Katharine Cobey [1/8/1938-12/5/2020].
The studio of artist Katharine Cobey is located on a cove off Muscongus Bay in Cushing, Maine. Katharine was one of the founding trustees of Maine Fiberarts, and a personal knitting mentor to me over many years. Katharine’s beautiful studio is open most days to the public if visitors call ahead. There, she transforms wool and other fibers into yarns using her Rio Grande Spinning Wheel or a variety of spindles. Katharine then creates knitted garments, sculptural garments, and artwork using her yarns or unusual materials—black plastic, red telephone wire, yellow plastic Caution tape, and others.
I visited her studio back in December of 2015. It is filled with inspirational books, magazines, and carefully-kept binders of her own knitted clothing, three-dimensional sculpture, and artwork and of the many museum exhibitions in which she has shown work. Katharine is a master knitter and an excellent teacher of spinning, knitting, design, and “diagonal knitting”—a subject of which she literally “wrote the book.” Katharine Cobey was named one of Maine’s Master Craft Artists in 2010 and teaches these days through Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Medomak Camp in Washington, Fiber College in Searsport and from her own studio. Seeing her studio is like visiting a museum—a visual feast—and I encourage you to make the journey and enter her world.
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Photography by Christine Macchi and Mark Stern.