Inspired by a neighbor’s crazy quilt, Claire Sherman began her first quilt at age 13. With no quilters in her family, she taught herself, making it up as she went along. Improvisational piecing is still her favorite quilt technique. That first quilt took five years and was finished in time to be used on Claire’s bed at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she received her BFA in ceramics. Following graduation, she spent a year and a half in Israel. While there, Claire studied Hebrew at the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS), and absorbed the archaeology and age-old landscape.

The walls, archways and roofs of Israel’s ancient architecture have had a lasting impact on her work. For many years, Claire made and sold ceramic Jewish ritual objects, such as mezuzot, spiceboxes, and chanukiot (menorahs). During a hiatus from clay due to life and motherhood, she rediscovered her love of quilting and never looked back. As a board member and Workshop Chairperson for East Bay Heritage Quilters, she takes almost every workshop the guild offers.

She is also a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates, East Bay Modern Quilters, San Francisco Quilters Guild, and of the online Liberated Quilters, disciples of Gwen Marston. She has exhibited quilts at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, Pacific International Quilt Festival, Houston International Quilt Festival, Sacred Threads, Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, and Bay Quilts. Claire teaches art workshops in quilt making, paper cutting, and Jewish ritual objects for adults and children throughout California.

The quilts in this show span the years from 2008 through 2022, and exhibit Claire’s love of improvisational piecing, symmetrical and asymmetrical design, curved piecing, machine appliqué, pieced and appliquéd letters, her study of Hebrew amulets and calligraphy. When looking at these quilts, her journey from traditional quilts towards art quilts is also evident. Although all the quilts in this show are Claire’s own designs, some were influenced by classes or books by: Gwen Marston, Freddy Moran, Sherri Lynn Wood, Pat Pauly, Gwen Maxwell-Williams, Fern Royce, and Tonya Recucci.

Many of the quilts in the show are not for sale (NFS) because they are the part of Claire’s personal collection. However, Claire does accept commissions! It might be possible to make a similar but different quilt. Please do inquire!


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