Martha E. Ressler

15 Rocktown Road
Hamburg, PA


Artist Information for Martha E. Ressler

My art quilts -- which sometimes include found objects and papers along with fabrics -- often echo my feeling that, "Here is this place where I walked and breathed and absorbed the atmosphere. Here are some artifacts from other people who share my time on earth." When I lived in the city my landscapes were representative of the old industrial neighborhood where I lived and had my studio. Since I've moved to the country, they tend toward the rolling fields and worn down mountains of my new home.

My sense of time and place come through in my passion for the colors and textures of fabrics. The ability to bring fragments of them together into award-winning art is actually a thread that goes back many years. I learned to sew at the age of 13. By high school, I was making all of my own clothing, including my prom dress and Easter coat. Later, I was drawn to art, and began painting plein air and industrial subjects. It wasn't long until my painterly pursuits intertwined with my love for fabric.

I usually work with raw edge applique, but occasionally use innovative piecing techniques. And almost always I include found objects. I see them as a sort of archaeological time stamp. They have passed through human hands, been discarded, and yet have visual interest to me.

Images scroll down to view all


Haven?21.5 x 19.5"   Photo by Jay Ressler

This piece was inspired by "House, Eliza Furnace and Skyline," a photo by Mark Perrott. I wanted to capture the feeling that for a worker in a steel factory, home is a bare respite from the demands of the work. And downtown glamour is as distant as Oz.

Uncanned Heat

Uncanned Heat18 x 20"   Photo by Jay Ressler

This is a fantasy image of molten steel being poured. Normally it is tapped into something, but I wanted to show it flowing freely, from the past into the future. The background shapes borrow from various factories in Pittsburgh. I used fused plastic bags for some of the hot metal. Raw edge applique, hand and machine quilting.

Stone House in the Valley

Stone House in the Valley22 x 29"   Photo by Jay Ressler

I always notice this spot when we visit our cousins in Albany Township, PA. I carried it out in monochrome colors except for the tree. Raw edge applique and machine quilting.

Spilled Red

Spilled Red23 x 23.5"   Photo by Jay Ressler

The autumn sun was hitting this tree and its fallen leaves, turning them fiery red. I removed a house, extended the corn field and created the background in black and white, using papers and fabrics. Hand quilting, with a bit of machine work. Raw edge applique, with Angelina fibers for the tree.

Across the Meadow

Across the Meadow27.25 x 36"   Photo by Jay Ressler

The view from my cousins house never fails to hold my attention, and relax me at the same time. It is the shapes of the fields, the road leading through them, and the mountain ridge called the Pinnacle. Raw edge applique, hand and machine quilting, with papers, yarn, fabric and buttons.