Volcano Art Center Featured Artists

Karen Hagen

Karen Hagen is from California and attended the University of California in Santa Barbara. After college, she married a high school sweetheart and moved to Oahu while he was in Vietnam. She joined him for a few weeks on R&R, and on his return from Vietnam they bought an acre of land in HPP, where she now lives.

In 1978, she and her growing family moved to Felton, in the Santa Cruz Mountains where she began an adventure as part owner of Santa Cruz Pottery. Working day and night she created functional pottery for the home and garden while raising her daughters. In 2002 she moved to the Big Island, bought a small house at Kaloli Point, and set up a small clay studio in her home once again. She began making pots, gardening, and exploring the beautiful Big Island. In 2004 she began building a home on the property she had bought in HPP in 1968, and 2005 moved in. She had created a space for a large clay studio, but got sidetracked that spring working with cement, hence the birth of “Lava Pots.” This body of work grew out of awe and respect for the incredible lava landscape found in Hawai`i. The pots are handcrafted with a custom concrete blend and purposely contain no lava. Karen states “It is my intent to offer the look and feel of lava without disturbing the environment. The leaf impressions are from plants growing in my garden in Puna. Please enjoy these pots as a reminder of our beautiful aina. “