Gleaned from Shores of Maine to Ireland: Artist Holly Hawthorn

With a name seemingly drawn from a woodland forest, it’s not surprising to find Holly Hawthorn’s work full of natural elements. A sculptor, printer, and ceramicist, Hawthorn works in many mediums. Her work is playful and thought provoking, cheerful and memorable.

We must admit to a certain affection for well-done whimsy; those moments where delight edges the everyday are particularly precious. Anyone who makes their home in the Bridgeport, CT area is more than familiar with sea shells: this is the bounty we live with. Hawthorn carefully crafted and concealed petite porcelain portraits within the shells; it is surprisingly effective to see the unexpected transformed into something entirely other. One’s experience of walks along the beach can be forever changed by works like this.

Hawthorn maintained an independent studio in Westport for many years before coming to the American Fabric Arts building. She also teaches art at Weston High School, and has been recognized for her art journaling, a practice Hawthorn has maintained for over 40 years. Each small painting evokes a particular memory or place; taken as a whole, the journals represent a beautiful retrospective of her extensive travels.

In addition to her journals, Hawthorn has collected a dazzling array of shells, stones, and beach finds. Currently, she’s working with these materials extensively, creating a number of mixed-media pieces, many featuring ceramic elements. Additionally, she creates monotype and dry point prints focused on a nautical theme.


Holly Hawthorn maintains a very busy schedule, but does welcome studio visits by appointment.