Thursday, February 23, 2017

Designer Spotlight on Marie Cole


     Here's Marie in one of her lucky moments... fishing in Alaska

Marie Cole is one of the designers at Henry Glass fabrics.  You may know some of her fabric collections such as 'Sending My Love', 'Heartstrings', 'Miss Kitty', 'Monkey Mischief' and 'Spot's Perfect Day.'  Her latest collection is 'Good Sports.'

We had a quick chat with Marie for this Designer Spotlight series, and let's just preface this interview with the statement;  Marie is living a lucky life.

She is and has always been a Utah girl, living in a rural town just west of Spanish Fork, about an hour south of Salt Lake City.  She loves living near the mountains of Utah and when I asked her which mountain she was near, she said, "Oh, there's lots of them."  Sure enough, a quick look at the map and there is a whole host of mountains in Utah, all part of the Wasatch Mountain Range that runs from Idaho to southern Utah.  She and her family love spending time at their property on Mount Loafer, only 30 minutes from their house!
Home Sweet Home

From the time she was a little girl, Marie always loved to draw and create.  Her mother always made sure she had lots of supplies and allowed her to "make a mess!" As a young woman, Marie was introduced to tole painting.  She loved the folk art style of JoSonja Jansen, who's definition of a folk artist is: "One who finds sheer joy in painting simple straight forward decorations in rich and beautiful colors."

Marie took classes, read books, studied her style, and after a season, began teaching tole painting in a little shop in Spanish Fork.  As Marie's luck would have it, this little shop was bought out by Provo Craft and Marie became part of their design team.  At the time, Provo Craft created painting books, scrapbooking supplies and creative projects.  The Cricut die-cut machine was developed at this time and Marie got to work on cartridges for that product launch as well.

Marie left the company in 2004 after 10 years, a lot of projects, and contacts in the creative fields.  One of those people she worked with at Provo Craft had become a fabric designer and this is what perked Marie's interest.  She got a few design books, and started designing fabric.

View out of Marie's studio to Mt. Flonette

Baby dish collection

One other piece of luck for Marie was her training while at Provo Craft.  "I was very lucky, because the move from art on the board to doing artwork on the computer occurred while I was at the company, and they trained the design team in Photoshop and Illustrator on new computers."

Today she still enjoys creating designs on the board first using watercolors.  Her favorite medium is the vibrant color of Dr. PH Martin watercolors.  She then scans the designs into the computer and finishes the creative process on the computer.  

Marie says, "Using this process, it feels more like my hand is in the design, versus just simply designing it all on the computer."

A few years ago, she had sent some designs off to Henry Glass, and never heard anything.  Then one day, as luck would have it, one of the lead designers, Karen, called Marie up and said, "I was cleaning out a file and found some designs you had sent in, and wanted to know if you are ready to produce them into fabric?"  Marie was ready!

And that was the beginning of a great relationship with Henry Glass.

Marie calls her style 'whimsical', leaning more toward children's illustration.  "I grew up on Disney movies, and love and collect children's books," Marie says.  "Just like my mom, I always enjoyed noticing 'cute' things.  I love things that make me happy just by looking at them."

The youngest grandson

These days, life as a fabric designer is only part of the equation for Marie.  She is busy with her family, which includes four grown children and four grandsons who all live in the area. She loves spending time with all of them and they come home for family dinner every Sunday.  This is truly the lucky life.

Twin grandsons and older brother

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