Biography: Karen Karnes is known as a ceramicist of both functional and art objects. After attending Brooklyn College and studying design, Karnes began to work with clay, traveling to Italy to further her education, and received a fellowship to Alfred University. Karnes was an artist-in-residence at Black Mountain College and later co-founded the living-arts community Gate Hill Cooperative. She is best known for her creation of a flameproof casserole dish, and is notable for being one of few female crafts artists to support herself through selling her work rather than teaching. Karnes received numerous awards, including the American Craft Council Gold Medal and a National Endowment for the Arts award, and is represented in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.