sewing. 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, Ontario at her new Studio/Gallery “Fibre”, where she produces her Frockful of Funk line of clothing for the fearless and colour friendly. She lives her partner Terry, their combined and occasional four sons, two cats, and a field of dreams.
Artist Contact Info
494 Muskoka Road 3 North