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Through the Looking Glass

After carving out a new life, Robin Pierson found a successful niche in decorative art.

Robin Pierson found a successful niche in decorative art

Photo by Anthony Dispezio

Brilliant afternoon sunlight pours into Robin Pierson’s studio, illuminating the antique windows, sea glass, seashells, and pieces of wood and glass that line every wall and cover every surface of the room. With a stove warming the garage-turned-artist’s space in Gray Gables, the organized chaos of Pierson’s studio feels like home. Hammer in hand, Pierson methodically flattens a collection of shells that are too bulky for use in her art.

Robin Pierson adds the flair of color and texture to windows and walls with her one-of-a-kind window art, displaying all of the beautiful treasures she’s collected. Pierson dedicates her days to creating and showing her unique decorative works. From a swirl of shells and sand to framed chart maps with oceanic relics to custom memory windows, the diversity of Pierson’s projects is only matched by the array of materials she incorporates. “I’m just so amazed by some of this stuff. To some people, it may look like a piece of broken pottery,” Pierson, 52, says while sifting through a bag of ocean-smoothed pottery pieces. “To me, it’s beautiful, and I wonder where it came from. You just don’t know how old it is or how far it traveled.”

Robin Pierson found a successful niche in decorative art

Photo by Anthony Dispezio

Ten years ago, Pierson was behind a desk in corporate America. As the human resources manager at Ocean Spray for 13 years, Pierson frequently gave unhappy employees the same piece of wisdom: “You’re the only one who can change it.” When tragedy struck Pierson’s life three times, she decided to take her own advice. “After I lost both of my parents and my husband in a six-year span, it was like someone slapped me in the face and said you’re really not going to live forever,” Pierson says. “It made me step back and really look at my life.”

Pierson left Ocean Spray in 2003 to start her own business as an artist. She pursued art in her youth—her mother taught her how to knit and draw her way to a “most creative” yearbook superlative—and her creativity resurfaced at the perfect time. “It’s been the best thing I’ve done in my whole life. I don’t regret it,” she says.

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