The Story of Saint Cuthbert in Many Voices: A Guide to the Kneeler Project for the One-Hundredth Anniversary of Saint Cuthbert's Chapel, MacMahan Isla


Product Details

Epigraph Publishing
Publish Date
8.0 X 10.0 X 0.31 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Martha Rogers Zimiles was born in 1946 and grew up in Washington DC. Every year the author's family spent long summers on MacMahan Island, Maine, where the Life of Saint Cuthbert needlepoint kneeling cushions permanently reside in the simple wooden chapel dedicated to him. Summers were spent wandering the woods and trails, watching the seals in the ice-cold currents and the scented fog blow through the pine trees, experiences that prepared the way to envision Cuthbert's island hermitage. In college (Sarah Lawrence 1968), which included a year in Paris to study etching, medieval art and culture, Martha studied comparative religion, medieval literature, French and studio art. After marrying and moving to Dutchess County, NY, Martha worked as a teacher and designer of needlework. A book of her designs: A Treasury of Needlework Designs (Van Nostrand Reinhold), appeared in 1976, on the heels of Early American Mills (Clarkson Potter, 1973), written with her husband, artist and professor Murray Zimiles. When Martha was given a loom by a friend, she learned to weave, knit, crochet, spin and dye, which led to many years creating one-of-a-kind fantasy garments and hats, with a slightly medieval flair. In college she began her life-long study of yoga philosophy and practice, as well as meditation, and has attended retreats at various centers for personal growth and spiritual development ever since. She has also read widely in Christian mysticism, Jungian psychology, Vedanta and Buddhism. The commission to create the Life of Saint Cuthbert kneelers provided the chance to bring her spiritual and artistic inclinations together. Contemplating and envisioning the life of that long-ago holy person who lived from 635-687, led to a fascination with saints' lives and awakened the desire to study Russian icon painting, which continues to this day. Martha and her husband have one son and one granddaughter, and continue to live in Dutchess County, NY.