Karen Melfi Collection
fine jewelry gallery
WE SPECIALIZE IN NATURAL COLOR DIAMONDS
I came into the world on April Fools’ Day, 1968, and was born into the carnival. My mother had been an accomplished ballerina and carnival show girl, and my father was a third generation carnie on one of the largest traveling carnivals. My great grandmother was the tattooed lady in the early 1900’s.
I have always been interested in the human experience and the human psyche. After completing my Masters degree in psychology, I realized a deeper ambition resided in the arts. After attending a sculpture class in 2006 I discovered my vehicle for expression.
I strive to capture the intimate and internal experience in my artwork. My figures each stand alone, even when part of a group. Each character emerges from the clay directly from my subconscious--characters of imagination, past experiences, family stories, motherhood, fairy tales, and dreams. They are soulful beings, reflective of deep inner experiences.
Technically, my sculptural pieces are handbuilt from clay and combine slips, stains, glazes, and sometimes found objects. I apply several layers of pigments and continue to fire them until I achieve the desired finish. My intent is not to control my inspirations, but to remain open and let the imagery inspire me as it develops. My subconscious guides my hands, and the story unfolds as I work. The mystery of not knowing where a piece will take me and what I will discover is part of the process that inspires me.
If you would like to know more about Penney's process, please ask the Gallery for her piece called "The Birth of a Sculpture."