Don’t know, we’ll see: The Work of Karen Karnes a film by Lucy Massie Phenix

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CONTACT: Lucy Massie Phenix

510-704-0829 (office)

DON’T KNOW, WE’LL SEE: The Work of Karen Karnes

A film by Lucy Massie Phenix


An altogether beautiful documentary.”

Asheville Mountain Express

Much more than a very good biography…beautiful, thought provoking, inspiring.”

Nancy Baker, Academy Award winning Editor

"This film changes you as you're watching it. I thought I was going to see a film about a potter, and I found that I was seeing a film about what it means to be human."

Sante Fe Film Festival audience member

"Don't Know We'll See is among the best films dealing with the visual arts that I've seen. It takes us deep into an artist's view of the world, and does so with style and humor.”

Rick Winston, Green Mountain Film Festival Programmer

Reviews by Artists

The film is absolutely beautiful. It has the space, warmth, and mystery that Karen's work and spirit deserve, it is visually stunning, and as a composer, I was immediately struck by the wise use of music.”

Ken Frazelle, composer

The overall statement was about the Earth. A sort of ‘out of nothing, something.’ As the clay becomes a pot, the camera brings us to see what else has evolved slowly over time, the rocks, water, grass, trees, and a young girl into an older woman, the earthiness of her clay reflected in her face and skin. The music, too, began in an experientially more primitive vein and moved to the sublime complexity of Mozart. It was a joy to see and hear.”

Judith Mortenson, painter

This film is lush and leisurely, drawing the whole natural world into Karen's processes, into her mind and her hands and her body and face--she looks like pottery herself. It's a ravishing, sensual film.”

Mary Ann Taylor-Hall, writer and teacher of fiction and poetry

I was thinking last night about Karen and the thing that I kept thinking was there is no separation between the work and the life. And it’s a beautiful life. It’s an inspiring life in this age of unchecked progress based on more … more.”

Paulus Berensohn, Finding One's Way with Clay and Deep Ecologist.

Quote from the film, Don’t Know, We’ll See

Reviews by Educators

I have thought of the film often in the past year since I saw it – so beautifully done and what a remarkable artist. I love that she says ‘... we'll see.’ It is so true ... I often tell students when asked to predict , ‘We will know more later.’”

Jane White, Manager of Adult Education and teacher of ceramics

A resonant sensual film which makes palpable the materiality, groundedness, physicality of what we call art."

Barbara Abrash, Center for Media, Culture and History, NYU

This inspiring film gazes deeply into both the humble and the profound mysteries of an artist's life. It gave me something I was hungry for, without knowing it."

Alice Sebrell, Director, Black Mountain College Museum

Published Reviews: a compelling book, one is drawn back to it, time and time again.”

The Log Book

What do people hope for in an art documentary? A window into the secrets of creation? A better sense of the artist’s personality? Some biography, a touch of history, maybe even an idea or two? Probably all of the above, plus good filmmaking. This beautifully crafted film..., is worthy of its subject, whose spirit shines through it from start to finish.”

Robert Silberman,

For more information:

For more information about the film, visit or contact Lucy Phenix at 510-704-0829 (Office) or 510-703-2006 (c);

For more information about the screening or about the retrospective exhibit, “A Chosen Path: The Ceramic Art of Karen Karnes,” visit or contact Mary-Beth Buesgen at 480-965-7092; email her at

“Don’t Know, We’ll See”: Reviews & Endorsement Page

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