From the Idaho Mountain Express by Julie Bramowitz
With its soaring, steepled ceiling and streams of late-afternoon sunlight casting shadows on the floor, weaver Stefanie Dash Marvel’s Hailey studio possesses the tranquil sanctity of a chapel. A Swedish-manufactured Glimåkra loom occupies one corner of the space, its intricate anatomy of wheels and bars as awe-inspiring as a church organ. And Marvel, soft-spoken and barefoot as she tiptoes through her second-story aerie, has the quiet grace of an ecclesiastic when she sits down to work on a Navajo-style tapestry.
Marvel’s solemnity when speaking about her craft belies a sly sense of humor and a colorful life that began as the daughter of two freethinking artists. Her father was a painter and arts educator; her mother, a fashion designer and set designer for Off-Broadway theater. In college, Marvel took a class at the Art Institute of Chicago, which led her to the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, where she mastered her minimalist, nature-inspired style. Forty-five years ago, she taught workshops in Stanley and later opened a storefront in the valley.
Working on the Glimåkra, Marvel uses her fingers and a metal fork to thread wool or linen—the warp—through the supporting strings, or weft. In recent years, Marvel has begun to paint acrylic designs on her tapestries; the papers she lays underneath capture the excess paint, which forms abstract patterns, around which she draws minute geometries with a metallic pen.
What drew Marvel to weaving, she said, is that she likes “the building of color into a structure.” She’s especially enamored with textiles’ interplay with light and movement. “When there’s a breeze,” she said, “the pieces have a different kind of life to them.”
Read the rest of the Idaho Mountain Express artists article,
Visit StefanieDashMarvel.com to learn more about Stefanie, and
Go to the Wood River Valley Studio Tour this weekend!
What: Third annual Wood River Valley Studio Tour
When: Saturday, Aug. 22, to Sunday, Aug. 23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Locations throughout the Wood River Valley
For a detailed map of artists’ studios, go to wrvstudiotour.org.