Bobbi Bailin May 2011

Family Ties

As a child, Bobbi Bailin didn’t know about the effects of the Holocaust on her mother, Hella Bailin, but Hella’s art was a constant in the Bailins’ New Jersey home. “Our dining room became her studio,” Bobbi says with a smile. “Every wall in the house was covered in art.”

Hella’s father, who was killed in the Holocaust with his wife, Hella’s mother, was a professional engineer who brought electricity to southern Spain, but his avocation was art. Bobbi, part of the third generation, is an artist herself, creating mixed-media collage art and bowls.

Crafted with layers of handmade paper, watercolor, and local plants, Bobbi Bailin’s pieces look more delicate than they are. “The different degree of transparency allows for varying depths of color,” she says. The bowls are coated with acrylic for strength.

Bobbi started making paper quilts when she was pregnant with her daughter, now 30. (Bailin also has a son, 21.) She moved to papermaking and found it had a softer edge than the paper quilts, which appealed to her. That led Bailin to fashioning her distinctive paper bowls and art pieces.

Bailin finds leaves, seaweed, and grasses on walks around her Falmouth home, gravitating to partially decomposed specimens, “leaves that are paperlike and translucent.” The soft colors of the bowls and art reflect the colors of Cape Cod. As Bailin says, “I’m inspired by the sand, sea, and sky.”

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Mary Grauerholz

Mary Grauerholz is the communications manager of the Cape Cod Foundation and a freelance writer.

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