Welcome to Tani's web-site!
Table of Contents
Please Scroll down to select items

  • My Statement
  • My Brief Bio
  • My Membership Organizations
  • Image Gallery and Blog
  • My teaching offerings

Note to my viewers:  

Please note that this is a very basic, do-it-yourself, one-page website with very limited capabilities. I am a novice, learning as I go and the "Site Builder" software provided by Register.com for this site is old and clunky. After much struggle, I finally began to enjoy working on this site, especially now that I am having success in getting more images posted!!! Yay!!!  Thanks for looking....


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My Statememt:

I love making art... period.

I love sewing, creating fabulous fabric collage, making wearable art and sculptural figurative cloth art-dolls.


I love being outdoors doing meditative Water Color pleine-air landscape painting.

And I enjoy teaching others to sew and to make art in their own way!

Art nurtures the soul!


My work includes:

Art Dolls, Textile Arts, Wearable Art, Machine Embroidered Fabric Collage,

and Mixed Media explorations:

including Painting, Stamping, Stenciling, Screen Printing, etc.


Water Color and Pleine-Air Painting and drawing.


Brief Bio about Tani Martinat:

I am a Richmond, California based fabric artist, art-doll maker, and painter. I was born and raised in Michigan with creative, eccentric and inspiring parents — my artist father and my seamstress mother.


My father, Aimé Joseph Martinat, was a very fine artist who produced numerous drawings (mixed media/pencil/pen-and-ink) and paintings (oil and watercolor). His eariest work was in the Social Realism and Ash Can Schools of Art of the early 20th Century and Depression Era years. In the late 1940’s—early 1950’s his work became more abstract, and then later evolved into very detailed, realism in urban landscape and in nature in his own unique style…

His work and esthetic influenced me profoundly. I grew up drawing and painting next to him. I first experienced “pleine air” painting with him, from which I “inherited” my love for painting and drawing outdoors in nature. Aimé was indeed, a very accomplished artist. I plan to create a Blog or website dedicated to showing his life's work...


My Mother, Virginia Martinat, was a great seamtress. Since childhood, I have been an avid seamstress, inspired by my mother, watching her sew clothes and costumes since before I can remember. I have fond memories of going with her to fabric stores to look at patterns and buy fabric. I started sewing when I was about 6 or 7 years old, first making dolls and doll clothes. Then, as I grew into my teens, I made my own clothes. My mother got me started. She showed me how to use the sewing machine, follow a pattern, and how to sew many complicated garment construction details whenever I needed help. I made my first four-piece tailored tweed-wool suit during high school, pretty much all on my own. Thereafter, wherever I went, I always had to have a sewing machine at close hand, as well as my drawing and painting tools and materials.

My current passion for Art-Doll Making re-started in the early 2000’s as a renewal of my relationship with my younger sister. We shared childhood memories playing with dolls and making dolls together. In about 2002, I totally refurbished an old boudoire doll that belonged to my sister as a child and gave it to her as a gift. When we were kids, we set up complex, imaginative drama-plays on the bottom bunk of our bunk beds, with stories, scenes, furniture and hand-made costumes, culminating in having an “audience” sit and watch us present the “play”. 


During the years in the early 2000's, I worked at Stone Mountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley. During that time, my exposure to the huge world of textile arts, art quilts, fabric collage, wearable art and figurative art-doll sculpture expanded by leaps and bounds. I discovered how much creativity in these media has been exploding for the last 30 years!

I also very much enjoyed working with customers, helping them with their projects and showing them how to do the skills they wanted to learn. Then I taught a variety of sewing classes at West Contra Costa Adult School. And among friends, I frequently find myself teaching sewing skills.


Last Spring 2015, I began renewing my screen-printing skills, taking a printing class at Richmond Art Center, CA. This includes building my own portable screen-printing set-up. It is a chalenge making it work for me in a very small work space at home.

I plan to integrate screen-printing with my other mixed media exlporations, including — free-form painting, stamping, stenciling, on fabric and paper with other textile arts, fabric collage and art doll making.


Coming soon:  I have other dolls I've been working on for a while. As soon as I finish them I will post pictures of them. One is a magnificent blue-glass eyed boudoure doll that I have completely remade... including resurfacing her composition head. She's almost done!


 Past Summer Event:

My art-doll, entitled "Adele Abayomo", was showing in the Annual Members' Show at the Richmond Art Center,

this Summer, from Sunday, June 14 to Friday, August 21, 2015...





"Adele Abayomi: Noble Kindness Brings Joy": from a Nigerian list of names.

I chose this name because it expresses the feeling I have in making this doll. She is a fabric sculpted, art-doll with a pieced fabric collage costume. Dimensions are 15" x 8" x8". This art-doll is the result of a challenge project from last Spring 2014 in which I participated as a member of the "Flying Phoebes Cloth Art Doll Club, which meets in Hayward, Ca. I finished the final details on this doll this May 2015.












Tani is currently a member of the following organizations:



Contact Tani via email at <tani@tanimartinat.com>

Blog and Image Gallery:


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Other art dolls I have created in the last few years:




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This an original doll I made for Donna Perry, member of The Flying Phoebe's Cloth Doll and Mixed Media Club, for our annual Christmas Exchange, December 2014. The body of this doll is made from foam-board, covered with glued-on fabric and reinforced with wire on the back side. Her head is made of cloth, stuffed with fiberfill and partially needle-sculpted facial features. The dress is made from an original fitted pattern I designed to fit the figure... She is about 16" tall.



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I made this "Sad Lady" doll last September 2014, in remembrance of the tragic loss of a beautiful young woman, named Jessica, who long ago played with my son when they were just small children. Family and friends miss Jessica deeply...  



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Stars #2- finished Spring 2014. One of my favorites. Her doll body is fully posable and jointed, with removeable clothes and reverseable jacket. I want to make more dolls simular in design to this one... but with wildly different fabrics, colors, hair, costume design, etc. You probably have noticed that I love cotton batik fabrics, but I also love silk, silk dupioni and organza in particular, linen, rayon and tensel....

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This is Starz#1, the doll I made in August 2013, as my birth gift for the new-born granddaughter of my friend Sarah. This doll is fully joined and posable and has removeable clothes and a reverseable jacket. I had so much fun making this doll, she became the inspiration for making Stars2, which I get to keep.




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 "Sarah's Doll-Mini Lizi", made October 2013. She's about 6" tall.







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This is "Sal's Doll". I made this doll for Sal for Christmas, 2013. This doll was inspired by a simple line drawing done by one of Sal's 2 year old students while Sal was a pre-school teacher at a school in Berkelely. I loved this child's drawing. It is as a joyful portrait of her teacher....














This "Pin Head & Bust" was made for Marcella Hardy, another Flying Phoebe member for our Christmas 2013 Exchange. It's pin to be worn like a broche and is about 4" tall. 

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Tani's Teaching offerings:


I am available to teach privately or in small group instruction:

  • basic hand and/or machine sewing,
  • garment construction and fitting,
  • Open Sewing Lab—(see description below),
  • creative fabric collage,
  • free motion machine embroidery,
  • creative cloth-doll making,
  • painting, stamping & stenciling on fabric.
The following are examples of class topics I have offered:


Intro to Basic Creative Sewing:
Get to Know Your Sewing Machine & Make a Simple Hand Bag or Tote
Minimum 4 hours with break; or better, 2 three hour sessions.

Beginning sewers welcome! This is a fun, introduction to the mechanics of using a regular sewing machine. (Serger or Embroidery machines are not covered in this class).

This class is for first time machine sewers or for those who have a machine they have not used in ages or for those who want to buy a machine or for those who have a new machine that they want to learn how to use. Please let me know what you are primarily interested in learning. Please bring your own machine, along with its owner’s instruction manual and accessories. (Supply List for your “Basic Sewing Kit” is available upon request).

If you don’t have a machine, the instructor can bring a machine you can try out. Please let me know ahead of time!

Students will learn essential sewing concepts such as: seam allowance; straight of the grain; warp, weft, selvage and bias of the fabric; basic machine skills such as: how to thread the machine and floss through the tension disks; how to wind, install and thread the bobbin; change the needle and presser foot; how to select and use multiple stitches; how to do basic machine cleaning and oiling as well as learning some basic problem solving skills along the way.

We will do hands-on practice exercises such as: sewing straight, curved, wavy and sharp corner turns with various stitches on your machine.

You will make stitch samplers to take home. We will try out various presser feet and accessories that come with your machine. Then for more practice, we will start making a simple, hand bag or tote, which will introduce basic skills such as layout, pinning, cutting, sewing and pressing. If we don’t finish the bag in class, you will have learned enough basics to be able to finish at home.

Supply List and list of what to bring to class available at registration.


On-Going Open Sewing Lab: Bring Your Own Project

Minimum of 4 sessions, 3 hours each.

For those who already have basic machine sewing skills.
Class Description: In this small class, (2 - 4 students),
come work together in this fun, friendly, supportive, open sewing-lab.

Get going on a project of your choice to start or finish. With an experienced instructor at your side in this small class environment, you can focus on fitting, cutting, sewing, tailoring and finishing details. Use my large dinning room table, (or yours) irons, pressing tools, rulers, sewing machines or bring your own machine. This is your sewing room away from home! Bring your own project, your sewing kit, and notions, fabric and supplies.

Supply list information available.


 If you are interested in arranging for a class to be taught at your place or mine,
please contact me
via email: <tani@tanimartinat.com>

I am available to teach beginning to intermediate sewing skills including:
basic sewing, garment construction, creative fabric collage,
free-motion machine embroidery &
embellishing, and creative cloth-doll making.
I can work with you privately as a sewing/textile arts coach/teacher
or in small group settings.