by Sandra Bruce
I met Robin Martinez Rice around 18 years ago, when she and I were both members of a creative group called “Friends to Dye For”. We met every month for close to 10 years. (You may recall seeing her in my last blog about Las Vegas, as she was one of the ladies who accompanied me on that trip in January.) During our time in FTDF we experimented with many artistic disciplines, including but certainly not limited to: dyeing fabric, polymer clay, paper collage, workshops with fabulous teachers such as Jane Dunnewold and Marcy Tilton, and many other sometimes crazy but always entertaining mediums. I wanted to focus on Robin today because she took my workshop, actually the very first one I taught, doing a self-portrait Material Matrix quilt……it is fabulous, like she is, and I wanted to share it with you. That’s her in the green apron below. Obviously a dyeing day!
Let me give you a little background on Robin. She is a native Californian, born and raised in Oakland, CA and Castro Valley. She graduated from Mills College with a BS in Psychology, and Cal State Hayward with a MS in School Psychology/Counseling. Keeping her busy, Robin worked in her private practice and for local school districts as an Educational Psychologist and Marriage Family Therapist for thirty years. She then happily retired to write Fiction. Her husband, Dan Rice, is a veterinarian in Auburn and they have two grown children: Liz, who works for Cliff Consulting and Vic, who works at the Johnson Space Center as a TOPO.
I asked Robin how she got into quilting, and this is her story:
And here’s a picture of Robin with one of her creations after a FTDF get-together, very fun!
Now, back to Material Matrix. Robin took the very first class I taught, and began a self-portrait quilt that is as big as mine, 80″ by 80″.
She began with the eyes during the workshop so as to work on a tough part and get the technique down. Here’s her photo, and a couple of “eye” shots. The glasses really add a nice dimension to the image!As the year went by and I visited Robin I was always glad to see her progress.
When the top was finished she had me do the quilting on my long-arm, which of course was a joy for me! Like mine, she made a list of her family members’ names and a list of her favorite things which I quilted into the background, making it truly a self-portrait, although she refers to it as her “Ego Quilt”.
I want to give you information so that you can go see more about Robin, and perhaps buy one of her books. She writes beautiful, fictional accounts based on stories passed down about her family in New Mexico, the land of her fore bearers. Her latest, just out on the newsstands, is called “Hidden Within the Stones” and is about members of a Spanish Brotherhood of Secret Jews in New Mexico, and is filled with history and magic!
Her website and Facebook page: