Seattle native, Mare Blocker has been making limited edition and unique books since 1979 and established the MKimberly Press in 1984 when she bought her first Vandercook 219. Her work can be found in over 85 public collections and museums including the Museum of Women in the Arts, The Victoria and Albert, The University of Washington Special Collections, and The Library of Congress. Mare is the President of the Book Arts Guild, a regional organization for book artists and enthusiasts, and currently serves as the Treasurer of the College Book Arts Association.
Mare grew up in the Space Needle's shadow in the Fun Forest, a clear early influence, where her artist grandfather sold his screen printed ephemeral works and paintings. Her first job, at five, was painting trees in her grandfather's landscapes. She had a little bed under the platform of the Bubbleator where she napped in the afternoons, while "working" in her grandparents' shop. She's had a lot of adventures, coached a swim team and owned a biker bar in Arizona, ran a small rural library in a log cabin in the mountains of Idaho, and now she's back in Seattle, living in her childhood home, and teaching at Pacific Lutheran University. She adores dalmatians, is learning to play the ukulele and maintains a huge garden, inherited from her father, with her husband Buzz White.
"I am a storyteller. My love of text, image, ink, paper, cloth, thread has drawn me to this form. I am enchanted with the relative ease of multiples, the ephemeral quality of printed matter and the potential for viewer participation and interaction with the storyteller that the touch of a book invites. For the artist, work is an event of confession, an act of avowal. The knives used in carving, the bones used to fold the paper, the lead type or block pressing into the paper's surface, the needle and thread piercing and joining, the lines drawn, and the hand, the valuable hand, these are the things I believe in. These are the tools I use to follow my curiosity and tell my stories."