Thursday, January 27, 2011


I haven't created anything sculptural for a while, beyond the occasional cardboard prototype for a handheld product design. I'd like to share an art project created in 2005 at OCAC for Attachments and Connections class. The assignment required us to use any types of cables, crimps, strapping, hanging, rivets, grommets, to wrap / hang / strap. Serendipity intervened to guide me to the library where I landed on a book on foot binding in China. This horrific practice began sometime around 800 AD and was outlawed in 1911, yet lingered in some remote provinces through the 1950′s.

I wanted my object to illustrate the trauma inflicted on a woman to achieve the ideal 4 inch foot, while conveying an unsettling combination of dainty/petite/decorative and forced/mutilation/broken/aggressive. I drilled through the bottom of my size 8 clog, wove a cable through the toe and the heel, and pulled like hell with pliers, (assisted by brute strength of roommate) and secured it with a u-bolt. I created a new upper with painted and stitched Rives paper, and attached it with glue and stitching. Finally, I balled up a stocking to create a 4 inch foot-like object, and bound it with a measuring tape.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


This image was created in response to the BP Oil spill off the Gulf Coast last year, but it also speaks to Saturday's senseless tragedy in Arizona.
© Copyright Karen Jones 2010-2011 all rights reserved

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

The Department of Use and Beauty was chartered today. Welcome and happy 2011!

In addition to featuring my new Department at kjdesign, I've also started a blog. The latest post will be featured here at Envisioned topics: all things visual, creative, innovative, and of course, useful and beautiful.

Following a recent business trip the Seattle area, I stayed the weekend to see the Picasso exhibit at SAM. The show was inspiring, but I was more delighted to discover an Alice Neel portrait, and to re-connect with my long-lost friend Bonnie. Alice Neel (1900-1984 ) is by far my favorite painter. Bonnie lives an ever-beautiful life aboard her boat in Ballard.

Richard Lang, 1978
Oil on canvas
Alice Neel
American, 1900-1984
50 x 35 in.
Gift of Jane Lang Davis