a young age, I chose to look at the world in artistic ways.
I gave myself no limits,” says Robin Zank. Thus her
life has been filled with art and creativity. Robin paints,
sews, does mosaics, quilts, and bakes – among many
Growing up in Texas, she credits her mother for raising
four creative daughters. Art runs in the family going
clear back to Robin’s grandmother
who began painting at age 80. By the time Robin was 14, she was constructing
and designing clothing. By the time she was out of high school, she was
creating garments for local rock bands and boutiques. “Abbie Hoffman
bought one of my flag shirts!” she laughs. In the early 1970’s
Robin was living in New England where she was influenced by classic folk
and historic garments. She began to learn hand dying and batik. When
she moved to rural Marin County, California in the early 1980’s,
she “found my designs taking on an Asian influence.’” Later
she became interested in Native American clothing. She spent almost one
year creating the Lakota wedding dress and learning the art of bead looming.
She moved to Moab in the late ‘90’s and began to “refine
my skills in printing and patch working.”
Robin is the manager/owner of the Knave of Hearts Bakery in Moab. Her
expert baking has brought her a loyal clientele. Breads, buns, desserts
and other treats express her artistic talents. She is busy eighteen hours
a day running the bakery, yet she has time to continue working in textiles,
her favorite medium.
In her upstairs apartment, Robin has a huge collection of textiles in
many colors and textures. She is always on the look-out for fabric pieces
and unique buttons. She has over 200,000 buttons which she uses to decorate
her creations. Her interest in buttons began many years ago when she
and her sisters sold their church’s left-over kool aide for a button
or a safety pin.
of Robin’s quilts hangs on a wall in the bakery. It is a free-lance
work of art, a one of a kind creation with a clever teapot in each large
square and hundreds of different complimentary fabrics and buttons adorning
the grids. Her baby quilts, which she hand designs and makes for her
friends and relatives, are unique and personalized. “I must have
made at least one hundred quilts in my lifetime so far,” Robin
says. Though she sometimes sells her work, she usually does her art forms
for relaxation and for the fun of creating.
Robin’s sense of fun shines through in all she does. On a baby
quilt, I spy a small Elvis Presley tucked among the dragons and butterflies.
Her old bicycle is decorated with beads and tassels. Outside in the garden
are whimsical mosaics. She says her son had the best Halloween costumes
“Wearable art” is what
Robin calls the beautiful Renaissance-style jackets which
hang on a rack in the bakery. She likes traditional folk
clothing which is never out of style. These one of a kind
jackets reflect her art with both fabrics and paints and
are reasonably priced. One gets the sense, however, that
Robin’s primary purpose is not to make money because
Robin sees her whole life as art.
“If you approach life in a creative way, it uplifts both you and others.” In
that sense Robin has contributed her artistic knowledge to the Moab community
in many ways. In the past she has done period-piece fashion shows for the MARC.
She sometimes mentors young artists, and regularly hosts the local Artist Alliance
Group which meets at the Knave of Hearts Bakery at 11:00 am Wednesdays. The group
also has pot lucks at the Senior Center and welcomes new members. Robin appreciates
the work of the many non-profit groups in town. She is currently the Vice President
of the Board of Wabi Sabi.
She believes living in the Canyonlands and Moab inspires creativity in
its citizens. It certainly does for Robin Zank who is talented and quick
Robin’s work can be seen at the Knave of Hearts Bakery, located
at 84 West 200 North. Robin can be reached at 259-4116.
Tell her you read about it in Moab Happenings!