FACES Q & A: One-of-a kind business, One-of-a kind art

Mayu Silk Art, marbleized scarves and paints, Image by Birute Ranes

During the holiday season, many southern California farmers markets see an increase in customer traffic at art and crafts booths as people search of the perfect gift.

At the Huntington Beach farmers market, the Mayu Art Silk booth draws a crowd of onlookers as artists design silk scarves. Resting on tables are the tools needed for the craft including long wooden boxes with water, a multitude of acrylic paints in squeezable containers, rakes and a stylus – all used to create one of a kind marbleized silk scarves by their customers.

The process takes approximately 10-15 minutes in which the owners guide the clients into crafting their art pieces. It is the experience of creating, rather than the product, that brings people to the booth.

Philip Greenwood spoke about the business which he co-owns with his wife Star McCain.

How did you come up with the idea to sell this product?
Water marbling is a 1,200 year old Japanese art. My wife wants to keep the art alive.

How long have you had this business?
My wife was doing art at home. We started about two years ago as a business.

Who are your customers?
Thirty percent are little kids, 20 percent are men and the rest are a mixture. The youngest we’ve had was 16 months old and the oldest, 102. The reason people are drawn to it is you cannot mess it up, even if you don’t have any artistic ability. We get sponsored by a lot of charity events. We also do private parties and corporate events. It’s good for team building.

What is the most fun thing people have done with marbleizing?
We’re doing a wedding, where they will be making vests, sashes, ties and scarves. The whole wedding will be marbled.

What do you enjoy the most about your business?
Observing people be creative.