Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Featured Artist: Karen McGovern

Every now and then, you come across an artist whose creations amaze and take your breath away with their innovation and beauty. Karen McGovern, whose business goes by the name Beadkeepers, creates some of the most original, nature-inspired jewelry I have seen to date. What's more, most of the proceeds from the sale of her creations features a nature conservation organization, rarespecies.org.

What does it mean to you to "buy handmade"?
I LOVE to buy handmade for so many reasons. Whenever you purchase handmade art you are not only buying something original, a true "work of art", but you are also supporting the artist who made it and thereby encouraging that artist to continue creating. Nothing is more satisfying to a hard-working artist than seeing their work appreciated. BUY HANDMADE, EVERYONE!!

How long have you been active in your craft?
I've been an artist all my life, but focusing on jewelry design for about five years.

What inspires your work?
Nature, the environment, the world around me. All my designs are a reflection of my belief that art and nature are linked--you cannot have one without the other.

Where do you sell your creations?
I currently sell online through Etsy, and my stand-alone website, Beadkeepers. My work is also available in Rebecca's Studio and Adornment Gallery located in Traverse City, Michigan. I also have a blog about how art and nature influence each other.
Are there any special accolades you have earned in your field?
I've had a couple experiences that really stand out--I was once asked to design a series of rings for a opossum rehabilitation center. The director gave them to all the staff. I created rings incorporating opossum teeth in glass. Very fun and a great honor. I also have been asked to create vessel necklaces in remembrance of passed loved ones, or as affirmations. These are the really special design collaborations that inspire and honor me.


  1. Wow! Karen's work is amazing! Great find, Rachel!

  2. Love Karen's work and tremendous efforts to further the buy handmade movement, not to mention her endeavors at Rare Species Foundation!