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

Across the Ages

Across the Ages5x7   Photo by Jay Ressler

A small child, photographed by the SS as he arrived in Auschwitz. Like all children, he would have been taken directly to the gas chambers. He spoke to me across the ages. The glasses are from a pile of thousands, stolen from Jewish prisoners.

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.

What Will the Newspaper Say, On New Year's Day

What Will the Newspaper Say, On New Year's Day20 x 16   Photo by Jay Ressler

I was thinking of the song by U2 when I picked up my neighbors newspaper on January 1. Under a blood red sky. A crowd has gathered in black and white. It was the coldest January first in one hundred years.

East and West Cobbled Together

East and West Cobbled Together5x7   Photo by Jay Ressler

From an image painted on the wall that once divided East and West Berlin. Berlin was one city, then divided by the wall into two. Then the wall was torn down, and it is one again. Cut apart and stitched together, like my little quilts.