Scope and Contents
An interview of Merryll Saylan conducted 2006 May 20-June 5, by Glenn Adamson, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the Victoria & Albert Museum, in London, England.
Scope and Contents
Saylan speaks of her childhood in Los Angeles, California; her early musical education in piano and viola; memories of World War II; her family's political views during the Cold War; meeting her first husband at UCLA; dropping out of school to move to Virginia and Georgia in fulfillment of her husband's military service; experiencing anti-Semitism in Georgia; the challenges of her eldest son's speech problems; traveling to France, Japan, Guatemala, Hong Kong and the Philippines; her interest in Japanese culture; completing her B.A. in design at UCLA and her M.A. in studio art at California State University, Northridge; anti-Vietnam sentiment on campus; early interests in environmental design; her second husband and his friends; her interest in furniture and woodworking; differing approaches to woodworking on the east and west coasts; her views on feminism and working women; her use of color and texture in woodworking; teaching experiences; popular perception of her work; receiving a grant to go to England and her involvement with English and German woodturners; the lack of collector interest in her work; forced absences from working because of illnesses; serving on the boards of the American Association of Woodturners and The Woodturning Center; her involvement in the International Turned Objects Show, the Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Biannual Exposition, and the International Turning Exchange; her thoughts on future work. Saylan also recalls George Foy, Bob Stocksdale, Michael Cooper, Pamela Weir-Quiton, Joanne Rapp, J.B. Blunk, Marvin Lipofsky, Gail Fredell, Wendy Maruyama, Ralph Evans, Del Stubbs, Jerry Glaser, and others.