A Common Thread
CRAFT OF MAINE-September 2009
by Rebecca Falzano
Local artisans whose woven works are Maine made and inspired
We continue our Craft of Maine series on functional art this month with textiles. While working with natural fibers, these talented craftspeople cannot help but be inspired by natu re, the very source of their medium. While their work varies in method and material, it is all commonly inspired by Maine’s contrasting seasons and variety of landscapes. As Bill Laurita, president of Swans Island, puts it, “Maine is a place apart. I experience it as a something to contend with—almost like another member of my family that I have to take into account. It has a presence, and I find myself inspired by that.” So is the case for craftswoman Betsy Scheintaub, who looks to the ever-changing seasons for the form and color she uses in her felt designs.
The blankets, shawls, bags, and table mats on the following pages are all deeply rooted in Maine. Whether they were crafted from the wool of local sheep or hand-loomed linen, they are beautiful evidence of the marriage of art, function, and, of course, nature.
Right: White Circles, 2008, wool, 17” x 10”
Sea Glass, 2009, wool, 21” x 9”
Reds, 2009, wool, 20” x 9”
Mints, 2009, wool, 11” x 7.5”
Bottom: Herringbone Throws, 2009, cotton, 50” x 72”