Experience Cortland will be featuring a Cortland County artist at the Visitors Center throughout the year. The program was developed to showcase local art to travelers and locals in hopes that they might bring a piece of Cortland County home. Feel free to stop by during regular business hours to view her work or at her Facebook page Maslin's Guarden.
Maslin's Guarden sprouted from a lifelong love of playing in the dirt and making knots. Julia Maslin turned her green thumb and eye for art into a thriving business. Playing on her maiden name, Guard, Julia weaves together textures, vintage pieces, upcycled and found materials to create her hanging "Guardens". Each piece is thoughtfully designed, from seed to masterpiece. We asked Julia if she could reveal some of the processes behind her unique hanging art.
Where do you take your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from two things I love, plants and macrame!
Where do you create your art?
I create most of my pieces in my little home office. I love the design and colors in my office. We have a small greenhouse next to our home where I can hang lots of planters and mess around with plants. Nothing beats the warm feeling of walking into a greenhouse kissed by the sun!
What is your greatest influence?
I definitely am influenced by nature and the things I see outside. Going to the beach? Grab some driftwood. Going for a hike? Grab some sticks. I love all the macrame cords I use. I've been able to find a source for my colored cords where the cord is made from recycled materials. I love the quality and texture of it.
What is your favorite tool/material? What can you just not live without in your creative space?
My favorite tool is my hands :) It's the only thing I use to make the knots in my macrame and the only tool I use to plant and propagate plants. The only time I wear gloves in the garden is when I'm working with cactuses. Ouch.
What is your favorite color?
I love using black, wearing black, and decorating with black. Yes, I'm that person. I'm finding beauty in a lot of those vintage colors right now. Think 70's era yellows and green. I love how they look.
What are your current/future projects?
I'm currently working on a plan for what makes sense for filling up the greenhouse in the Spring, how to use the space best, what plants I can start, etc. I'm also exploring the Art of weaving! I have a loom that I need to teach myself to use. I also want to work on tie dying my own cord and playing with colors.
If your art was a food, what would it be?
Foodwise, my creations are best depicted as a bright, bold salad. Organic in nature and full of colors!
What is your favorite winter activity in Cortland County?
My favorite winter activity in Cortland is tubing at Greek Peak. Everyone can do it; no skill is really involved, and it's a great way to get out in the snow! It's something for everyone with a little punch of adrenaline!
What do you feel is Cortland County’s best-kept secret?
I think there are a few "best-kept secrets" in Cortland that all revolve around revitalization, renewal, and creativity! The Corset Building on East Court Street is the home to so many great shops and events. The Crescent Building on South Main Street is also going through a revival. Not only are these buildings so cool to look at and packed with history, they now house some really cool shops, art, coffee,and gyms! I also love the historic throwback vibe of the East side. The bakery, The Green Arch, the Prohibition Kitchen (which I would love for it to come back), and Yori house.
Describe Cortland County in three words.
Historic, creative, and tight-knit!
Share your favorite Cortland County art with us for a chance to be featured!
Tag @experiencecortland and use hashtag #experiencecortland.