Mosaics Inspired by the Loire Valley

General / People / Places / Products / September 14, 2015

That Sara Baldwin is always up to something.

The newest escapade for the owner of New Ravenna Mosaics was a bicycle tour through the Loire Valley in France.

From it, she picked up geometric designs for her newest line – one she calls Parterre – inspired by the Renaissance jardins she found surrounding the chateaux along the way.

“You do a wine tasting, and then you’re on a bike to the first hotel, and it’s a chateau that’s magnificent, with gardens that are tailored,” she says. “Villandry is one of  the  most famous gardens on the planet, and we toured it one afternoon.”

From her experience there, she Paul Schatz created18 designs, each hand-crafted in stone, glass, shell, ceramic, and aluminum, all available in different combinations.

They’re as geometric as the gardens themselves.

“It was a way of exploring another form of artistic expression,” says the designer who favored Geometry in high school. “No one here has been trained in horticulture or landscape architecture, but by accident I designed something based on a French garden design.”

She took it to Coverings, the largest tile and stone exhibition in North America, showed it to selected clients and found that it was the most popular design of all she’d brought.

“I wanted to give customers a variety of patterns, with something for everyone, and some very textual,” she says.

Plus, there’s the organizational appeal.

“I’ve been establishing structure in my business and that’s part of why I’m attracted to this kind of design,” she says. “I grew up one of most unorganized people on the planet – and it seems like the theme of my life is organizing s[tuff].

Now she’s thinking about a trip to Japan, to study the meticulousness of the gardens there.

Try and imagine the possibilities from that.

 


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Michael Welton
I write about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications. I am the author of "Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand" (Routledge, 2015), and the former architecture critic for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.




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