We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen Lukacs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen, how do you think about risk?
Risk is a choice. It shows up in moments of assessment: Where am I and where do I want to go? Who am I and what do I want to do? Risk is a choice to move forward. It’s also a choice to stand still.
Anais Nin’s poem ‘Risk’ says it all: “And then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
The mantras of my own creative process: sample, sample, sample and try, try again, have been helpful in overcoming personal risk-aversion. Through working this way, I’ve noticed an increasingly louder, stronger intuitive voice that is evermore present. This voice of wisdom is now an eager participant as I assess a risk’s value.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have forever been inspired by the magic of making with thread. In childhood, I was surrounded by those who created textiles to wear, to adorn homes, to celebrate moments in the journey of life. They were my earliest teachers and inspiration on what has become a lifetime passion for textiles.
The past 20 years, my work has focused on the transformation of discarded garments and textiles, destined for landfill bloat. Through a thoughtful process of deconstruction and transformation, these rescued materials are reimagined into functional sculptures to Carry, to Wear and to feather one’s Nest. My pieces are intentionally designed and meticulously crafted to last a long time. I see them as modern heirlooms, well worth the investment.
KAREN LUKACS textiles: “Transforming reclaimed garments into limited edition collections of Artisanal and Sustainable Eco Fashion. One at a time. One of a kind.”
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love showing off our beautiful Sonoran Desert! From Saguaro National Park East, the tram tour through Sabino Canyon and the self-drive Lemmon Sky Island adventure, our biological diversity never fails to leave my guests awestruck. Sunset from Gates Pass is a not-to-miss moment. While out west, the Raptor Free Flights at our world-renowned Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is on my must-see itinerary.
Tucson is a UNESCO city of Gastronomy, so foodies will not be wanting. We’ll first head to the locally owned restaurants. Then, there are the food trucks, the breweries, the wineries…so many choices! We’ll see what’s showing at the many Tucson museums and galleries. And, antique shoppers will not be disappointed. In February, it’s a full schedule at the annually anticipated Gem Show! At the end of the day, after all the looking and doing, it’s time to stop and check out the amazing starry night sky. Our low-light ordinance protects nearby astronomical observatories and offers viewers breathtaking night views.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am forever grateful to ALL my teachers along the way; those who shared and inspired, those who challenged and encouraged. My gratitude to those who taught me to listen to the materials, those who led the way through their own doing, and especially to those who revealed the relevance and importance of process. I am humbled and buoyed by those who, in their own ways, support my passion. And without doubt, a shout-out to my students over the years, who have taught me so much about myself, my work and my way, on this journey.
Amy Haskell, Jessica Korff, Peter Romano,