House Plate with holes

Artist Statement and Biography

Karen Franzen
3 Wembley Drive
Toronto, ON
M4L 3C9
(416) 465 7477

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Karen in the Garden
Sunflower Platter

I love the quiet beauty of simple well-made ceramics yet my pots are colourful, humorous and full of personal stories. Some ceramic artists that have influenced me are all storytellers in their own right. They include Ingrid Nicoli, Mathias Osterman, Walter Ostrom, Viola Frey, and Wendy Walgate.

My inspirations come from beautifully designed textiles, the sunny warm colours of the Mediterranean, and painters who celebrate colour – Paul Cézanne, Paul Klee, Hundertwasser, Georgia O'Keeffe and Fred Franzen (my dad) to name a few.

Sunflowers are a recurring theme in my work. Their large yellow heads will turn to follow the light of the sun and having witnessed vast fields of them I am struck by their eerie beauty. My husband tells the wonderful story of wandering “far from home” as a wee lad and gazing upon a patch of enormous sunflowers in a neighbour’s garden. Dave says, “ I knew then that fairies had to be real.”

Quentin Blake, Brian Wildsmith and other children’s illustrators were introduced to me when I worked at the “Children’s Bookstore” in Toronto. Their quirky illustrative way of story telling appealed to my sensibility. These days I continue to draw humour into my work. My son Jonathan continues to remind me that there are many was of seeing. You just need to take the time to look.