About Our Marbling

 

I’ve waited to do this page, even though the blog masters out there say this is one of the most important pages you can have on your blog. So what do I say about myself that people actually want to read? Here goes:

As long as I can remember I have done some type of artwork, despite some horrendous experiences in elementary school. I actually still have two pieces I did in ninth grade art class that I love, but for the longest time it was very difficult for me to break through the barriers to making original art. I did a lot of pen and ink drawing, along with some charcoal, in a sketch book (which I still have) when I was in my early teens. I had to work from a drawing or design – the idea of creating something just from my  own mind was daunting, to say the least. I find it interesting to reflect on this, as pen and ink is a very unforgiving medium. Perhaps this is why I enjoy the Zentangle process so much.

I dabbled in oil painting for a while, again working from another painting. I had no clue about mixing colors, or layering colors, or anything like that. I doubt those paintings even still exist. When I was in college I took up sewing my own garments, and through that I was able to do some creating, especially when it came to trims and borders. It wasn’t until I was back in Vermont in the early 70s that I hooked up with Stretch and Sew classes and really started to break out of the box. When I taught in Hawaii, I made most of my muu-muus, as it was much cheaper than buying them.

I took up crochet and needlepoint, again because I could follow patterns. I got bored with basic needlepoint – same ole stitches – and it never occurred to me I could do a different stitch. When I see needlepoint today I am amazed at the yarns and creativity and designs – so different! In fact, this week I visited a yarn shop in Tucson (Tucson Yarns) and started to hyperventilate at the gorgeous yarns!!

I also did a lot of cross-stitch when I moved to Maryland. At one point my goal was to stitch every Paula Vaughn design I could find, as well as own every color of DMC thread (which I do). I started dabbling in quilting because of living so close to Lancaster and the Amish communities. When we moved back to Vermont, we had a house fire, and I lost all my needlework and framed cross-stitch. I couldn’t bear to start any new pieces, so hubby and I tool tole painting classes. Patterns to follow, but a good amount of creativity in mixing and shading. I learned this wasn’t for me, but I knew I could recognize good tole painting when I saw it.

Now I had all these paints and patterns, but no interest in tole. So I took my first quilting class – very traditional hand quilting. I loved it and started collecting more fabric – I already had quite a stash from my clothing adventures (most of which has since been sold on ebay!). One day I saw the rotary cutter and mat demonstrated, and I knew I was hooked. While I liked the hand-quilting, I really wanted to be able to complete things faster.

Walking through the Ben Franklin in Burlington, Vermont ( I was taking a Bob Ross class), I saw a book about fabric marbling and thought that would make some great fabric for a quilt. I set hubby to task to find what we would need. I have written a number of times about how long it took us to get supplies and then how quickly we were hooked – on our first piece of fabric. I still have my Bob Ross-inspired piece, but that was the end of my painting. The easel my hubby built now works as a stand for all the photography of fabric that he does.

Marbling and quilting were a match for me. Initially I spent my creative juices trying to figure out what to do with the marbling – I just kept putting pieces with black fabric – no clue about color, there! Now I am finding all kinds of new ways to work with marbled fabric in quilted art pieces. I am looking forward to more and more creations of unique nature-inspired pieces.

Most marblers are self-taught, I think. A few lucky people are able to work with the ebru masters in Turkey. Marblers nowadays are much freer with their help and suggestions, so newbies in the field have an easier time learning. We’ve been marbling now almost 20 years, and we still are learning. In fact, I tend to put a new video up on our Facebook fan page each week after I have really studied it. Then in the next marbling session I try out a new technique or two. There is so much to learn – but it’s so much fun! If you are interested, check out Galen Berry, another marbler who offers beginner classes – he is excellent.

Our Professional Resume:

Professional Publications:

  • Create-a-Quilt by Dr. Joyce Mori, 1999
  • Pricing Guidelines for Arts and Crafts, Sylvia Landman, 2000
  • “Making Connections” in Sew News, September 2001
  • The Quilting Quarterly, “The Art of Marbling,” National Quilting Association, summer 2002
  • Quilting Through the Seasons: Spring. Lois Fletcher, author, Spring 2005
  • Quilting Arts, Spring 2004 – closeup of the blue silk used by Larkin Van Horn in her Bernina garment.
  • “If You Bring It, They Will Sign,” Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, Winter 2004, about Linda’s wedding quilt for her neice.
  • Bernina fashion Show Catalogs, 2002, 2003; Larkin Van Horn and Nancy Schlegel, designers.

Galleries/Exhibitions

  • Textures Gallery and Studio, Scottsdale, AZ, Fall, 2003
  • “My World in Black and White,” online exhibition, 2003-2004
  • “My World in Black and White,” Ontario Museum of Art and History, CA, 2003 – 2004
  • Schullenberger Gallery, Jericho, VT. Artists’ Showcase, December 2003
  • Leandro Fabrics and Gallery, Tucson, AZ, May 2004, September 2004
  • “Expressions in Textiles,” juried show, New Haven, CT, August 2004. “Rock Garden”
  • “Fabric of Legacies,” juried show, “Mandala 1: Core” Fort Collins, CO, July 2004
  • “Fish Follies,” juried show, “Alaskan Waters” Cordova, AK, August-November 2004
  • “Art of the Sixth Extinction,” WomenKraft Gallery, Tucson, AZ. Winter 2005 (several pieces)
  • “Fish Follies,” juried show, Alaskan Whales” Cordova, AK, July-November 2007, with Suzan Drury
  • “Fish Follies,” juried show, “Swimming Upstream” Cordova, AK, July-November 2007, with Suzan Drury
  • “Fish Follies,” juried show, “Raven” Cordova, Alaska, July – November 2008, with Suzan Drury
  • “Fabric of Legacies,” juried show, “Low Tide” Ft. Collins, CO, 2009
  • “Fish Follies,” juried show, “Ocean’s Bounty,” Cordova, AK, July – November 2009
  • “Fish Follies,” juried show, “Salmon Run,” Cordova, AK, July-November 2010
  • “Tikkun Olam: An Artists’ Restoration Project.” Tucson, AZ. September/October 2011

 

12 Responses to “About Our Marbling”

  • Diane:

    Hi! I have seen your page on facebook and I am a fan. I have a question. I just started marbling and decided on the 19.5 charmeuse. I am using Dr. PH Martins Spectralite and I am quite happy with the colors. I used the catalyst to make it fast for fabric – I see there is also a heatset that you can add to the paints. (from Dharma) When I washed by hand a piece of silk today, it faded somewhat.(I marbled it a few days ago and Spectralite says that you can wash it immediately after air drying.) Still beautiful, but not the clarity of the color it was before.

    Have you ever used the Spectralite? Do you think that the heatset additive would be better? I feel that I should wash the silk and add a little softener before I sell it to the customer. Thanks! Diane

  • Hi Diane – I haven’t used the stuff you are talking about. I do know that we wlays heat-set our fabric with a dry iron on appropriate setting before washing. For our silk we use Milsoft (from Dharma) for softening, and there is no color fading. I would try ironing before doing any washing. The charmeuse should work really well, and we heat-set all our silk on the silk setting. Thanks for becoming a fan – and keep the questions coming! Linda

  • Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and appearance. I must say that you’ve done a great job with this. Also, the blog loads very quick for me on Firefox. Outstanding Blog!

  • here is a short interview with a couple who are interested in marbling.. maybe you might want to check the link:
    http://omactivities.blogspot.com/2012/02/paper-marbling-iphone-ipad-case-covers.html

    regards

  • dawn fleming:

    will you be offering any classes on marbling anytime soon? I live in chandler and would be happy to travel your way.
    thanks,
    Dawn

  • Just developed a passion for learning how to marble paper and fabric and going to Turkey would not work for me.Have always been an artist and love color so Marbling intrigues me. Galen is retired and not teaching at all too bad for me.Could you please suggest an extensive workshop ( could travel) or instructor to have come to my studio.Thank You!
    Help!
    Sandra

  • Jackson L. Forney:

    I have a selection of marbling equipment no longer needed that I’d like to give an active marbler. I live in Nipomo CA and wish to contact someone near that could use the equipment. It’s free. My email is judy-jack@att.net.

  • about 6 years ago you marbeled a 42 piece collection for me….will you be offering this again once you are settled?

  • I have been wanting to try marbling for a long time… never had a chance to take a class, and I am looking for a source in Northern Arizona where I could take a basic class. Do you or anyone you know teach marbling? Sedona is very close for me (I’m in Flagstaff), but would be able to go as far as Prescott… thanks for any help you can give me! Also trying to find sources for long marbling trays so I can do scarves, if you have any ideas.

  • Hi Judy – unfortunately we are no longer in Arizona to teach – we’re in New England now. I don’t know of anyone in that part of Arizona – there is another woman in the Tucson area who is a member of the surface design group that is part of the Handweavers Guild – I’ll see if I can get her name. You can join the yahoo group – https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Marbling/info and ask for a referral. As to trays – we use scarves from Dharma and marble them in our “big tray” – 5 feet by 3 feet. Pat Thomas – who is amazing – builds her own trays for the sizes she needs when she teaches at Arrowmont. Friend her on Facebook – she may be able to help. Be prepared for a steep learning curve, but it’s so much fun you won’t mind!We taught a marbling class about four years ago at Quilter’s Quarters in Cottonwood, but haven’t been back (tooooo far!). HTH – Linda

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