Artist

It was second grade that my art career came to a halt…not that I’d thought of one by that point. It was pointed out to me that my pasted snowflakes, so carefully aligned, did not fall in a straight line in nature. Oops. Harsh criticism. Thus began my inability to put any kind of mark to paper unless I knew what the finished product would be. That’s not a good thing for an artist.

When I discovered pen and ink, charcoal, and oil paints, I discovered I could copy something I was looking at – unless, of course, the object was a person. Open and ink – the kind where you fill the point of the pen – was a very unforgiving medium, but I loved it. I said at one point o my parents that perhaps I would like to go to art school. You don’t have the talent for that and you won’t make any money. Gee, thanks Mom and Dad.

I think I spent a lot of time, like so many of us, convinced I couldn’t “create” art. But I loved embroidery, needlepoint, crochet, and sewing. My mother was pleased that I seemed to have mastered the “domestic arts.” Snort. From that point on, fiber seemed to be my medium, leading eventually to quilting and textile arts. My photography skills increased and I dabbled in digital manipulation of both photos and fabric.

One day while in the Ben Franklin store (I’m sure there are many of us who are still mourning the loss of those stores), I saw a book about marbling on fabric. I bought it and twisted my husband Dean’s arm to try it out. He humored me. It took close to three months to be able to collect everything we needed. Carrageenan? Where would we find that? Finally, we were ready to start, even though we were missing significant pieces of the artistic process in creating patterns.

From the first drop of fabric onto the liquid bath, Dean was hooked, transfixed. I would come home from teaching to find he had been marbling for eight straight hours. Everything was mesmerizing. This was 1992. It took till the end of the 90s before we had figured out enough of the process and patterns to begin creating great fabric. In 1999 we opened our eBay shop and did very well in the early stages of e-commerce.

For nearly 30 years we created gorgeous fabrics and artistic textiles – putting needle and thread to an amazing fabric we had created together. We had some success with showing our work in textile shows. It wasn’t until into the 2000s that textile work went mainstream. Our very first entry into a gallery at Yale University was accepted. That was an extremely heady feeling.

With only one salary to support the both of us, we were limited in what we wanted to try to expand our marbling. In one way that was a good thing: our limitation in available resources forced us to try other avenues and develop a unique modern marbling style. Because our available time was limited (I was the seamstress in the textile work), we were unable to spend more time over the years developing a body of work.

But we had great fun. In Dean’s last year of hospice, he marbled at least twice a month, creating a nice marbled fabric stash for me to have after his death. With his passing, and now three years later, I doubt I will ever actually marble again. Dean was the expert. My job was with the finished fabric on the rest of its journey. I’m ready to begin working with smaller pieces of fabric now to continue creating unique textiles.

Within this section of the website you’ll find:

  • YouTube videos from our channel on marbling
  • video of our marbling by the local access television station
  • books in which our work has appeared
  • a gallery of past, present, and in-progress works
  • our artist resume
  • eventually, a place to buy marbled textile works

 

Under this section links:

YouTube videos on creating different patterns (each is very short)

12-minute video from Lake Champlain Access TV about four textile show, “The Art of Marbling.”

Gallery of past and present works of art

Resume of our shows and work

Copy of a page in a Bernina Fashion Show booklet using our fabric

Picture from a book of two of our pieces (Linda Stewart all about textile techniques)

A story from the hospice book about our art partnership

Where to purchase marbled fabrics and small textile pieces (later)

 

My Art Partnership