Tiles in Ginghams, Plaids and Tartans

General / People / Places / Products / July 2, 2012

It’s the ultimate prepped-out flourish for kitchen or bath:

Sara Baldwin has expanded her line of New Ravenna custom mosaics to reminisce through the plaids of her youth.

“When I was young, I couldn’t find the clothes I wanted and I couldn’t afford the clothes I wanted,” the native of Virginia’s Eastern Shore says.  “So my mother taught me how to sew, and I was fond of tartans, any kind of plaids, even madras.”

She says she arrived at the University of Pennsylvania a Southern prep, but left a Northern Bohemian.

But the preppy influence lingered – as did the tartan influence of the McCaleb family, her Scottish ancestors who arrived in the colonies during the 1750s.

“At this point in my life, I’m cycling back and revisiting things like that,” she says.  “There are things like Burberry plaids that seem so stable.  They’re harder to get tired of – I think of them as classic.”

Thus the new line of tiles, made to measure for custom installation, from either jewel glass or natural stone.  Her raw materials come from suppliers in four glass factories across the United States; the tiles are manufactured at her studio in Exmore, Va.

“Think of them as wallpaper for a powder room, above the wainscoting or chair rail,” she says.  “Or for a backsplash in the kitchen, or shower walls in the bath.”

Her glass tiles start at $48 per square foot; stone starts at $55.

And, yes: For all the Lilly Pullitzer aficionados out in Richmond’s West End, they do come in pink and green.

For more on New Ravenna, goto http://www.newravenna.com.

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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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on July 2, 2012

How wonderful! Thank you so much for the article on this fantastic publication. We have shared it with everyone here at New Ravenna Mosaics and they are thrilled. We are a small team in a small town and to see our mosaics doing well out in the world is wonderful. Christine, New Ravenna Mosaics

on July 6, 2012

[…] gallery of New Ravenna’s new Tartans & Plaids.  As Sara described them to Mike Welton for a recent piece in Art & Architects, “There are things like Burberry plaids that seem so stable.  They’re harder to get tired of […]

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