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Ikat Collection

For the Ikat collection, Sara Baldwin has interpreted the ancient textile in her signature style, combining brilliant colour and refined texture in jewel glass mosaics. She has integrated the classic patterns of Central Asian Ikat textiles with the glitter of reflective glass and mirror.

Metamorphosis Collection

In Metamorphosis, organic patterns and textures are transformed into the timeless craft of mosaic. For Baldwin, it

Silk Road Collection

The newest collection is inspired by different historical motifs from cultures in the Middle East. “People are really into that kind of exotic pattern right now,” she said.

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Workspace 31 Jul 2012

Mosaics in the classical style by Sara Baldwin Design

Sara Baldwin Design works with architects and designers to develop functional mosaics for walls, floors, baths, and kitchen counters.

Sara Baldwin discovered mosaics during graduate school on a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She had grown disenchanted, intellectually and emotionally, with her paintings at the University of Pennsylvania. She wanted it to be more physical, more gestural, and more about the paint. “When I went to the Met,” Sara Baldwin said, “I looked down and saw a Roman mosaic. And I wondered why nobody made them anymore.” That was in the early nineties. She went home to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and hasn’t looked back since. 

“I happen to love what I do, exploring new areas and products,” she said. “Now I’m more of a product developer than a painter. It causes you to see things differently and in a new light. I’m happiest when I’m collaborating with our design team.” She imports her raw materials—limestone, quartzite, marble, and granite—from around the world, including India, China, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece. The stone arrives in 12 inch square tiles, and goes out, cut into tiny shapes, in 500 different patterns for borders, medallions, murals, and custom projects. The firm’s designs have been applied worldwide. “Maybe that’s more important than being an artist,” she said. “I can have a much bigger impact on the world than through painting.”

She chooses the colours of her mosaics based on what her consumers want and specify, although in recent years, she’s begun to take colour out of the equation when showing a proposed project. 

“People have such an emotional response to colour, and sometimes will throw a design out because of it,” she said. “So we’ve started showing designs mainly in white, grey, and black. We want them to see the design without the colour—it’s a blank slate, with no editorialising.” Next to the design she’ll display a photograph of the design fabricated and installed in colour. She has changed her colour palette this year to beiges and whites. “We’re still ahead of the curve on that,” she said. “We saw it at the Paris Maison & Objet design show. Everybody was showing palettes with vanilla, chalk, natural linen, silver, dove grey, and grey. In America we’re just getting started, but they’ve been doing  it in Europe for a while now.” 

Trends in glass for the future are all about texture and that colour palette. “In glass there are lots of neutrals, but bright splashes of colour and reflective glass act as a counterpoint,” she said. “We’re doing a project now for a client who wants sparkle— metallic reflections underneath and on top of the glass.”

Ikat Collection

For the Ikat collection, Sara Baldwin has interpreted the ancient textile in her signature style, combining brilliant colour and refined texture in jewel glass mosaics. She has integrated the classic patterns of Central Asian Ikat textiles with the glitter of reflective glass and mirror.

Metamorphosis Collection

In Metamorphosis, organic patterns and textures are transformed into the timeless craft of mosaic. For Baldwin, it's a way to capture the soul of nature's imagination, and to invite its tranquillity into the home.

Silk Road Collection

The newest collection is inspired by different historical motifs from cultures in the Middle East. “People are really into that kind of exotic pattern right now,” she said.

Author: J. Michael Welton writes about architecture, art, and design for a number of national & international publications, including The New York Times, Dwell, Metropolis, and Interior Design.

All images © 2012 New Ravenna Mosaics. All rights reserved. 
IMAGE New Ravenna Mosaics » newravenna.com

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