Fiber artist Mary Ward is a life-long Washington County,
New York resident. Born Mary Randles, she grew up on a dairy farm
in Argyle, New York. She now resides in Whitehall, New York, in a
unique and secluded home built by her husband, Tim Ward.
Fabric is the medium in which Mary chooses to express
herself. Her goal with her work is to make a statement or to
communicate a story to the viewer. She gets a great deal of
pleasure when others can identify with one of her pieces. She has
been sewing all of her life and made most of her own clothing in her
youth. The local 4-H club and home economics classes taught her
the basics of sewing.
In the early 1980s her long time admiration of quilts
turned to action as she began learning quilting from friends. Soon
Mary began taking as many quilting workshops as time would allow.
She attempts to fit sewing into her life every day and admits to feeling
uneasy if much time passes without being able to work with fabric.
The process of creating with fabric gives her feelings of control,
calmness, achievement, and satisfaction. Almost anything may
provide inspiration for a project. The fabrics themselves are a
great source of inspiration. She also credits interaction with
other people, walks in nature, and current events with providing
the spark to embark on a new work. Her projects usually begin with
a sketch. Her next step is the finding and pulling together of
various fabrics, which she believes will suit the design. Her
biggest challenge remains choosing the color palette for each project.
She normally struggles with this, and her palette and the type of
fabrics continue to shift. Words that she uses to describe fabric
include: colorful, textured, flexible, and forgiving. The
qualities inherent in cloth are warm and comforting to her. She
finds sewing relaxing and healing. The idea that her work and the
story it may hold can last and be seen for years to come is important
and satisfying to here. To Mary, fiber art helps make a house feel
like a home.
Mary has successfully completed many custom pieces and
is happy to discuss your ideas.
Mary Ward may be reached on Mondays between 10 am and 4
pm at 518-639-8806.