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Ray Materson: Embroidered Scenes of Life

Ray Materson
Embroidery by Ray Materson
January 28, 2001 -- Ray Materson taught himself to embroider while in prison, where he was serving a 15-year sentence for drug-related offenses. By fashioning a hoop from a Rubbermaid top and salvaging threads from old socks, Materson was able to create intricate, multi-colored scenes depicting everything from prison life to football emblems to romantic sunsets. These scenes are only 2-by-2 inches, with 1200 stitches per square inch.

Ray MatersonRay Materson
Materson's work is now exhibited all over the U.S. and sells for thousands of dollars. Many of his framed embroidery pieces are on display at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, where they are part of an exhibition called Treasures of the Soul that will be at the Museum through September 2001.

prison artist Ray MatersonListen as Weekend All Things Considered host, Lisa Simeone, talks with Materson about his life and work.