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Karen Headshot

Orig­i­nally from East Aurora, NY, Karen Ernst is a Profes­sor of Wood­work­ing / Furni­ture Design in the Art Depart­ment at Edin­boro Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia, recently renamed PennWest Univer­sity. She received a BA in Studio Art from SUNY Geneseo and an MFA in Furni­ture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and has over twenty years of wood­work­ing and design expe­ri­ence. The furni­ture and sculp­tural objects she designs and builds have been exhib­ited in numer­ous museums and galleries across the US and are included in many private collec­tions. Her work is featured in the Lark Books publi­ca­tions 500 Chairs, 500 Tables and 500 Cabinets.

Karen has been a member of the Furni­ture Soci­ety’s Board of Trustees since 2018 and currently serves as its President. 

The furni­ture and sculp­tural objects Karen Ernst designs and builds draw inspi­ra­tion from natural shapes, textures, and land­scapes she has observed in her travels to many of the National Parks across the US. Whether it is the silhou­ette of a tree branch, an impres­sion left by a rock in the sand, or the surface of the ocean, she seeks to capture a bit of the beauty and magic present in our most unspoiled natural places.

Edinboro, PA
Wood, paint
Professional Status
Educator, maker