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Karen Massaro

Biography to Display: 

1944 Born Copenhagen, Denmark


1966 BA Art Education SUNY at Buffalo State, New York

1967-1968 Graduate Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

1972 MFA University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin


1976, 1979 Arts in Industry, Kohler Company, Sheboygan, Wisconsin


1972—Studio Artist

1972-1977 Visiting Assistant Professor of Art, Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin

1976, 1978 Lecturer, Art Department, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

1977 Visiting Artist, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

1980 Visiting Faculty, Scripps College, Claremont, California




Karen Massaro has produced a large body of sculptural work typically of cast porcelain. Her work is very colorful with the color either in the clay or added after the bisque firing. Each piece is carefully sanded after the final firing to produce a very smooth eggshell like surface.

Sculptures often consist of multiple pieces that are arranged after firing. She also makes a line of jewelry composed of multiple small versions of the forms she uses in her sculptures.

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin

Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California

Decorative Arts Museum, Little Rock, Arkansas

J. Orton, Jr. Ceramic Foundation, Columbus, Ohio

John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Kansas University, Lawrence, Kansas

Madison Art Center, Madison, Wisconsin

Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mingei International Museum, San Diego, California

Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz County, California

Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona

Plains Art Museum, Morehead, Minnesota

Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin

Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Topeka & Shawnee Co. Public Library Collection

University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin



Bibliography to Display: 

Fina, Angela and Jonathan Fairbanks. The Best of Pottery. Rockport, MA: Quarry Books, 1996.

Logan, Kristina. 1,000 Beads. New York, NY: Lark Crafts, Sterling Publishing, 2014.

Herman, Lloyd. Art That Works. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1990.

Hluch, Kevin A. The Art of American Contemporary Pottery. Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2000.

Hopper, Robin. Making Marks: Discovering the Ceramic Surface. Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2004.

___________. Functional Pottery, Form and Aesthetic in Pots of Purpose. : Krause Publications, 2000.

Hunt, Bill, ed. 21st Century Ceramics in the United States and Canada. The American Ceramics Society, 2003.

Kohler, Ruth. Arts/Industry: Collaboration and Revelation. Sheboygan, WI: John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 2014. 

Massaro, Karen Thuesen. “Big Creek Pottery.” Ceramics Monthly (April 2011).

___________________. “A Potter’s Throwing Rib.” Studio Potter 36, no.2 (2008).

Nelson, Glenn and Richard Burkett. A Potter’s Handbook. Harcourt Brace, 2003.

Peterson, Susan and Jan Peterson. The Craft and Art of Clay, 5th Edition. London, England: Laurence King Publishing, 2012.

Sadler, A. L. The Japanese Tea Ceremony. Charles E. Tuttle Company, 2008.

Santiago, Chiori. “Real/Surreal, the Ceramics of Karen Thuesen Massaro.” American Craft (June/July 2000).


Zakin, Richard. Electric Kiln Ceramics, 3rd Edition. Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2004.

____________. Ceramics, Mastering the Craft. Radnor, PA: Chilton and Company, 1990.




Typical Marks
Materials: Porcelain
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Materials: Porcelain
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified April 16, 2023.