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The Cookbook Print Quilt (Toasted Cheese Sandwich)

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Susan Shie

American, Born 1950

The Cookbook Print Quilt (Toasted Cheese Sandwich) 1999-
Master printer - Maryanne Ellison Simmons
100% Polyester
74"h x 45.5"w
Ed. 16 (Individually titled)
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Susan Shie is among the most celebrated names of American artists participating in the Art Quilt movement. A recipient of multiple NEA grants and awards, Shie’s work is held in numerous museums as well as in corporate and private collections throughout the world. Known for her large painted, stitched, and embellished surfaces, each of Shie’s works represents a diary of her life. Throughout the surface of each work, mingling with the embellishment and stitches, runs a stream of consciousness text that serves as both memory and mark.

Shie’s project at Island Press began in fall 1999 when she arrived for a week of plate making and proofing assisted by a host of students. The project ultimately consisted of an edition of sixteen quilts, which took nearly five years to produce. Each piece in the edition was separately titled as each contained a different ‘recipe.’ Text for each quilt was added by the artist once they were ready for stitching and beading.

The initial work on the edition, consisting of twenty-one collagraph plates printed on polyester fabric and then hand painted, was completed at master printer Maryanne Ellison Simmons’ Washington Avenue studio in early 2002. In June 2002, the whole project then moved to Shie’s Wooster, Ohio studio where the stitching and embellishing of the first quilt in the edition was completed by Simmons, Amanda Verbeck (BFA 2001), and Roxanne Phillips (MFA 2003) under the careful guidance and assistance of the artist. The project was then in place for completion after Simmons’ departure from Island Press in July 2002.

Appropriately, three former Washington University students and Island Press assistants to Simmons completed the stitching and beading on the remaining quilts in the edition over the next two years; Amanda Verbeck (BFA 2001), Roxanne Phillips (MFA 2003) and Jessie Van der Laan (BFA 2002). The magnitude of the project was perhaps best summarized by Shie, who wrote on the first quilt, The Cookbook Print Quilt #1: Toasted Cheese Sandwich:

"Just to make one quilt takes forever, oh, unless you’re Maryanne Simmons & her pack of wild & wooly Workaholic Printmakers. I think it’s a cult."

Maryanne Ellison Simmons, Master Printer, Island Press (1996-2002) and Wildwood Press, ed. Monica Friel, Island Press Project Coordinator.