Margaret Dorfman Vegetable Parchments / by Janice Christensen-Heller

Come see our collection of Margaret Dorfman sculptures!

Here is her lovely artist statement:

I have always found delight in creating things. I discovered at an early age that I did not need to go to stores to find materials for my projects; just looking around me turned up acorns, bark and moss.

To this day, I enjoy searching for unconventional materials in unexpected places - Chinatown for lotus root and bok choy, small Mexican mercados for chili peppers and papaya, Japanese markets and Korean groceries for green-necked daikon. Although I now use a produce supplier, I still visit these venues with an eye out for the unusual.

I cut all the fruits and vegetables by hand with an old-fashioned mandoline slicer, a few exotic Japanese tools, and a wickedly sharp assortment of knives. My studio follows sustainable practices: using reclaimed water and recyclable packaging; and no toxic products are used. Leftovers are composted and unused produce is donated to the local zoo.

For the last 13 years, I have worked full-time creating art using elements from the natural world. It is never boring and I cannot imagine doing anything else. It feels like there must be some mysterious alchemy involved as these ordinary fruit and vegetables transform from commonplace, everyday items into objects of unexpected beauty. But I know it is not magic and I am not actually creating something new. I am only uncovering what was always there, waiting to be seen.