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Karen Smith fabricates and custom-makes wearable art and small sculpture in her studio in Oakland, CA. Her primary mediums are sterling and fine silver and her methods include, but are not limited to, fold forming, forging, soldering, stone setting and more.
Primarily a self-taught metal artist, Karen has recently studied with a master goldsmith in Dakar, Senegal; she is also an arts educator and has created a program to teach this artistry/vocation to young women and girls of African descent who might not otherwise have access or opportunity. Inspired by time in West Africa and the isolation of being the only woman metalsmith around–and by the incredulous faces of girls and women who would look, awestruck, at her as she worked–in 2019 she created, We Wield the Hammer, in Oakland and is headed to Dakar, where the saying goes “women don’t wield the hammer”.
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