Quote from a happy client: “What a splendid idea, and what a splendid job of execution!”
This commission started at the American Craft Exposition in Evanston, IL in August 2010. My client owns a company that houses one of the world’s 15 or so electron microscopes, as well as a whole school dedicated to electron microscopy, spectroscopy and other fascinating worlds of science! The CEO, his wife, and I, all worked on an installation based on the company’s logo. For material to work from, I was given special permission to peruse a database of images that were truly a stupifying journey into the micro world that is the foundation of our lives.
This winter was a profound time for me. My beloved friend and father died suddenly while cross country skiing the woods of New Hampshire with friends at age 72. I cancelled all shows and worked in my new studio space created in 2009 in the historic Grange building in my town, two doors over from my home.
Out of this time came this work and by butterfly and musical instrument pieces, as well as a many other projects, of course. Butterflies are an obvious symbol of new life, and in the meditation of carving round disk after round disk, all with unique images and designs, completing 110 disks, freed up new energy for a whole new chapter in innovative sculptural wall tile that will come out of the studio.
My 17-year old niece, in between soccer camps, came and helped me make a number of projects during the summer months by rolling out tile for me to drape and carve. One afternoon I invited her to take some of the smaller disks we had made and carve them. I was amazed at her inherent talent. She carved a dozen tiles that I used as space holders as I laid out this piece. They looked so fabulous, however, that they are included in the permanent installation.
It was an unrepeatable summer, holding space for my dear dad, working with my niece, Magda, while my fiance rebuilt the house we are now living in, and my mom brought Magda and me homemade cookies and tea at 3 pm. We all worked together to reweave the family fabric, allowing the time we all needed to sit with the passing of Pa. My dear studio mates, Ellen Pratt , Cynthia Parker-Houghton and Sara Meehan, held the in-town studio space down for me and allowed me to work at home. I am so grateful for their fine work and commitment to this studio.
We just got word from the client that “individually the tiles capture attention, and arranged the way they are is outstanding. They are perfectly located where they are, especially with the indirect lighting…I’m thinking that they will be especially gorgeous in the late evening, after dark, when illuminated only with indirect lighting.”
Disc tiles by Natalie Blake Studios
Look for more images of these discs under the Abstract tab of our Tile Catalogue section of the website!