Karen Buhler

Karen Buhler is a contemporary figurative artist with roots in the past. Not only is her work aesthetically appealing and classically elegant, it contains humor and fun, and the joy of the human experience.
Karen began blowing glass in 1980 while studying architecture at Ohio State University. By 1983, glass became her sole passion and in 1998 she began flame working boro glass. Since then her work has been included in several group exhibitions in the Pacific Northwest and she had her first solo show in 2004. She has held assistant-ships at The Studios at the Corning Museum of Glass and Pilchuck Glass School and has taught flame working at Pratt Fine Arts Center and Pilchuck. Her work has been featured in many publications and is collected internationally.

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Karen  Buhler

Karen Buhler

Karen Buhler Description

My grandmother was an artist and a lifetime supporter of the arts in her town of Tawas, Michigan. She declared me an artist at an early age, and kept me supplied with paint, brushes and paper throughout my adolescence. My mother and father were, and still are, prolific hobbyists, teaching me skills in the fiber arts and woodworking. They impressed upon me their view of a successful life, “Busy people are happy people.”

My sculptural work is figurative and reflects the world around me. I like browsing through Roman & Greek art and mythology, Art Nouveau & Art Deco figurines, pre-Columbian pottery, Google Images, and aqua-musical films of the 50’s. I also love people watching in Seattle, on the streets and at sporting events, where both athletes and their crowds entertain. I stuff my back pockets with Picasso, Takamori, Fay Jones, and comics from the New Yorker. Always striving for aesthetic appeal and classical elegance, I can’t help but inject a little humor, fun, and the joy of the human experience into my creations.

I slow down and relax when flameworking glass in my studio, and this state of mind enables me to patiently and meticulously craft these complex hollow forms. Borosilicate glass allows this careful approach. Also known as Pyrex and hard glass, its most valuable quality is that it has a very low Coefficient of Expansion and so can withstand larger temperature swings that would cause other formulas of glass to crack. In addition, hard glass can be heated, manipulated and joined in the flame of a oxygen-propane bench burner. Melting together quickly and completely, the joint line disappears and the separate units become one.

Karen Buhler Resumé

Spirits of the Flame, Group Show, Bender Gallery, October-November, 2014, Asheville, NC 
Inner Portraits, Group Show, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, March-June, 2014, Bainbridge Island, WA 
Divergent Visions: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of American Studio Glass, Bender Gallery June – August  2012, Asheville, NC 
Gone Swimming, Solo Show, Vetri International Glass, October 1–December 31, 2009, Seattle 
Pilchuck Glass School Auction, Seattle, 2009 
Swimming Pool, Bainbridge The Gallery, July 3 – August 5, 2009, Bainbridge Island, WA 
Museum of Glass Auction, Tacoma, 2009 
Poncho 2008 Invitational Fine Art Auction, Seattle 
Museum of Glass Auction, Tacoma 2008 
Group Dynamics, Solo Show, Vetri International Glass, May 1-25, 2008, Seattle 
Pilchuck Glass School Auction, Seattle, 2007, Live, Juried 
Museum of Northwest Art Auction 2007, LaConner 
Calido, Museum of NW Art,  group show, January 13 – March 6 2007, LaConner 
Museum of Contemporary Art Auction, 2006, Los Angeles, Juried Centerpieces 
Pilchuck 20, Stewart Gallery, group show, June – August 2006, Boise 
Pilchuck 2005, William Traver Gallery, group show, November – December 2005, Seattle 
Pilchuck Glass School Auction, Seattle, 2005 
Exquisite Corpse in Glass – Figurative Flameworkers Play a Surrealist Game, Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, October 26, 2005 – February 12, 2006 
Poolsides at the Museum of Glass, Solo Show, October-February 2005, Seattle 
Pilchuck Glass School Auction, Seattle, 2004, Live, Juried 
Figural Forte, Solo Show, August 2004, William Traver Gallery, Tacoma 
Karen Buhler Glass, June  2004, Kittrell Riffkind Art Glass, Dallas 
Flaming Bee, A Collaborative, January – May 2004, Center on Contemporary Art, Seatac Airport, United Terminal 
Pilchuck Glass School Auction, Seattle, 2003, Live, Juried 
Bemis Art Counsel Fall Show , October 11-12, 2003, Bemis Building, Seattle 
Wall Art Exhibition, October 12-November 6, 2003, Kittrell Riffkind Art Glass, Dallas TX 
Figurative Glass by NW Artists, Northwest Craft Center, June 2003 GAS Conference, Seattle 
Vetri International Glass, Flameworked Glass, December 2002, Seattle 
Cancer Lifeline 2002, Seattle 
Contemporary Torchworking 2002, 1st place award, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

2007 Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle, Introduction to Comics Workshop, Instructor Randy Wood
1998 Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle, Flameworking with Janice Miltenberger 
1999 Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle, Flameworking with James Minson
1990 B.S. Agriculture, specialty: Landscape Horticulture, The Ohio State University
1984 Northern Wisconsin Neon Workshop, Instructor: Dean Blazek, Antigo, WI 
1977-1982 Major: Architecture, The Ohio State University
1976 Ceramics, Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, Ohio

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