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November/December 2002


At Home in the Home Market

These five folks make art to live with- to walk on, sit on, lean on, and lie under.

by Noelle Backer

It's hard not to love home furnishings.

People love to love their home environment-their favorite chair ... window dressings that pull the room together ... new, ornate pillows ... or a bold rug that turns a room from drab into dramatic. Especially in today's society, in which people are seeking to create their own little safe havens in the world, home furnishings aren't being seen so much as luxury items anymore as they are necessities for comfortable living.

For artists who have steered their creativity down the road to the home furnishings market, it can be a challenging ride. But for five of these artists, who create everything from pillows to rugs to quilts, window dressings, table runners, and upholstery, it has also been too thrilling to forgo. For these artists-Dale Gottlieb, Nicole Chazaud Telaar, Laura Trisiano, Barbara Webster, and Gay Ellis-the road has led them to many different places and processes and through many similar challenges in finding a market while retaining a creative edge. Finding out what drives these artists to create and sell work for the home is a journey in itself.

- To read the full text of this article, see our current issue. -

Nicole Chauzaud Telaar's 2002 fabric line, shown in the Russet color family. Chazaud Telaar criss-crosses three to four layers of hand-dyed wool, creating a pattern with the top layer of fibers. The 3- by 4-foot "pile" is wetted with hot soapy water, pressed in a felting press for half an hour, rolled up in a straw mat and rolled by hand for half an hour, rinsed and fulled, stretched, dried, and pressed with an iron.


Decorative pillows by Laura Trisiano. Photo: Joe Tracey.


Tread Softly, 10 by 8 feet. Rug designed by Dale Gottlieb and hand knotted in Nepal from hand-spun, hand-dyed wool. The quote is from William Butler Yeats' poem He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven.


Barbara Webster uses digital photos to design quilts on the computer. Components of the design are loaded into TIFF files, which are printed on fabric by an outside company. Webster then cuts apart the printed components and machine pieces them to match her original design. Machine quilting is done by Rachel Reese. Blue Ridge Parkway--Spring, 2001; 50.75 by 51.75 inches. This quilt uses Evening Star, Delectable Mountains, and Log Cabin blocks in its design. Photos by the artist.


Samii Home (Gay Ellis, designer), Lotus Series, 2000. Blanket, hand-cut felt appliqué on wool; 40 by 60 inches. Pillows, felt appliqué on felt or velveteen. Photos: Jenks Studio.

Noelle Backer is a freelance writer on art, craft, and small business. She is the former editor of The Crafts Report magazine.

This article first appeared in:

Nov/Dec 2002

This issue is SOLD OUT.

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