Stephanie Novatski:
An Artist Profile

Barbara Blankenship © 2009

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Stephanie Novatski is well known in the fiber arts world. She is an award winning fiber artist and proficient in every method, including all forms of embroidery, crazy quilting, traditional quilting, weaving, knitting, crochet, etc. I think I’m safe in saying she is proficient in everything related to fabric, fiber and beading.

Stephanie’s mom, Ruth, was an expert seamstress and began teaching her at an early age. By five years old she was designing an elaborate wardrobe for her dolls and using her knowledge of sewing, knitting and crochet to create each design.

In high school she continued using her skills by designing costumes for plays and summer stock theater productions.

Stephanie majored in Art Education and was employed by a professional weaver. She continued designing and creating wedding gowns and stage outfits for rock bands.

Although she loved art, her career took her in the footsteps of her father. In 2003 she retired “from her day job” as a software/hardware engineer and once again immersed herself in the various art forms she loved so well.

Walking through her beautiful home, you can see the progression as she creates in all the various fiber art mediums. The vast majority of her projects are original creations; counted cross stitch, Hardanger embroidery, crewel, needlepoint, collages using combinations of techniques, including silk ribbon embroidery, crazy quilting and her amazing soft dolls.

Perhaps she is best known for her remarkably beautiful cloth dolls. The wonderful faces she creates are the most fascinating aspect for me. The eyes seem to reflect the unique personality of each of her amazing creations. Each one is given a unique name and there is always a story relating to each doll.

Stephanie and her husband Ed live in New Jersey in a lovely two-story home. As you walk through her library, you enter a wonderful 750 square foot studio filled with glorious supplies for creating. The overhead skylights provide the illumination you need with lots of artificial light available if needed.

Stephanie is a former CQMagOnline writer, but her crazy quilting has taken a backseat to her love of dolls. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines including Soft Dolls and Animals, Quilting Arts and Doll Crafting and Costuming. She has also developed several patterns and teaches some of her beautiful creations through the EGA and various online classes. I would invite you to check her website for information regarding her classes and patterns.

She is currently preparing an online class where students will be making “Weeping William.” This doll is made with all recycled materials. This photo shows Stephanie seated in her studio holding this doll and her beautiful Maltese, Diamond.

In a former class students were given pattern and instructions for creating “Neptune’s Daughters.” These are four gorgeous mermaid dolls named Algea, Coral, Pearl and Aquamarie. This class is currently retired.

Pictured here is her Chinese doll named Yan Hui.


I’ve asked Stephanie to share with you her story:

“Yan Hui (means banquet in Chinese) was very poor and worked as a water girl to earn sustenance for her family. This was hard work - carrying two buckets filled with water on a yoke over her shoulders, from the stream to the house especially since one of her buckets leaked! Having no money to have the bucket fixed, she lamented this problem, however, she noticed in the spring the side of the trail that the leaky bucket dripped on was green and lush. As the season progressed, lots of beautiful flowers appeared. She picked these flowers, and in her spare time, took them into the town square to sell. This proved to be a very lucrative venture, and she was soon able to buy a new pair of shoes which tied together, draped over her carrying stick and could be used to carry her flowers in. In every problem there lies a solution though it may not be the expected one.”

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