Karen Stack was born near Detroit and moved to Chicago as a young girl. An accidental urbanite, she sought touches with nature where she could and on childhood family vacations to the Smoky Mountains, discovered the timeless beauty of the southern Appalachians.
She works from her home, on a sunny hillside in the Nantahala National Forest, overlooking a spring fed pond nestled in the trees. The woods fill her with inspiration and she roams there often, logging many hundreds of miles per year.
When she’s not working in the leather studio, she fills her days playing mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer and guitar; her fabric and fiber loves are sewing, spinning, knitting and felting. Photography satisfies her passion for details and she’s learning traditional archery. Karen’s husband is a blacksmith and she has a pet chicken named Wanda that wandered into her life in 2014 and began laying eggs.
The name ‘Gulland’ is Karen’s family surname. Literally translated from Norwegian, it means ‘Gold Land.’