About Us

About Karen Donleavy

Karen Donleavy was born in London, raised on the Isle of Man and lived in Ireland before coming to Los Angeles in 1979 to produce her whimsical, highly decorative animal designs in high-fired porcelain.

She studied at Dartington Hall School in Devon, England, the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and London's Harrow School of Art, where her teachers included world-renowned potters David Leach, Michael Casson and Walter Keeler. While she tried working in other media--etchings and drawings--she always returned to her first love, ceramics, to express her fondness for animals.

Since beginning her line of hand-painted dinner ware, she has expanded her porcelain menagerie to over 100 designs which are available in a variety of hand-thrown tableware, ranging from pitchers and platters to mugs. They are desired for both their functional use and increasingly, as collectibles.

Her work has attracted the attention of such diverse personalities as Julie Andrews, Lauren Bacall, Charles Bronson, Shari Lewis, Malcolm McDowell, Luciano Pavarotti, Anthony Perkins and Berry Berenson, Mary Steenburgen, Jennifer Tilly, Tracey Ullman, Cindy Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Altman, and Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Doctorow, who have either purchased or requested special orders of her line.

Karen Donleavy Designs have been featured in over 100 of the country's most distinctive stores and galleries, including Henri Bendel, The New Morning Gallery (Asheville, North Carolina), Forrest Jones (San Francisco), Freehand (Los Angeles), The Museum of Folk Art in Manhattan, Barney's Japan and Saks Fifth Avenue.

She also created an exclusive line of ceramic opera singers for the Metropolitan Opera Guild at Lincoln Center.

Her work was an instant sell-out at the Anna-Mei Chadwick Gallery in London, in which her pottery was presented in a joint exhibition with the drawings of her father, the noted Irish author and playwright J. P. Donleavy as well as a 2007 joint exhibition with her father at the National Arts Club in New York.

Karen Donleavy now maintains her studio in Caldwell, Idaho.


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