About Lilly Marsh
Lilly Marsh Studios is the work of Lilly Marsh and the culmination of several decades of fiber work ranging from sheep farming to gallery exhibition, academic research and textile production. Marsh began as a knitter in search of good wool yarn and found sheep, spinning and eventually weaving through her local Wabash Weaver’s Guild (Tippecanoe County, IN). Moving into full time weaving for sale and exhibition meant saying goodbye to her beloved Natural Colored Corriedales but there were compensations, including a 7 year membership at a wonderful juried art cooperative in Lafayette, IN, Artists’ Own. Being part of the AO community was an exciting and challenging space for artistic growth. While a member there, Marsh exhibited her sculpture across the US and into Canada, and purchases of her sculptural and textile work went as far as China and Europe.
But growth means change and, for Lilly Marsh, it meant going back to school for a PhD. While she initially thought the art department would be her natural home, her drive for cultural and historical context soon found her a space in the American Studies Program at Purdue University. In American Studies, Marsh was able to combine art history and practice, anthropology, history and culture studies to create her own program, and the department faculty began to learn about the history of contemporary North American hand knitting. Her dissertation became a biography of the knitting designer/writer Elizabeth Zimmermann and a history of the contemporary hand knitting communities of North America. A chapter-length summary of the research was published as “Becoming the Boss of Your Knitting: Elizabeth Zimmermann and the Emergence of Critical Knitting” in Bloomsbury Visual Arts publication, Stitching the Self: Identity and the Needlearts (2020). https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/stitching-the-self-9781350070387/
After completing her doctoral work, Marsh was thrilled to get back to the studio full time, and with a renewed sense of clarity and purpose. A post-graduation move to the Glens Falls region of New York put her in the middle of a vibrant fiber community with strong agricultural roots and inspiring artistic expressions. Marsh quickly found her community amidst the fiber farmers, local wool processors and textile artisans of the Upper Hudson/ Adirondack region. She became a founding member of the Hudson Valley Textile Project, a group of farmers, processors, artisans, designers and fiber enthusiasts who are working to strengthen the fiber supply chain of local cloth production. (https://hvtextileproject.org/ )