Esther S White

Discontinuous Intimacy #2
33 x 36, Quilt: silkscreen, breakdown printing, hand-dyed muslin, 2014


My current project is a series of printed and dyed textile collages and quilts. I silkscreen patterns onto hand-dyed and found fabrics, combining these patterned fabrics with cast-off clothing and household objects to make art quilts.

I use screen printing to make monotypes in a few different ways. Using traditional silkscreen stencils, I print on folded and wrinkled fabric or on top of a textured support to add texture to the stencil’s pattern. Instead of printing with ink, I sometimes fill the screen with watercolor and gouache then pull transparent base through the the screen to create a silkscreen watercolor monotype. I also use breakdown printing in my work, a technique that involves applying thick dye print paste directly to a silkscreen, which is left to dry. Once the screen is dry, it is printed off with more print paste, which gradually dissolves the dried-on material, breaking it down into an ever-changing array of colors, marks, and textures.


Esther S White (b. 1985 in Cambridge, MA) is an artist and arts organizer based in Northampton, MA. Esther’s art practice includes printmaking; quilting, dyeing, and needlework; publishing photocopied artists’ books and zines; and organizing community art events and spaces.

Esther studied printmaking and photography at Barnard College, Columbia University (B.A. 2007), and the International Center of Photography. She is a member and instructor at Zea Mays Printmaking in Florence, MA, an internationally recognized studio dedicated to safer printmaking practices. She is a member of the Monotype Guild of New England and Boston Printmakers.

Esther is the founder of Sister Sister Books, publisher of short-run photocopied artists’ books and collaborative zines. Esther is also leader of Fugitive Arts, a transient curatorial project dedicated to promoting experimental projects and emerging artists. Fugitive Arts Project Space recently concluded a three-month residency in the Eastworks Building in Easthampton, MA in Fall of 2014. The latest Fugitive project is Piecework, a collaborative multi-media collage exhibition at Mill Arts Project in May, 2015.