15 Second Studio Tour: House Numbers In Progress

15 Second Studio Tour of Nutmeg Designs from Nutmeg Designs on Vimeo.

The Elements of Composition and Abstraction in House Numbers

House Number 340 in Red Orange with Blue Accents by Nutmeg Designs

House Number 340 in Red Orange with Blue Accents by Nutmeg Designs


I spend time immersed in numbers, in their shapes, and how straight and curved connect with each other.  Each house number takes on its own personality, as I wend my way around them.  This 340 reminded me that I also spend this time immersed in color, contrast, line, all elements of composition.  Learning about composition was exciting, a new language.  The people who commission house numbers from Nutmeg Designs understand this language, whether explicitly or implicitly.

Abstract art allows composition to speak freely, and it is a joy to spend time with each number imagining what will make it glow or pop or infuse a house with color.

Miyabi Quilt by Matsuko Shiraishi: Elegance in Orange

Miyabi Quilt by Matsuko Shiraishi

Miyabi Quilt by Matsuko Shiraishi at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza, 2014. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

This quilt introduced me to the concept of Miyabi, a traditional Japanese aesthetic combining elegance and sorrow.  Matsuko Shiraishi describes how the quilt is made of wedding Kimono fabric, and that wedding ceremonies are a combination of those two emotions.  To see the whole quilt, which takes on the shape of a Kimono, there’s a great photo of Matsuko Shiraishi’s work on the gladiquilts site.

Having words to describe different forms of beauty helps me look at things more closely and contemplatively.  I have written about Wabi Sabi and Hozho, and the beauty of imperfection,  but Miyabi was new to me.  The Kimono fabric is definitely elegant, with metallic thread and a silky sheen.

What defines elegant for you?

Out of the Crayon Box: Clothing for the Body and Soul by Rachel Clark


I just love color and when I say I love color it’s not about that I just love bright colors. I just love color. I’ve had a really fun time in the last year, two years, working with beige and just exploring and playing around with the properties in the colors of beige, the different […]


Happy National Coffee Day with a Quilt from Bonnie Dwyer


Contemplative Photography at the Michener Museum

Powell Door Detail

Stratoz discovered that the Michener Museum now allows photos of their collection.  This is one of our favorite museums and we often wanted to photograph inside.  When I wrote about the Phillip Lloyd Powell door, the Michener graciously provided a photo for me to use, but the pleasure now is in choosing details and angles. […]


Being Present in the Studio

House Number 205 in Yellow and Orange by Nutmeg Designs

In reflecting on the evolution of Nutmeg Designs house numbers, I am taken with how they have taken on a life of their own. Stratoz and I started collaborating in the studio with words around 2008.  He used his stained glass skills to shape letters that were legible and lovely, and I used my small […]

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