It was an honor to welcome Laverne Zabielski to the studio for Open Studios. We’ve been wanting to visit each other, but  a two hour drive involves planning. It is meaningful when a fellow artist wants to buy a piece. She said, “I love how you suggested that we consider pieces of your work that speak to us.  I looked at everything in your studio. They were all beautiful.  It was when I read the title of the piece that you made from my fabric, Talisman for Aging Gracefully that I knew it was for me.”  


Laverne Zabielski wearing "Talisman for Ageing Gracefully"

Laverne Zabielski wearing “Talisman for Ageing Gracefully”

Laverne, artist & writer,  lives a layered life, as she describes it. As a fiber artist, she felts, pole wraps and shibori dyes wool and silk, then shapes these beautiful fabrics into truly wearable art collections; serenity shawls,  goddess capes, bolero jackets, poetry vests and skirts, riding coats, caftans  and dresses.  To see some of her creations click here. I respond to her combinations of reds and orange. The tiny piece I used as a starting point for the cuff came from a piece like the one seen below. I wanted the perfect fabric to compliment the ancient Roman garnet beads, Laverne’s piece was the best.

Painted Shibori, hand felted wool and silk by Laverne Zabielski

Painted Shibori, hand felted wool and silk by Laverne Zabielski

"Talisman for Ageing Gracefully" detail, Kathleen O'Brien

“Talisman for Ageing Gracefully” detail, Kathleen O’Brien

It has been an inspiration to be in orbit with Laverne, since being set up next to each other at the 2004 Kentucky Crafted: the Market. It was my first year to display at the Kentucky Arts Council’s event. During the 4 day trade fair, we got to know each other hanging out for breaks in the area behind our booths. It was  a highlight of the event.

Then in 2012 Laverne asked me to pair up with her for the Collaboration exhibit at MS Rezny/Studio Gallery. For several months we sent our piece, which I started on Arches Cover paper, back and forth to each other’s studios. It worked well to have a somewhat small, 24 x 17″ package to send through the mail, because of the distance between our studios. It was always exciting to receive the package and see how she added to the piece. Also, it was a great practice in letting go of control. And that was my entry into the gallery.


Rezny, O'Brien, Zabielski at Collaborations Exhibit

Rezny, O’Brien, Zabielski at Collaborations Exhibit  2012

Learn more about Laverne’s art, process and writing at her site by clicking here.

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