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
There is that one woman in each of our lives who leaves a lasting impression on us. For Marley Wilkinson, there are three – her grandmother, aunt, and mother. “The creative women in my family inspired me at an early age to value both art and craft,” said Wilkinson. These women were all artists, each with a special talent that influenced Wilkinson to become the artisan behind Cobalt Sky Studio.
Wilkinson’s business address is also her home address, but she’s not simply working from home. “When I moved to Maine, I knew the key to happiness was having a home-based business. We use the term ‘liveworks’ as our house and also our place of business. The two need to meet,” says Wilkinson. Her husband is also self-employed, working on their 80-acre farm in Monroe, Maine, and it’s only a matter of time before their artist son does the same.
Born in Maryland, Wilkinson did not discover the magnificence of Maine until she was 18 years old. Her husband, at the time her boyfriend, brought her to Ah View cottage in Pemaquid Harbor. The cottage was built in 1947 by her husband’s grandfather. “Maine was the best thing I had ever seen,” said Wilkinson. They continued to visit Pemaquid every summer. When she was suddenly laid off from an accounting job in Maryland, she knew it was time to move to Maine. Wilkinson and her family have now lived in the Pine Tree State for 13 years.
Maine is the leading muse for Wilkinson. “Maine and its network of makers have taught me to be independent, stand for quality, and, above all, to persevere.” Wilkinson loves and is awed by the working waterfront in Maine. So much so that she’s partnered with the Maine Lobstermen’s Association and the Maine Lobstermen’s Community Alliance to help them raise money for their causes.
Wilkinson’s love for the coast (and her pillow addiction) is evident in her work. She uses sailcloth and duck canvas – the same material that sailors’ attire is made out of – authentic buoy mooring line, and waxed sail thread to create her signature buoy pillows, buoy ornaments, and canvas stockings. Wilkinson says of duck canvas, “it’s so rugged and durable and will stand the test of time. It’s bright and clean without being too feminine.” Her first few pillows were made out of some extra awning material a friend gave her. This year marks her 10th year in business.
“Just like my work, I use each day as a fresh canvas,” said Wilkinson. Blending her career with her household seems to be the right ingredients to a joyous life. Wilkinson’s positive vibes are contagious if not formidable. Wilkinson said of her favorite thing about living in Maine, “Knowing tomorrow will always bring something beautiful and unexpected.”