After studying art from many cultures, focusing on death monuments from the ancients to the present, Caren found a strong connection with the spiritual nature of Tai spirit houses along with the forms and the ceremonies that took place around them. Her own forms started to develop and were based upon the structure of bird houses. They were constructed out of high fire clays and built to live inside and outside where they can blend into their surroundings. These personal monuments create a door in which energy can be channeled and sent out to loved ones, notes could be left within the rooms, offerings and candles can be lit, and the beholder could add onto the form in any way they liked. So by attaching personal objects and drawing in the clay, shards from the past, pieces that have shaped us as individuals, and turning them into a physical structures, the Spirit Houses become sanctuaries that celebrate the life and the journey of the spirit.
As a child arranging objects into patterns was one of Caren’s favorite past times. Later on beading became a way to outlet her obsessive patterning. All pieces are original. Natural tones and greens are Caren’s personal pallet. She uses semi-precious stones, bone, clay, coral, and wood, as well as large hand crafted pendants. Zodiac animals as well as medallions tend to be the center piece.
Taking hundreds of pages of drawings and studies done from direct observation of Celtic knots, Caren transforms them into the low-relief sculptural surface. Six years ago Caren began drawing Celtic knots as a way to connect with her Irish ancestry. The Celtic religion was animist: they believed that in all nature, the wind, hill, and animals were inhabited by gods and goddesses. Celtic art gave evidence to the belief that magical transformation of forms was possible.
Celtic Mirrors began as large Celtic knots. Crafted of many different glazes and knots, the mirrors become more than a decorative fixtures. The Celtic knots play the mirror, creating negative space where ones reflection melds into the pattern of the knots.
Celtic Boxes are story boxes. more than mere containers, each box contains combinations of tile work on the tops along with paintings and collages on the insides. All boxes are pre-assembled, wood burned and finished. Each box is unique and designs are never repeated.