Skip to main content


About ASI / Instructors / Karen Keenan

Karen Keenan

Karen Keenan, inspired by her 1800’s Swedish ancestors, is working to revive an almost lost folk art, that is jewelry made from a renewable resource: human hair. Thanks to fellowship support from the American-Scandinavian Foundation and family in Våmhus, Dalarna, Sweden, Karen rekindled interest in hairwork jewelry by learning from master teacher Joanna Swenson. An educator, musician, and ceramic artist, Karen is driven by curiosity, the artistic process, and handwork in general. In addition to creating contemporary hairwork applications, Karen explores how its traditions were practiced and translated by Scandinavian immigrants in America. She enjoys listening to others share their experiences with this art form and finds joy in teaching others how to make hair jewelry in the traditional table-made braiding style.

Check out her website, Instagram, and Facebook.


Meet ASI's Teaching Artists and Instructors

Learn more about the master artisans and culture bearers that lead ASI’s classes and workshops.

Meet our instructors