Artist Statement & Process
Step On It Floor Mats—unique hand-painted floor cloths, table accessories, and wall hangings—was born out of my love of design, function, and whimsy. While I have been a studio potter, dental hygienist, adjunct college professor, and ESOL teacher, creating floor cloths is what I truly love.
The sea is a big source of inspiration for my designs. I grew up on the Long Island Sound and am drawn to creating colorful, vibrant tropical fish, ocean waves, and clouds. I studied design at Buffalo State University in the 1970s and am inspired by the play of color contrasts and the repeating designs and motifs of the Pre-Columbian Americas, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and fiber and pottery designs of Sub-Saharan Africa. I spent my coming of age years living in New Mexico where the sky is big and desert colors pop out of the landscape.
My mats invite the viewer/user to suspend realism and let playfulness take over. Many of the mats feature a center window design allowing the images to pop. I’m looking to create a mood, be it contemplative or bold. Fabric collage on the canvas, whether abstract shapes or mountains, create depth and personality. These mats are fun to create and bring excitement to any space in the home. They are hypoallergenic, durable and easy to clean. Floor mats are the ultimate marriage of function and beauty.
Thank you for your interest in my work!
HISTORY OF FLOOR CLOTHS
The art of making floor cloths has been around since the Renaissance, beginning in France or England. People began covering portions of their stone or plank floors with sturdy cloth, often sail cloth, to protect them from footprints. Later, people began embellishing the utilitarian cloths with colorful patterns. By the 18th century, floor cloths routinely covered floors in Europe and the American colonies. Artists depicted them in numerous woodcuts and paintings of the times. These designs often used large geometric patterns.
I use high-quality artist canvas ordered in large rolls. First the canvas is measured, cut, soaked in a hot bath, then dried and pressed. The hem is created with mitered corners and glued down. The mat then gets treated with an anti-mildew primer and two coats of water-based acrylic paint. The patterns are either painted on free hand or rolled against my own stencils and stamps made from foam and scrap wood. Stamps are used for repeating patterns such as borders or schools of fish. I treat fabrics with decoupage medium to stiffen them to allow sharp-edge cutting. These are then glued to create collages over the painted surface. When the designs are complete the mats are coated with four layers of a marine based urethane. Each mat gets seven layers of paint.