Arlene and I visited the studio of Cumberland artist Meryl Ruth in September to prepare for her solo show at Maine Fiberarts. We were able to walk through her home, see her working spaces, and choose artwork. We loved it all, and ended up taking almost everything we could. Whimsically-designed ceramic teapots are found throughout her home, along with supplies for making art, kilns, silk screening equipment, sewing machines, paints, threads, computers and so much more.
Meryl taught art at Deering High School over many years and perfected techniques in photography, clay, silkscreening, appliqué, airbrushing, weaving, free motion stitching, thread painting, sewing, and quilting. As time went on, parts of her ceramic work ended up emulating the look and feel of fabrics—upholstered couches, lace details, stuffed pocketbooks, and lush playing cards. Finally, she decided to create an all-fabric teapot. This opened the door for her to exploring her first love—working directly with fabric.
The result is a series of art quilts that use color, techniques, and images of objects, places and animals that are imbued with meaning for her. You can see her finished artwork through December 17, 2016 at Maine Fiberarts’ gallery in Topsham or visit the artist’s studio thereafter.
Her work is a cornucopia of humor, storytelling, intricate renderings, and fascinating skill. Her work has also been shown nationally and internationally, garnered many awards, and appears in several books and publications. See images of her artwork on Meryl’s and Maine Fiberarts’ websites.