An inspired lineage.
Mabel’s Table founders Diane Hanson and Holly Tunkel share a passion for textiles. Mabel Crowley, Diane’s grandmother and Holly’s great-grandmother, set this in motion. An icon to the family, she was a seamstress and entrepreneur in Cookeville, Tennessee, at a time when women rarely worked outside the home. In her 20s, while working at the local overalls factory, she advanced to Floor Manager. She later went on to start her own tomato cannery and a successful tailoring business.
Mabel had flawless taste and instilled in her family – probably without even knowing it – an eye for fine fabrics and an appreciation of hand-wrought work. Mabel taught Diane to sew as a young girl, and Diane’s mother, Christine Crowley, taught Holly to sew. Fabric runs in the blood. They are passionate about what they’re doing at Mabel’s Table and create their work in honor of Mabel Crowley (1894–1967).
Mabel’s Table represents the spirited collaboration of mother-daughter duo Diane Hanson and Holly Tunkel of Santa Fe. Diane and Holly combine their creativity with an earthy, sometimes minimalist, other times fanciful design aesthetic rooted as much in the lineage of their matriarchal ancestor as in the spectacular mountainous terrain that surrounds them in New Mexico.
At Mabel Crowley’s table, you could expect lightly wrinkled, sun-bleached table linens with hand-stitched mending. As a result, an appreciation of wabi-sabi has blended into their aesthetic, and creating linens with character and soul is what Mabel’s Table is all about.
The artist: Diane Hanson
Diane was born in Tennessee and grew up under the watchful eye of her Grandmother, Mabel Crowley. A renegade in her time, Mabel broke all the rules about who a woman should be. Mabel instilled in her granddaughter the ability to create and the perseverance to see her visions through.
Diane’s work as a studio fiber artist is founded in the American Craft Movement. In 1988, she and her husband, Doug, founded Hanson Gallery — a fine art and craft gallery. In 2011, they left Knoxville for Santa Fe and began to work in the studio once again.
As homage to the bold nature of Mabel, Diane and her daughter founded Mabel’s Table. Knowing that the table linens market was flooded with drab, uninspired options, Diane and Holly set out to create the table linens that they wanted at their own tables, those that speak to the unseen artist in us all.
”The ritual unfolding of the napkin announces the beginning of a meal." ~ Mabel Crowley
The anthropologist: Holly Tunkel
Holly has had a lifelong obsession with art, culture, textiles and travel. She grew up in her parents’ Tennessee art studios, often traveling with them to American Craft Council shows across the nation. As a child, she found herself wandering through the streets of SOHO, the aisles of G Street Fabrics in D.C. and world renowned museums.
In college, Holly studied in Tennessee, Louisiana and Switzerland. While studying for her M.A. in Anthropology, Holly began a decade-long passion project to free three innocent men from prison and death row. She went on to coordinate the production of a Sundance Select film about the case.
Holly is an archaeologist and has been working in the field and the lab for the past 18 years. In 2017, she co-founded Mabel’s Table Santa Fe with her mother, Diane. She currently holds a board seat at the Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center.