After years of participation, popular fiber decorative artist Natalia Margulis is still amazed by the American Craft Exposition’s (ACE) capability to continually help her build relationships with lifelong collectors.
Of those relationships, one collector she met ten years ago at ACE still attends to add to her embroidered picture collection each year. In August of 2012, this particular collector approached Margulis about creating a custom picture of her wedding ceremony. The wedding was to be held at the English Walled Garden in the Chicago Botanic Garden. Margulis was ecstatic – not only because she was a loyal collector, but because the Chicago Botanic Garden is a beautiful place that Margulis has always found artistically inspiring.
Over the years, Margulis had taken many pictures of the Garden trying to capture the beauty of the world symbolized in the enchantment of the space and she was excited to create this custom piece with her fabrics. Known for her softness, vulnerability and deep sense of belonging to the organic world, Margulis couldn’t wait to bring this picture at the Garden to life.
Margulis wanted to breathe life into her commissioned piece and was happy to not be bound by any particular demands of interpreting the Garden’s inspiring space. After collecting and understanding the couple’s interests and style for the big day, she started her artistic process of making a few small sketches, finishing with a large watercolor the size of the future embroidery.
The interwoven picture is striking with many different colors and threads; including cotton, silk, wool and polyester. In total, the piece took Margulis two years to finish and was truly a labor of love as she was creating “a piece of love” for her client.
Margulis’ well-known personal connection with her clients helped keep her relationship with the couple intact as she sent them updated photos throughout the creative process. It was not until one week before last year’s ACE that she finally shared the completed piece with them. Margulis had overwhelming feelings of nostalgia and joy upon handing over the project to the happy couple and says she will never forget the 2014 ACE show because of it.
“I was giving ‘my baby’ away, but I knew it was going to be in very good hands,” said Margulis. “After reading the letter the couple sent me about their love for the piece, I felt satisfied that my work could make somebody feel such joy. I spent so much time with the picture that I miss it now, but it is in the right place and I am invited to see it when I come back to Chicago this fall for ACE.”
ACE is excited to have artist Natalia Margulis return to the Show this year. She is a national and international exhibited fiber artist who was born in Russia and graduated from Saint Petersburg University. Since 1993 she has worked in the U.S. and participated in the most prestigious art and craft shows, gaining many recognitions and awards. For more information on her work, visit: http://www.nataliamargulis.com.