Marlene Zullig is a local award-winning artist who has been working with stained glass and metal for more than 30 years. But her inspiration - and the namesake of her business - date back even farther.
Marlene named her business, Martin Story Designs, after her two grandmothers, Evelina Martin and Rosanna Story. Evelina was a true Renaissance woman who could hand-make anything. She was a master quilter and could create a dress or gown simply from a mental image. Rosanna, Marlene’s other grandmother, was the person who always encouraged her to reach beyond providing Marlene an immense amount of inspiration.
Marlene likens stained glass to hand-quilting in that each piece is individually cut out and pieced together to form beautiful art. She says she used to watch her grandmother make beautiful quilts from scraps of material, and she connects with her by working with stained glass in the same way.
Marlene loves working with glass, cutting glass, and creating art through color, texture and the play of light. It is this same passion that also drives Marlene to handcraft jewelry from sea glass, sterling silver and genuine gemstones.
Although Marlene doesn’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t creating art, she was first introduced to stained glass and metal crafting while living and working in Switzerland. Although she left Europe to train in New Jersey and New York, her connection with the “old world” is still often apparent in her work.
Today, most of Marlene’s inspiration comes from the beautiful and historic St. Augustine area. Much of her art revolves around the ocean and sea life. Martin Story Designs is an eclectic mix of functional art such as lamps, mosaic mirrors, vessels and jewelry and one-of-a-kind stained glass panels, windows, mosaic wall art and fused glass pieces.
Marlene believes that glass art is tactile and should be touched and enjoyed. Her work reveals a sense of eminent care and attention to detail from the hand-cut, high-quality stained glass she uses to the handmade frames she makes for each of her custom pieces.
In addition to being a successful artist, Marlene works to promote art in the community. She is the President of P.A.St.A. Fine Art Gallery (Professional Artists of St. Augustine), a member of the St. Augustine Art Association and a board member of AGOSA (Art Galleries of St. Augustine).
Marlene’s art graces homes and businesses both here and abroad. Her work can be viewed at P.A.St.A. at 214 Charlotte Street. Attendees can also see her art when they visit the Martin Story Designs’ booth at Made in St. Augustine®.