Karen L Howard


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Karen L Howard aka Sackcloth Gallery sells original, primitive, whimsical, mixed medium, hand painted and wood burned wood carvings (whittlings with a knife, not electric grinders). Great Grampa was the first whitler in the family, then his daughter my Grandma Grace ( very perfect name for her. How did her parents know?) who carved some amazing horses and birds, and then she taught me what to do with a stick and sharp knife when I was in the 5th grade. My carving ability sat on the shelf for many years. When my husband was bedridden after a serious accident, and we had recently moved to an area where I knew no one, so cabin fever had set in, I picked up the old Xacto and started in again, recharging my whittling batteries with duck and goose & swan decoys and decorative wildlife. I joined in the competition which was an amazing tutor in itself. Learned tons about good tools, wood and paint and how to get that bird to look the judge in the eye as they floated them in a little child's pool for the national decoy competitions. Eventually though I had to break loose and do art. Started a little wholesale company called Carvin' Copies with a good friend which didn't last nearly long enough. I carved, wood burned and painted the originals and she was in charge of having them reproduced in resin (in the USA!) and painted and shipped to the stores, but eventually the big boys saw our stuff, copied it & reproduced it overseas and we were out of business. I lived in the San Joaquin Valley in California in the 1970s and 80s, became a member of the local National League of American Pen Women, started for professional women as they weren't invited into the Press Club. Men Only, please ... and also around that time I was awarded a generous Master Folk Artist cash award from the San Joaquin Arts Council and James C Irvine Foundation. We moved again, this time to the California North Coast and after several stabs (excuse the pun) at moving my art , doing shows etc, I settled down at Etsy, where customers as well as artisans have a completely friendlier attitude than that other big box online outlet. It's not random; usually there is a story when I place my mixed media carvings on vintage tins.