In the 40 year history of Margaret Hudson’s Earth Arts Studio we’ve sculpted every animal from aardvarks to zebras, but the quail holds a special place in our hearts. The quail is the symbol of Earth Arts Studio because this little bird has a story, a story that reminds us of our roots and the values our art represents.
In 1970 Margaret’s husband Gil was severely ill, a fungal infection spread as far as his brain, hospitalizing and nearly killing him. Now in her 40’s, Margaret and her four young sons moved back into her childhood home in Fresno where she drew comfort from the familiar sight of a family of quails playing in the backyard. Margaret dealt with the stress of this difficult time through art, working with her hands and earthy clay she tried to capture the simple natural joy that the little quails brought her.
Though Gil would recover from his illness he was unable to work full time, and Margaret began selling her sculptures at local craft fairs to support the family. Her happy quails were a huge hit, and Margaret struggled to keep up with demand on her own. She established Earth Arts Studio and hired skilled artisans to help create her designs. Margaret gave opportunities to immigrants who struggled to find work in a new country, but whose artistic talents speak clearly in any language. Today, Earth Arts Studio is managed by Lydia Buciok, who fled persecution in the U.S.S.R. and began working with Margaret in the 1980’s.
The quail is special to us; it comforted Margaret through a hard time, launched her artistic career, and provided opportunities to the many women who worked with her. We put care into the creation of each one, trying to capture the simplicity and natural joy which so inspired Margaret. We hope that the quail will be a comfort and inspiration to you too.