Kara Young is an internationally recognized fiber/mixed media artist. Her work is seen as ancient but also contemporary, fitting in many different environmental settings. She has worked as a fiber artist since the beginning of her art career, starting with sculptural weavings, then designing art clothing and moving on to paper making for the past 14 years.
The unique nature of her work is in combining fired metals, paper and other materials to represent nature’s process of aging as found in rusted metals, dry river beds and stained stone walls. Her pieces are made of 85% hand cast abaca paper. The surface is then covered with joint compound, then copper or silver leafed. Some pieces are painted with bees wax and pigment, called encaustic. Burned and patinaed copper are used as center pieces.
Kara recalls the genesis of her unique process: “Handmade paper is the canvas, and fired copper is the signature of my work. This process literally arose out of the ashes of the Oakland fire of 1991, when my studio and home burned to the ground. While digging through the rubble, amid my tears and grief, I discovered beautiful burned rolls of copper that inspired a dramatic redirection to my artistry. I have no idea what my work would look like today if this fire had not happened. This is the miracle of creativity.”