MOST DAYS THIS WINTER, artist Lauren Fensterstock could be found in her stu- dio tirelessly cutting, curl- ing, and pasting tiny strips
of black paper. Ten hours a day, seven days
a week, Fensterstock employed the antique
art of quilling, or paper filigree, to fashion the
faux flora with which she creates room-size
installations — virtual gardens of cut paper
and crushed charcoal that are starting to
bring her national attention.
Fensterstock and her partner, Aaron
Stephan, a conceptual sculptor, are two of
the most dynamic young artists to emerge in
Maine in the last decade. Still in their thirties,
Fensterstock and Stephan share an odd little
1820 building in downtown Portland, Maine.
Originally built as a carriage house, it later
served as a pump house and then as an artist studio before the couple became its first