After a trip, sometimes I don’t see nuggets of ideas until I look at my images. I chose the shots after all, so there is some vague through line. So here goes.
When I was in Chicago two weeks ago (was it that long?) some friends and I visited the Cuneo Mansion and Gardens. The landscape or what’s left of it, is very formal and was designed by Jens Jensen early in his career and didn’t really have his signature prairie style imprint. What interested me more than that, if you view my images were two flooring patterns. One inside the house on the second floor and the second on a small balcony off a bedroom.
The second floor pattern in the house incorporated varying squares of granite, terra cotta and glazed squares. It was worn and beautiful.
A small balcony- in disrepair and shot through the locked screen door–off a guest room incorporated the same patterned glazed squares and bluestone. Getting closer to my outside design inspiration.
A small central medallion or an entire pathway could be created using these tiles…but finding frostproof ones? That didn’t happen until a few days later in Detroit when I visited Penwabic Pottery. I bought two stoneware house numbers that are frostproof and meant for outside use to experiment with.
I’m going to make an address stepping stone or wall piece that combines those numbers with a previous and different trip’s inspiration – the inlayed street markers in New Orleans. They fascinated me when I was there and have stuck with me in the inspiration memory banks.
I’m not sure yet if what I make will be brick (a sub for terra cotta) and bluestone or bluestone and granite–both will go with my early 20th century cottage. Somehow all of this inspiration adds up if I let myself be free enough to connect the dots. I’m sure there will be a pathway or a medallion in a client’s future garden once I get the technique down in mine.