Knudsen was born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. She attended West Virginia University for studio art with a focus in ceramics. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from WVU, Knudsen moved to Floyd, Virginia, where she did a three-year apprenticeship with renowned ceramic artists Donna Polseno and Richard Hensley.
Knudsen now lives in Copper Hill where she shares a ceramic studio with her husband Josh Manning. Her current work is wheel thrown porcelain pottery that is fired in a gas reduction kiln. Her influences are both traditional and contemporary, with a strong inspiration from Asian pottery in her forms as well as her glazes.