What could be a better way to celebrate the month of love, February, than paying tribute to one of the purest loves in our lives: our grandmothers.
Our hearts swelled with admiration when we spotted this beautiful mixed media collage in Cashmere Bark’s Etsy shop. It reminds of not only of the bouquets we hope to give and get this month, but also the budding flowers resting in their beds, waiting to peek out at the first signs of thaw. When we learned that the artist behind the work was actually Mabel Minnich Miller, the grandmother of Sarah Miller, the designer behind Cashmere Bark, we loved it even more. We asked Sarah if we could feature her grandmother’s work and tell us bit about her.
Tell us about your grandmother Mabel and her home.
My grandmother’s garden and home were lovely–full of art and art objects. She was an avid and very successful gardener (then she brought the flowers up to her studio and painted them). I have fond memories of exploring her art studio as a child, and of her preparing our materials and teaching my brother and cousins and me to paint. I learned so much from her about how to live a beautiful life, and I’m reminded of this by having her paintings in my own home.
How did you come to sell her work in your shop?
My father and I are starting to have her paintings reproduced so that more people can enjoy them in their own collections. One that has been very popular is of the UC Berkeley hills in 1936. I think people enjoy the story that goes with it, about my grandfather proposing – they got married that year. The collage you chose was probably one of her favorites because it was over her bed, and when she moved into smaller places over the years the painting moved with her – always over her bed.
Can you tell us more about Cashmere Bark?
Cashmere Bark is the brand of a line of silk handbags I’ve been making for about 10 years. You can see some of the makeup bags in my shop. The name comes from an ayurvedic medicinal herb, and I liked the sound of it – something about it being soft and strong at the same time. This also describes my grandmother – who passed away in 2011 at almost 96 – she always a gracious lady, but very strong.