Chadwick installation

February 25th, 2014

I’m eternally grateful to Susan Pearlstine for commissioning me to create a work of art which hides her big screen TV. This site-specific piece is the first time that I’ve made my art move, thanks to Brent Havens. The main panel on the left, which covers the screen, is a combination of an aerial view and an on-location shoot from the ground. The trees feel like they’re in a mysterious creek and the Spanish moss gives the batik an atmospheric texture. Two side-by-side verticals are stationary on the right and show a satellite image of Chadwick Road, Charleston. Once the square panel moves behind the two verticals, it makes a whole new work of art. Thanks to Lauren Sanchez, Mark Sloan and Reggie Gibson for helping me with the process of design.

Mapping the Planets in Silk and Sound at Newark Gateway

January 30th, 2014

Nicky Jones is my new assistant who went with me, silks loaded in the van, in frightfully cold weather to New Jersey in mid-January 2014. My outer space show, Mapping the Planets in Silk and Sound, was installed at “All That Glitters…” with music by Mark Mercury.
This collaboration came about because of my daughter Sarah Fraser who performed at the opening under the tent-like silk structure. Open through March 20, 2014 at Newark Gateway, NJ.

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Upcoming workshop in Tallahassee, Florida still has openings

August 6th, 2013

My recent class “Mapping Your Personal Landscape Two-Day Batik Workshop” at the Textile Museum in Washington DC was a success. There are still openings for the SPIN workshop in Florida this weekend.

SPIN (SILK PAINTERS INTERNATIONAL), TALLAHASSEE, FL—August 9-11, LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts. Instructors include Mary Edna Fraser, Jan Janas, Diane Tuckman, Diane Lawrence, Deborah Younglao, Suzanne Punch and Marcia Ferris. See festival website to register for the master classes.

Mary Edna Fraser

CATEGORIES: Educational, News, Process |

“Ethereal Edges” and “Nine Ways to Cross a River” at the Citadel during Piccolo Spoleto

May 14th, 2013

Mary Edna Fraser presents her batiks on silk and didactic process photographs at The Citadel’s Daniel Library, opening May 30, 5:30-7:30pm. Admission is free. She brought together songwriter Dana Downs and author Akiko Busch for a musical performance, reading, and projection of art on May 31 and June 1, 7pm, at The Citadel’s Bond Hall. Tickets are $20; seniors $15. Buy your tickets here:

El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa

November 2nd, 2012

After seeing the exhibition “El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa” (pictured below) at the Denver Art Museum and many works by the great colorist Van Gogh, my artistic cup is filled to the brim. A full day of art and it snowed here too but the leaves are on the trees in full autumn colors.

CATEGORIES: News, Process |

Monterey Canyon, new 22″ print ready for Christmas

December 2nd, 2011

Any of our  batik images can be ordered as 22″ or 6″ prints, and we still have time to process new orders for giclées that have never been made before Christmas.  We just got an order for Monterey Canyon and were able to scan the 4″ x 5″ postive film transparency (state of the art documentation before digital) to create 22″ tall prints.  Thank you to everyone (especially Tim, color corrector extraordinaire) at Rick Rhodes Photography & Imaging.   We have lots of 22″ and 6″ framed or matted giclées in stock and ready to go for last-minute Christmas orders too.  We have cards, magnets, and other moderately priced items available as well.  Give Mary Edna a call (762-2594) or send an e-mail ([email protected]) if you’d like to stop by the studio.

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CATEGORIES: Art Work, Batiks, News, Process |

Batik in Indonesia

October 11th, 2011

Here is a very interesting video about Indonesian batik from the UNESCO website.  I traveled to Jakarta and Bali in 1996 for the Dutch consulate.  I have an incredible collection of antique batiks on cotton that I bought in a market.

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CATEGORIES: Process, Videos |

Flying to Amelia Island

August 2nd, 2011

My dear brother Burke brought the family Ercoupe down to Charleston.  On Friday, we flew from Johns Island Airport to Amelia Island (GA) to shoot for a commission.  I took over 1,000 photographs on this flight.  The trip was so exciting and I shot every barrier island on the way.  What made it special was that when I began my career with © Island From the Sky, this was the exact same path we flew in the 70’s.  Now I’m using digital and Burke and I are a well-oiled team.  Chase Cribb, my intern from the Art Institute of Charleston, got a chance to fly too and took these beautiful photographs of me and Burke with the Ercoupe and the view of my home on James Island Creek. 

Waxing and dyeing the full moon with Dana’s Howling

February 1st, 2011

Dana Downs’ The Howling Moon is a favorite at the Fraser studio–always an album that beacons a repeat.  Mary Edna completes the final waxing and dyeing of her moonscape reflected on water while listening to Dana’s unreleased southern folk opera.  We can’t help but sing along as Dana’s sweet somber tone fills us with the kind of joy only found on a stormy day.

A final waxing to make the flowers float

January 27th, 2011

To achieve the feeling of floating on water, Mary Edna needs to capture the ripples created in the movement of water.  Horizontal lines across the work will save streaks of the lighter gray and a darker background will be added during the final dye bath.

Mary Edna carefully holds her natural fiber brush at a precise angle to achieve a desired width and quality of line.  Many of her brushes are so old that she has had to cut the bristles to create a point on them again.

Working steadily with the brush, Mary Edna moves quickly with the hot wax, but slowly enough to control the medium.  She often braces her body, putting all of her focus on a single movement of the brush.

The hot wax must be placed close to the batik in progress, but far enough away to avoid splatters and drips.

Seen from the bottom, the waxed colors are luminous, appearing closer to how they will look on the finished work when the wax is removed.

Mary Edna finishes dyeing this work with a final bath of dark, moonlit water.  The center of the pink flowers are differentiated with a lemon yellow.

The fine detail of this work and its variation of color within a selected palette will be clear once the wax is removed.