Karen Croner attended San Francisco State University where she earned a B.A. in Anthropology.
While studying photography for work in Visual and Cultural Anthropology, Karen developed an appreciation for primitive and folk arts. Her sculptures are inspired by her childhood, her education, and her love of wildlife. She has been making paper mache sculptures since her nine-year-old son asked her to make a dragon sculpture for him.
Each of her creatures is one-of-a-kind, inspired by dozens of photos of her subjects and up close looks at the real thing, animal or person. She makes them by hand and, depending on size, each piece takes twenty to sixty hours of work from start to finish. She builds the sculpture with wire, then adds several layers, at least half a dozen, of paper mache, using different types of paper. She adds details with shredded paper pulp or paper clay, and when the sculpture is ready, she paints it with acrylics and finishes it with a coat of acrylic urethane for moisture protection and durability.