Kindred Spirits in orange-love requested an ombre background to their 3901 house number. Stratoz was telling me about studies of how the brain edits the world for us, filling in the gaps, making senses synchronous. Seeing is an action. I have gotten better at imagining how a mosaic will look once grouted, how the colors will flow. When I first started grouting the uncertainty was intense. What will happen once I slather the glass with grout? Will the design emerge or will it be fragmented? Ombre reminds me of Impressionist painting, where the artists let the eye blend the dots and strokes of color.
I am grateful there are people who desire red, orange and yellow house numbers. This one went to Berkeley, CA. Their number is gifted with the numeral one in three out of four of the digits. Ones are both simple to surround in glass, and difficult to join up with neighboring numbers. The clients queried us because they had a vision for spacing the ones, so they weren’t as gawky and lonely, and I appreciated this concern. It can seem as if ones and fives are numbers from different planets.
Commission your house number at 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.
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 pieces to create mosaic backgrounds. A friend suggested we make house numbers. One suggestion can make a big difference.
Now my friend is starting her own business, and she wonders what it will be: the idea that creates resonance and draws people in. It is hard in that place of uncertainty, and yet to know then what I know now would’ve scared me too. Our orders for house numbers tripled in the 2nd quarter of 2014, and in 2009 I didn’t have a way to track orders, or clients, or pacing myself, but I do now.
There were two more orders in my inbox this morning. If I get ahead of myself, and focus on my narrative of “how will I get this all done?” then my anxiety rises. But if I go into the studio, and start making, I am fine as I focus on: the beauty of glass, the delight of color, the emerging of a whole from the pieces as I unite them with grout, the happiness of our clients.
Amanda Piccirilli, friend and client, invited me to do a guest blog post for her May A to Z Challenge: M is for Mosaic.
Amanda commissioned one of my favorite house numbers in golden amber tones.
Before Stratoz and I started making our own art, we were big fans and collectors of art tile. When we discovered the Handmade Tile Association Guide to Handmade Tile and Mosaic Mosaic Artists, we knew we wanted to be a part of it. A box of the glossy catalogs arrived!
The HTA is based in Minnesota, and many of the artists listed are in the midwest or pacific northwest, so it was cool to help fill out the northeast listings, in the company of two tile makers we love and own work from Moravian Pottery & Tile Works, and the Sligo Creek Tile Company.
Check our gig as the Featured Artists in the January Newsletter.
I featured our house numbers. I braved the learning curve of figuring out how to make an advertisement with photoshop. Part of my planning for the business is getting the point that I can hire other talented folks to do some of the things that take me a long time!
More tile images at my Art Tile Awe Pinterest Board.
Tell me about your favorite tile.