PENINSULA PROFILE: He stitches works of art from scraps of cloth piece by piece
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Mark Glover creates quilts without rules, such as this one titled “Too Many Notes.” —Photo by Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

MARK GLOVER'S “RHAPSODY in Black” quilt is on display, alongside the work of other local artists, at the Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St. The library is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 to 5 Saturday.

Also featured is the “DIY Art Show,” starring artists who take a do-it-yourself approach. Dolls, carvings, hand-spun yarn, papier-mache masks, wire art, painted shirts and art with repurposed objects by Pamela Hastings, Al Trask, Mary Marsh, Diane Williams, Jane Brackney and Brian Slack are part of the show, up through Jan. 8.

For more on the North Olympic Library System and its activities, see www.NOLS.org or phone 360-417-8500.

Peninsula Daily News
SEQUIM — Ah, you're the one.

That's the reaction, at times, to quiltmaker Mark Glover.

There are other male quilters out there, sure.

But it's safe to say Glover's gender is outnumbered around here, where the Sunbonnet Sue and Cabin Fever quilt clubs are mostly composed of women.

Something else he's heard from those who behold one of his unconventional works: “Hmm. I wouldn't have done that.”

Glover isn't bothered. He exhibits his big quilts at the local library, the county fair and at major shows and competitions around the country.

He believes, mind you, that there is something readily identifiable as a “guy quilt.” An example hangs now at the Port Angeles Library.

“Rhapsody in Black,” one of his latest efforts, is classic Glover: dark colors, unexpected combinations, tiny pictures.

Black has been considered a “lifeless color,” Glover writes.

“I never signed up to that school of thought, and made this quilt to show just how fun the color can be.”

The man follows his muse, creating quilts that are more flights of fancy than bed covering.

Glover learned the basics of quilting from his mother, Martha Scott, a member of the Sequim-based Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Club.

“My mom has helped me immeasurably,” he writes in his artist's statement posted at the library.

Glover embarked on this stitching adventure eight years ago when he moved to Sequim from the San Francisco Bay Area, where he was a technical illustrator.

He worked for Silicon Valley companies such as Sun Microsystems and Xerox, on “those manuals no one looks at.”

Born in Hayward, Glover moved around as a kid, among Bay Area cities including Newark, Fremont and Milpitas.

He studied art at San Jose State University, and traveled to Antibes in the south of France to immerse himself further.

Today, Glover engages in one of the most traditional arts there is. Or is it a craft?

It's both, Glover says. Glover stitches to his own drummer, rescuing humble pieces of cotton cloth and assembling them into his own patterns. Take “Oasis,” previously on display at the library.

“The idea, when I started piecing it together in my head, was a pond or watering hole,” he writes in the description.

The result is lots of blues and greens surrounded by a dark, earthen brown.

“Oasis” won a first-place ribbon at the Clallam County Fair in 2009 and appeared in a show in California, Glover adds.

Then there's “Too Many Notes,” a riot of color whose title was inspired by the 1984 movie “Amadeus.” In it, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is told his music has “too many notes.”

This quotation has survived the centuries since Mozart composed “The Abduction from the Seraglio,” an opera music historians say inspired Emperor Joseph II of Austria to complain: ''Too beautiful for our ears, my dear Mozart, and monstrous many notes.''

“In my case, the 'notes' are the colors and fabrics,” Glover writes of his quilt.

“They just seem to work together despite the hundreds of variations.”

“Too Many Notes” also shows Glover's penchant for recycling, as “each and every piece was saved from other quilters' discards.”

One piece bears a picture of Betty Boop — a minute image in a sea of fabric that evokes a Jackson Pollock painting.

“The Purple Door,” a 2012 quilt that won Glover another blue ribbon at the Clallam County Fair, has a portal at its center.

Glover sewed in many paths to this door, with his favorite fabric scraps leading the way.

These pieces “seemed to fit perfectly,” he writes.

Yet another blue ribbon winner, the “Starry, Starry Night” quilt, is inspired by “all the unusual and fleeting dream images that speckle everyday dreams,” Glover notes. It grew from another mountain of fabric scraps, which the artist hand-picked and positioned into darker frames.

Margaret Jakubcin, assistant director of the North Olympic Library System, has worked with Glover on the display of his quilts. She admires how Glover works a conceptual story into each one.

She also appreciates Glover's unfussy attitude toward display of his art.

“He makes a new quilt, enters it in a show or two and then loans it to the library until he has another one ready,” says Jakubcin, adding that if a quilt sells, Glover donates 10 percent of proceeds to the library. Most are priced at $1,500.

Start to finish, a Glover quilt can take eight months to a year. His current creation is in shades of gold; he also found a variety of prints with circles and a piece depicting a small Buddha.

Quilting is “relaxing, like a meditation,” Glover says. It pulls him away from work at the computer screen where he is an eBay seller.

Just as he seeks and finds castoff cottons, Glover resells merchandise on the Internet. A flea market enthusiast since high school, he now makes a living via the online marketplace.

“You've got to have an eye for it,” he says, adding that his favorite show when he was a young boy was “The Price Is Right.”

This work allows Glover flexibility as he raises his daughter Sage, 8. She's a third-grader at Queens of Angels Catholic School in Port Angeles — and the youngest member of the Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Club.

While his quilts may not be so reminiscent of the old days, Glover's household hearkens back to a bygone time. His is a multi-generational home: Sage, her father and her grandparents, Martha and Don Scott, are all together.

When asked what advice he might give a beginning quilter, Glover advocated the choosing of colors for their own sake. Select hues you like, he advises, and don't worry about following a set pattern.

Most important, “just do it for fun.”

Glover practices this. Quilting for art's sake, he continues to revel in the process of turning a lot of discarded pieces into a queen- or king-size whole.

Last modified: December 21. 2013 8:46PM
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