Claire Maziarczyk’s Pastepaper Quilts exhibit

As I mentioned in this post, I recently took a trip to Claire Maziarczyk’s studio in Niskayuna, NY. I also promised to post about her exhibit Pastepaper Quilts at the Robert and Dorothy Ludwig Schenectady Jewish Community Center.

This is what Claire had to say about her work, as written in a handout she provided to gallery visitors:

Many of the images in this show are a compilation of many years of creating one-of-a-kind sheets of paper. Many of the patterns included in this show were produced at the end of the work day, or the end of the run of color during a typical day of production… Some are simple experiments others are an attempted to recreate the feeling of those 16th century bookbinders. All of these papers are combined with a love of quilt patterns, an interest in Feng shui, Polish paper cut outs and the Shaker belief that humans are not perfect.

I can really identify with that last part.

Paste paper quilts by Claire Maziarczyk

Paste paper quilts by Claire Maziarczyk

Paste paper quilts by Claire Maziarczyk

Paste paper quilts by Claire Maziarczyk

This last piece was so interesting. The design was based on principles of Feng Shui and the concept of Bagua. Here are some details from her handout:

This piece is made up of nine, fourteen inch squares representing the Chinese secrets of Feng Shui. Each piece in the nine square grid represents the colors, shapes, and elements of the feng shui system. While the overall shape of the bagua is eight-sided, it is divided in a way that creates nine pieces. The center is a square which represents health. The five elements represented are fire, metal, water, wood, and earth. Each element is associated with a basic shape.

Paste paper quilts by Claire Maziarczyk

Claire’s color and pattern choices reflected these two concepts and offered some fascinating connections between personality and natural elements.

Here’s a breakdown of the qualities associated with each square:

Top, left to right:

  1. Prosperity: Colors – purple, green, gold, and red
  2. Fame: Color – red; Element – fire; Shape – triangle
  3. Love and Relationships: Colors – pink, red, and white

Middle, left to right:

  1. Family: Color – green; Element – wood; Shape – rectangle or columns
  2. Health: Colors – yellow and earth tones; Element – earth; Shape – square
  3. Creativity and Children: Color – white; Element – metal; Shape – round

Bottom, left to right:

  1. Skills and Knowledge: Colors – blue, black, and green
  2. Career/Life Path: Color – black; Element – water; Shape – free-form
  3. Helpful People/Travel: Colors – grey, black, and white

I was particularly drawn to the last square in the middle row – “Creativity and Children”. It seems so appropriate that both of these ideas would be represented by white (purity, innocence) and a round shape (no edges, no beginning or end).

I appreciate that Claire took an effort to detail the influences of her work.

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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