Zerner's East Hampton studio is filled with fabric, beads, and an assortment of decorative paraphernalia of every kind, from every place and every decade in the last one hundred years: prints, silks, velvets, trims, laces, sequins, metallic threads. She searches flea markets and antique shops wherever she goes.
Her way of working is as intuitive and mysterious as her end product.
Cutting, sewing, piecing, balancing, placing and replacing, she also paints, dyes, and colors directly, using whatever technique works at the time. In Zerner's unique collage technique, the image is found in the process, built up by bits and pieces, detail by detail. Her textile world is a balance of both art and craft.
With all its ancient references, Amy Zerner's art could only have happened today, when it is not unusual for a print from the Ivory Coast to appear, as did the lace bit from England, the silk from India, the beads from Venice, and on and on in the galaxy of her materials. In Zerner's magical creations there is a mixture of shapes and symbols, gardens, birds, butterflies, snakes, flora and fauna dense and layered, worthy of the jungle of Jung's collective unconscious.
"I have always worked on the floor, and my imagery is not premeditated. It is pretty spontaneous — I don't sketch out before I start a piece. I scatter my materials in heaps in a ring on the floor. I sits down in the center of it all and wait for the first impulse. I may begin a work with the spark of an idea, but more often the works reveal themselves only after they are completed. Then Monte interprets them. Animals, fish, winged creatures, plants, water, mountains, sky are all used symbolically. Water may be a pool of emotion; Air, the realm of idea; Earth, the physical life; Birds and butterflies may signify spirit."