The weather is finally starting to get nice here in Seattle. Yesterday, I took Sam and Louie for a walk through Olympic Manor, a section of North Beach that has a high concentration of lovely midcentury homes and beautiful views of Puget Sound. At the east end of the neighborhood, behind a grove of trees, there’s a small playground that I’ve never really noticed. On the perimeter of the play area stand five large concrete columns covered in wonderful mosaics depicting plants and animals of the pacific northwest. According to a plaque the project was completed in 2003. I’ve searched the internet for the name of the artist but haven’t had any luck yet. If you find yourself in this part of the world, it’s worth a visit!
We have this old concrete block garage that’s a bit of an eyesore. I think there’s an opportunity here for an interesting tile installation so I’ve begun to research what others have done in outdoor settings. I started with some of the better know tile projects like the work of Jujol, Gaudi’s collaborator in Barcelona and Simon Rodia’s Watt’s Tower in LA, but then I came across the artist Linda Wallen. She’s done a lot of mosaic projects in Pittsburgh. I’m particulary taken with the houses she’s tiled in the Spring Hill neighborhood. They’re beautiful collages made with materials that she’s gathered or been given. Each mural tells a story, both in the way the fragments have been selected, and in the way they’ve been arranged.
I really enjoyed participating in my first Artisan Tile NW Festival this past weekend. It was alot of fun getting input from visitors to the festival. What I enjoyed most however was seeing the amazing range of beautiful tiles from artists at the show. The people I’ve met from this group are so supportive, helpful, and inspiring.
We recently returned from an amazing road trip to San Francisco. Along the way we stopped at Point Arena Tileworks pointarenatileworks.com owned by artist Matt Matijczyk. Matt was kind enough to break away from mixing his glazes to chat with us about his work. He’s had his shop for years and has done a few commissions but mainly he makes his living by selling tiles to travelers on the Pacific Coastal Highway.
Romy and I went to the Handmade Tile Exhibit artisantilenw.org at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture yesterday. It was wonderful to see such a wide range of work from members of Artisan Tile Northwest, the group of artists that organized this exhibit. I was especially inspired by the way some of the artists used their glass and ceramic tiles to create gorgeous pieces for the garden.