MY STORY As a youngster I learned to hand quilt and to embroider, and I amused myself with knitting and freeform needlepoint. Years of play with fabric, yarn and thread inform my quirky, whimsical carvings and drawings and my organic forms. I hand-build sculpture and pottery using coils and slabs. The process is more time consuming than throwing on the wheel, but I prefer it. My connection to each piece – my emotional investment – builds as the work takes shape. My functional work celebrates the region’s farm-to-table sensibility; here are platters and pedestals for celebratory meals, for local produce at a weekday dinner, for the ever-present desserts!
a little backstory: My paternal grandfather was a master tailor; his wife was an extraordinary dressmaker. I still have her button box, and the buttons regularly appear in my work as sprigging. My maternal grandmother supported her family as a milliner during the Great Depression, and sewed exquisite, ornate dresses for my mother. l frequently alter my work with darts – a dressmaker’s technique – and with marks echoing stitches and seams.
That is my legacy. -E.R.
Elizabeth Ruskin is a resident artist at RWS Art Studios in Portland, Maine. Her work may be seen in the Permanent Collection of the Maine Jewish Museum, and is held in private collections nationally. “Cake Stands: Not Just for Cakes Anymore!”, by Elizabeth Ruskin, is the Feature Article in Pottery Making Illustrated Magazine (Jul/Aug 2022). Elizabeth’s work is featured in Critters: Mythical, Real & Imagined (2021), and in Rebecca Atwood’s book Livable Pattern (Random House 2016).