With her father in the Air Force, Zabielski grew up living in numerous places. She credits the three years she lived in Japan as the starting point of her artistic aesthetic.
Zabielski moved to Kentucky in 1975 and began to study textiles in 1988, under Arturo Alonzo Sandoval at the University of Kentucky. While at UK she studied color and design, learned the Japanese dyeing technique called Shibori, and began to work with silk and natural fibers.
Zabielski then followed another interest and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in writing from Spalding University in 2004.
“While I learned a tremendous amount about writing by earning this degree, I eventually realized that I loved the visual arts better,” she states.
“The main focus in my textile work is color. It is the most important aspect of my work,” she states. Zabielski uses a liquid dye called Vinyl Sulphon, which requires steam to set the dye color in the silk. Using only three colors – fuchsia, yellow and turquoise – she mixes these in a variety of ways to achieve her diverse palette of colors. She creates her wearable art at Studios Hidalgo on her farm in Wayne County, Kentucky.
Recently, her memoir – The Garden Girls’ Letters and Journal, was published by Wind Publications.
Laverne’s work can also be found at the Appalachian Fireside Gallery, Berea, KY; Bella Rose and Maincross Gallery, Lexington, KY; Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, Louisville, KY.