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Sara Baldwin Designs Blog

New Ravenna New Patterns

Or, The Little Engine that Could.

So here’s one of my favorite new New Ravenna patterns of 2010.

Sophie backsplash with shell in Calacatta Tia (p) and Thassos (h) (New Ravenna Mosaics)

These days I’m likely to be distracted at friends’ houses. Usually I’m riveted by a random accent item in their home, and I sit there like a parrot, looking at it with first one eye, then the other. I cock my head. “Would you let us borrow that for a photo shoot?” I hear myself say.

Sophie backsplash in Calacatta Tia polished and Thassos honed (New Ravenna Mosaics)

Mirror from Anthropologie. Willow basket from Mom.

With limited shopping time and resources but channeling Lucy and Ethel, Christine and I try to think outside the box when it comes to sourcing photo props. Recently I visited with Beth, a friend here in Cape Charles who has two kittens up for adoption. While my daughter cuddled the furry little creatures, I found myself scoping out nautical props for our upcoming “Octopus’ Garden” shoot, eyes alighting on a blue/green orb underneath the television console.

Octopus's Garden backsplash in glass Moonstone (New Ravenna Mosaics 2010)

Did you know that large, attractive blown-glass balls enlaced by twine were once used as floats in our estuaries and oceans?

Before the age of plastic and foam, what did we use to mark our crab pots and fishing nets? Despite growing up on the Chesapeake, I have to admit I’d never contemplated such a thing. Thanks to Beth, I learned something new and she was happy to lend it to New Ravenna for a glamour shot. In fact, here is her text response to my request for this prop: “I never thought I’d hear ‘I need ur blue ball'”…

For the shots below (the Ganesha pattern in Calacatta), we used good old-fashioned…rose petals.

Ganesha, a natural stone waterjet mosaic shown in Calacatta Tia (p), is part of the Silk Road Collection by Sara Baldwin for New Ravenna Mosaics. (New Ravenna Mosaics 2010)

Ganesha, a natural stone waterjet mosaic shown in Calacatta Tia (p), is part of the Silk Road Collection by Sara Baldwin for New Ravenna Mosaics. (New Ravenna Mosaics 2010)

I think they make the floor look very romantic (And haven’t we improved our photography techniques?)! The pattern must have appealed to other designers as well, because Ganesha, AND the glass water-jet mosaic above, Octopus’ Garden, are finalists in the Interior Design Magazine Best of Year (BOY) awards contest. Every year thousands of us vote for the best product designs featured in a contest on the ID website in September.

This year New Ravenna is a finalist in TWO categories (Floorcoverings: Tile and Stone, and Wallcovering: Contract) –an honor, especially since we are basically the Little-Engine-that-Could down here in Virginia, up against the likes of Kohler, Walker Zanger, et al. I didn’t think we had a chance against those talents. So, YAY!

Cross your fingers for us–Awards banquet is December 2.


5 Responses to “New Ravenna New Patterns”

  1. modernemama says:

    That is SO exciting. You definitely deserve to win for originality, breathtaking beauty and sheer good design.

  2. Sara Baldwin says:

    Thank you! We feel really lucky to have gotten this far. I'm not sure how many thousands of folks voted online, but to think we made it to the final four with so much competition is seriously gratifying.

  3. Fingers are so crossed! Good luck! (I love the first one too, but I love all of them anyway…)

  4. Oh no, too late to cross my fingers for you – hope you won!

    I absolutely ADORE all of your mosaics, but I have to say that Octopus Garden is on of my very favourites :-)

    Your photographs are stunning, and the blue glass float is the perfect accessory for the pictures of Octopus Garden. I love glass floats and have put together a nice collection over the last few months :-)

  5. Anonymous says:

    I do not quite know what this is all about but you are in a class way above the Walker Zangers , Kohlers (though they have an awesome artist in residence program) , Coverings Expo tile world bull. Your work is museum worthy. You are an American artist. Never lose sight of that.

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About Me

Sara BaldwinSara Baldwin

Exmore, Virginia, United States

New Ravenna Mosaics founder and Creative Director, Owner, Sara Baldwin Design, Bass guitar player, Envisioner, Appreciator of the Sublime and Ridiculous.


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