Karen McCreary

Karen McCreary

Karen McCreary is an artist with a professional background in jewelry manufacturing.  She received her BFA in jewelry and metalsmithing from California State University, Long Beach, and has exhibited her sculpture and art-to-wear extensively since.

A Southern California native, Karen is inspired by its light and landscape.  Experimentation with various materials and techniques attracted her to plastics because of their transparency, colors, and great versatility.  Her current work combines sheet acrylic, resins, and metals, to produce innovative, handcrafted jewelry that is durable, light weight, and fun to wear.

Her work is exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and in Europe.  She has also exhibited her work directly to the public through the American Craft Council Shows, the Smithsonian Craft Show, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show.  Interviews and reviews of Karen’s work have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including Ornament, Metalsmith, the Press-Telegram, and images of her pieces have been included in a number of Lark Book’s 500 series publications.  She has also been commissioned for one-of-a-kind and limited production pieces for the television and motion picture industries.   


California State University, Long Beach, Bachelor of Fine Arts


Founder/Owner, TDM Studio, designer jewelry, established 1983

Free-lance jewelry designer and manufacturer, 1979-1983

Jewelry designer, Deary Ears, Inc., 1977-1979

Jewelry technician, Abart Jewelry Manufacturing Co., 1973-1975



“Gladys Cooperative Winter Exhibition,” Artist Coop Gallery, Long Beach CA


“Annual Jewelry Show,” Freehand, Los Angeles CA


“Long Beach Summer III,” Stone Rose Gallery, Long Beach CA


“Annual Jewelry Show,” Freehand, Los Angeles CA


“The Subtle Set,” Facere Gallery, Seattle WA

“Reunion,” Utopia, Long Beach CA


“Juju Magic,” Facere Gallery, Seattle WA

“Unwearable,” Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles CA

“Celebrating 70, 70 Years By 70 Artists.” Facere Gallery, Seattle  WA

“The Plastic Show,” Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco CA


“Herinner-ring / Remember-ring,” Galerie Cebra, Dusseldorf, Germany

“Herinner-ring / Remember-ring,” The National Crafts Gallery, Kilkenny, Ireland


“The Pendant Show,” Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA

“Herinner-ring / Remember-ring,” Galerie Beeld & Aambeeld, Enschede, The Netherlands


“Heart of the Matter,” Facere Gallery, Seattle, WA

“The Earring Show,” Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco CA

“250 Earrings,” Facere Gallery, Seattle WA

“First Tuesday,” Portfolio, Long Beach CA


“Uncommon Metal,”  Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, La Jolla, CA

“The Necklace Show,” Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA

“200 Rings,” Facere Gallery, Seattle, WA

“100 Brooches,” Pacini Lubel Gallery, Seattle, WA

“Color,” Peters Valley Craft Center, Layton, NJ


“Multiple Palettes/ Varied Visions: 30 Jewelers Explore Color,” White Lotus Gallery, Eugene, OR

“100 Brooches,” Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA; East Carolina University School of Art and Design, Greenville, NC; Bellagio Gallery, Ashville, NC

“200 Rings,” Obsidian Gallery, Tucson, AZ; Gallery M, Cleveland, OH; Shaw Gallery, Northeast Harbor, ME

“Anti-War Medals,” Hipotesi Gallery, Barcelona, Spain; The Barents Spectacle, Kirkenes, Norway


“Verveelding van Verlangen,” Galerie Beeld & Aambeeld, Enschede, The Netherlands

“Touch: Jewelry Annual #23,” Freehand, Los Angeles, CA

“Heaven and Earth: A Dialogue,” Objects of Desire Gallery, Louisville, KY

“Anti-War Medals,” Electrum Gallery, London, England; Festspillene Nord-Norge, Harslad; Nordnorsk Kunstnersentrum, Svolvaer, Norway; Tromso Kunstformening, Tromso, Norway


“Charmed Lives,” Facere Gallery, Seattle, WA

“Anti-War Medals,” Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA


“Material Explorations: Wearable Objects of Non-Traditional Materials,” Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute Gallery, Utica, NY

Ornaments Now,” Netherlands Textile Museum, Tilburg, The Netherlands

“Southern California Studio Jewelry,” Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA


“Zierat: International Contemporary Jewelry Invitational,” Hand Workshop Art Center, Richmond, VA; Kestner Museum, Hannover, Germany; Galerie Cebra, Dusseldorf, Germany; Galerie Beeld & Aambeeld, Enschede, The Netherlands

“Well Armed,” Objects of Desire Gallery, Louisville, KY


“Zierat: Intermnational Contemporary Jewelry Invitational,” Southwest School of Art & Craft, San Antonio, TX

“20th Annual Jewelry Show,” Freehand, Los Angeles, CA


“ Illumination,” Craft and Folk Art Museum, San Francisco, CA

“Organic Matters,” Sculpture to Wear, Santa Monica, CA

“Colour: A Vivid Expression,” Sculpture to Wear, Santa Monica, CA

“California Contemporary Craft,” Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA


“Toys & Gadgets,” The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA

“Full Spectrum – color/jewelry,” OXOXO Gallery, Baltimore, MD


“The Shoe Show,” Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA

“From Beyond…,” A. R. K. Gallery, Long Beach, CA

“Metals, Etc.,” Lubbock Fine Arts Center, Lubbock, TX


“Small Wonders II,” Brand Gallery, Santa Ana, CA

“3 Generations: Jewelry Invitational,” Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA

“The May Show,” Freehand Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

“Karen McCreary: Collection,” Portfolio, Long Beach, CA


“Small Wonders,” Brand Gallery, Santa Ana, CA

“Wearable Expressions: The Personal Art,” Palos Verdes Art Center, Palos Verdes, CA

“Art By Design,” San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA

“Metals – Form in Chaos,” Northern Kentucky University Art Gallery, Highland Heights, KY


“Crafts National 28,”  Zollar Gallery, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

“Beyond the Great Threshold,” Galleria San Fedele, Milan, IT/Castello San Giorgio, Orzinnovi, IT

“Brooch:  The Subject,” Tempe Arts Center, Tempe, AZ

Juried Craft Fairs

American Craft Council Craft Fairs: Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; San Francisco, CA; Springfield, MA; St. Paul, MN

Contemporary Crafts Market: Santa Monica, CA; San Francisco, CA

Crafts at the Castle: Boston, MA

Long Beach Museum of Art Artist Market: Long Beach CA

Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show: Philadelphia PA

Rosen Buyers Market of American Crafts: Philadelphia, PA; Boston, M;, Miami, F; Anaheim, CA

Scottsdale Art Festival: Scottsdale, AZ

Smithsonian Craft Show: Washington, DC

St Louis Art Fair: St. Louis, MO

Tempe Festival of the Arts: Tempe, AZ

Selected Publications

21th Century Jewelry, Matrhe Le Van, Lark Books, 2011

500 Plastic Jewelry Designs, Marthe Le Van, Lark Books, 2009

The Art of Jewelry: Plastic and Resin, Debra Adelson, Lark Books, 2008

500 Pendants and Lockets, Marthe Le Van, Lark Books, 2008

500 Earrings, Marthe Le Van, Lark Books, 2007

500 Necklaces, Marthe Le Van, Lark Books, 2006

Ornament, Vol. 29 No. 3, 2006, “Karen McCreary, Galaxy of Light,” Pat Worrell

500 Bracelets, Marthe Le Van, Lark Books, 2005

American Jewelry Manufacturer, June 2005, Design Alternatives, Suzanne Wade

500 Brooches, Marthe Le Van, Lark Books, 2005

1000 Rings, Marthe Le Van, Lark Books, 2004

Modern Silver Magazine Online, Oct-Nov 2002, “Karen McCreary: Space, Light, Refection”, Patrick Kapty

Metalsmith, Vol 16 No 4, 1996, Exhibition In Print      

1995 Metal Arts Source Book, CD-ROM, Bob Mitchell, Bob Mitchell Productions, 1995

L’art dans la mode, Wignal Museum/Gallery, Rancho Cucamonga, 1991

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