Karen Willenbrink Johnsen: Blown Away Artist is a Business Owner Today

Even before she came to Netflix’s ‘Blown Away‘ season 4, Karen Willenbrink Johnsen was no stranger to those active in the world of glassblowing. From judges to her fellow competitors, each and every person was eager to see her work and bring her vision to life. Needless to say, viewers at home also watched her on-screen journey avidly, cheering for her every step of the way. While her ending on the show was not exactly ideal, the artist has amassed even more fans, many of whom remain invested in the latest happenings in her life.

Karen Willenbrink Johnsen Impressed Many with Her Skills

Karen Willenbrink Johnsen was one of the most prominent names in the show, with many believing that the artist would surely be one of the top performers of the show. Her special techniques and charming nature certainly endeared her to many. The judges could not help but admire her pieces in the first two challenges, though Katherine Gray did note that Karen had crafted a bird in both rounds. While she acknowledged that the participant was undoubtedly skilled in this particular style of piece, Gray was eager to see some diversity in her work.

Rising to the occasion in the third round, Karen worked alongside Gemma Hollister seamlessly. The two were tasked with making a nature-inspired piece on a vertical glass slab. The duo decided to take inspiration from the aquatic world. While Karen shaped two beautiful fishes, Gemma created beautiful blue waves that truly brought the piece to life. As such, the judges were more than happy to award this team of two ladies the title of best performer.

In the following rounds, Karen’s excellent work continued, with the seventh challenge once again giving her an opportunity to shine bright. For this round, the contestants were asked to create something they were truly passionate about. Showcasing both her skills and her heart, Karen crafted a beautiful yellow dandelion with fluffy seeds hanging above it. The piece not only indicated her vibrancy but also her zeal for teaching and spreading knowledge, allowing her to win the round.

After this came the eighth round, where the contestants had to make two glass pieces, one to hang from the ceiling and the other to be placed on a pedestal. For the two themed pieces, Karen chose to make a beautiful butterfly on a pedestal, above which hung a cocoon containing yet another butterfly. It is certainly a testament to the skilled nature of the participants that the judges found the decision of elimination to be extremely hard. Unfortunately, it was Karen who had to leave the competition, though she remained proud of having been able to bag a position in the Top 4.

Where is Karen Willenbrink Johnsen Now?

Karen Willenbrink Johnsen’s love for glassblowing started in the 1980s when she got the chance to work the craft at Ohio University. Now, she has been active as a glassblower for over four decades and seems to have enjoyed every single moment of crafting and instructing. Based in Bow, Washington, she has been associated with the Pilchuck Glass School (in Seattle, Washington) for well over 35 years. As for the viewership of her work, Karen has been featured in numerous residencies in over 15 countries.

Heavily inspired by Flora and Fauna, Karen pours her passion into every single one of her pieces and is always delighted to make her vision come to life. The artist is happily married to Jasen Johnsen, who himself is well-respected as a glassblowing toolmaker. Together, the two enjoy traveling across the world to learn more about their craft and teach what they know to others. The husband and wife both have shops dedicated to selling their creations called Willenbrik Johnsen Glass and Jasen Johnsen Tools.

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