Inspired by the many buoys in Pemaquid Harbor, our products begin at that magical place where the sea meets the sky. — Marley Wilkinson, Cobalt Sky Studio
Like a lot of people, the moment Marley Wilkinson set foot in Maine, she fell in love with it. Even beyond the craggy beauty of the landscape, she was fascinated by the working waterfront, and the bevy of multicolored lobster buoys that dotted the coast in the summer.
“It’s amazing to me how hard the lobstermen work, how strong their family traditions are, and how proud they are of their buoys,” says Wilkinson. “I’m in awe of the dedication that the men and women put into their craft.”
When Wilkinson launched Cobalt Sky Studio a decade ago, she drew from the fishing traditions that had fascinated her.
“I’m inspired by the beauty that surrounds me here on the coast, where the mountains meet the sea,” says Wilkinson, who is originally from Maryland. “I wanted to find a way to express that and celebrate my surroundings.”
The first version of her signature buoy pillow, made a decade ago, was assembled from a pile of sun shade cloth and a ball of twine. Since then, she has refined the product, and developed a collection of lobster buoy toss pillows, ornaments, and canvas stockings made from sailcloth, duck canvas, buoy mooring line, and waxed sail thread—the rugged materials that watermen rely on. The end result: accent pieces that are as durable as they are beautiful. Customers from as far as California clamor for her nautical decor, and her products have been featured on supermodel Tyra Banks’ daytime talk show, “FABlife.”
As much as Wilkinson loves working as an artist in Maine, she also treasures the camaraderie and support she feels from Maine’s thriving community of makers.
“People are just so incredible the way they are constantly trying to help each other out,” she says. “It’s really refreshing.”
Wilkinson works from her home-based studio in an 1850s farmhouse in Monroe, in midcoast Maine. She loves being able to blend work and family life with cooking, gardening, and enjoying lazy days out in Pemaquid Harbor with her husband and grown son.
“We have a nice quiet life,” she says. “Just like my work, I use each day as a fresh canvas.”