ABOUT: Christin Ripley Studio employs traditional craft techniques & the centuries old artistry of Turkish Ebru marbling to create hand-marbled textiles, sewn into comfort objects reimagining the traditional pillow into playful form. All line items are made start to finish: in our Hudson Valley design studio since 2014.
I first started marbling textiles when I moved my studio to Catskill in 2014, but the inspiration laid foundation in childhood. My mom grew up in the Florida Keys and as a child she introduced me to Key West Hand Print — a small textile print shop that started in the 1960s. I was so inspired by KWHP silkscreened textiles and business model that it planted the seeds in my head for what I’m doing now. Key West Hand Print even produced Lilly Pulitzer’s early patterned dresses during her family’s juice stand days; I just thought that was so cool that a small family run business used traditional printmaking techniques to produce such a beautiful line of large-scale textiles. The sun-bleached palettes, tropical plant life, saltwater, sand, mermaids & freshwater springs I grew up with on the Gulf Coast of Florida are also a huge inspiration to the palette & essence of my work.
It is thought that marbling was discovered by accident in China, but the first record of marbling is from 12th Century Japan “ink floating” or Suminagashi used by Shinto priests to write prayers & later becoming popular with the royal court. It wasn’t until the 16th Century that new variations of marbling spread westward in Turkey & Persia, during the Ottoman Empire called Ebru or “cloud art” by thickening the water to float heavier oil and gouache paints. In the 17th century the art of marbling was practiced in other parts of Europe including England, Holland, Germany, France & Italy.
Ripley’s process is based in the Turkish Ebru tradition, but instead of using the plant-based gum Tragacanth to thicken the water, Carrageenan is used to float high quality acrylic pigment. Carrageenan is derived from Irish Moss seaweed grown on the coast of Maine & Oregon. Each print of fabric is a unique monoprint, and although possible to replicate color-ways, impossible to identically mimic one yard to the next.
What’s unique about Ripley’s practice is the use heavier weight fabric for upholstery & large scale of the marbled prints. Each print or piece of marbled fabric measures 60” wide x 2-4yards long. Printing in segments for a total of 60-90 yards each run. The vat holds 37-40 gallons of liquid carrageenan.
ABOUT THE LINE: REST is a collection of comfort objects pushing the standard square & circular shapes of pillow construction. Line items are named after components of classical Greek architecture implying, they should be piled into a pillow fort to make it seem as if you’re in the midst of the rubble of an ancient ruin like the Acropolis or Parthenon. Marbled prints reflect a light, bright, sun-washed color pallet reflecting the colorways from Impressionist & Mannerist painting. All fabrics are hand-printed using the highest quality acrylic pigment on a medium-weight canvas, color-fast and safe for washing. Most have zippers & removable inserts. Pillows, cushions and beanbags are stuffed with a variety of materials including: WOOL, foam/dacron, polyfil, or Styrofoam bean bag pellets.