I’m Karla Kriss
I was raised in a small, rural Kansas town surrounded by loving parents, mischievous siblings, and an assortment of small animals. My father, a large-scale farmer, would bring home his “findings”, from “Bucky” a baby antelope and “Pete” a possum, to snakes, frogs, tarantulas, and even a baby robin named “Gizzy”. All of which were eventually placed in a zoo or turned back to the wild. Dad would say “close your eyes and hold out your hands…” and into them he would place a new tactile experience in the form of an animal to love.
My mother was always “dirtying her hands”. Whether cooking, playing the piano, gardening, or busy with some other activity, she was always wrist deep in creation.
Textures and animals were my shaping experience, using one’s hands to create was my example.
To this day, my work centers around capturing these tactile memories and translating them into realistic, soft, emotional imagery.
I chose dryer lint as my core medium. I like the soft feel and feathery look of it. It’s a sculpting material that feels right in my hands as I play with the colors and textures (never artificially altered) and build up the layers and layers of it until a three-dimensional image begins to form and come out from the otherwise two-dimensional frame. I use shadow boxes to accommodate the dimensionality. This and the nature of dryer lint’s textures create amazing real, soft, detailed, one-of-a-kind, emotionally charged pieces of art.
The work is not quick, as I spend considerable time with the images from which comes the inspiration for each piece. I connect these images with my own inward reflections and memories to capture, not only the proper look, but also the emotions of the piece as I use my hands to create each custom product. Owners of my art receive something truly unique, as no copies are possible, and no photograph or painting can duplicate the texture, look, or feel of a three-dimensional, sculpted work.
I connect personally with each piece and with the deepest, most positive memories of my life in a process that, for me, is very emotional and satisfying.
Years in the Art World
Years working in Galleries
Works of Art in my personal collection
“I find textures and colors inspiring.
I am influenced by nature, natural materials and found objects.
I create art from materials that others overlook or discard as trash. ”
~ Karla Kriss