Karen Donde

karenheadshotKaren’s fascination with weaving began in Southern New Jersey in 1998 with a newspaper picture of a friendly looking woman weaving on a huge loom. Having sewed since junior high, and having developed an almost unhealthy obsession with fabric, Karen had one of those “aha” moments. Within a week, she was sitting at the same loom she’d seen in the picture with the truly friendly woman who would become her teacher, mentor and close friend handing her a shuttle. She threw three picks and never looked back.

She studied weaving for two years with Naomi, before being invited to join Naomi’s regular Thursday weaving class at South Jersey legend Doris Boyd’s house. Like most of Doris’ students, Karen claimed a loom and didn’t leave, weaving with Doris and the “Thursday girls” for the next nine years. Along the way, she became leader of the South Jersey Guild of Spinners & Handweavers, served on the board of the Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association and attended numerous guild workshops and conferences. A three-year self-study program earned her the Handweaving Guild of America’s Certificate of Excellence in Handweaving: Level I in 2008.In 2004, Karen began teaching weaving and found the only thing more rewarding than pulling a piece of finished cloth off the loom is watching a student do the same. In an effort to stay two steps ahead of her students at Sutherland, Karen enrolled in the Professional Crafts-Fiber program at Haywood Community College, near Asheville, in 2010.

A journalist and freelance writer in her pre-weaving life, Karen has had nine articles published in Handwoven since 2006. Karen’s two grown sons and wonderful husband remain supportive of her weaving addiction, even if she does catch them rolling their eyes when she has prattled on about warps and wefts just a little too long.

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