My love for our native americans probably developed as a result of accidentally meeting Sitting Bull's niece in 1963. We were on a western trip and had wanted to see his grave. After walking around and respectfully appreciating the site, we noticed a beautiful slender Indian woman watching us. She came over and told us she was Sitting Bull's niece. She had promised him to always stay near his grave and watch over it until her own death. She, at that time was in her 90's. She asked if we might give her a ride to the gov't agency to be able to get some butter. She slid into the front seat next to me and I was able to observe her closely. Her speech describing the rising of the morning sun was so beautiful - I could hear the drums beating with her every word as I looked into her deep brown/black eyes - a full blooded Sioux. Her skin was very wrinkled and so deeply tanned and weathered. During the ride and with her permission, I rubbed some handcream into her hands which were so rough and dry. I gave her my hand cream to have. She was so dear and grateful for the ride. After that experience, to be asked to design Southwest is a joy for me. To study the many tribes, their customs, handcrafts, and tribal dress is a privilege.
When asked to design a "storyteller" gift for a company, whose employee had been with them for 40 years, I found myself enjoying the storytellers of Helen Codera of the Cochiti Pueblo. My own interpretation of the Storyteller was greatly appreciated by the recipient when the gift was presented. I went to the Pueblo in search of Helen to meet her but was told by her niece she had died 2 months prior. Her niece did take me to see Helen's firing area outside her house, as well as Helen's grave.
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Stairs with Pueblo pot design tiles on the risers.
Pueblo pot design tiles on the landing.
Pueblo pot tile design #1.
Pueblo pot tile design #2.
Pueblo pot tile design #3.
More Pueblo pot tile designs.
Thirty nine pot tile designs are available.
Another time I was asked to design a foyer, stair well, and living room hearth in a house where 5 generations prior, was a full–blooded Cherokee. I studied 1800 Pueblo Indian designs and poured the 6" clay tiles – cutting the designs deeply into the clay. A sand finish was achieved on the tiles with a sand–glaze firing. A 2"x6" trim tile was made the same way. 3D tiles were used on the risers. I had requested the pieces of unusable tiles–cut, broken, damaged, from the floor setting be saved for me to get my 6" pieces for the tile setting I had to do in my 3 areas. This saved the client the expense of ordering additional tiles.
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Room decorated in a southwest theme.
Southwest tiles accent the desk area.
Cannister accessories for the southwest theme.
For another client, my daughter and I were requested to assume responsibility for the interior design of a 4000 sq. ft. addition to a 4000 sq. ft. house. After the new dining room area in Southwest was approved by client, we began designing a complimentary kitchen with tile layout for floors and backsplash featuring 3D tile relief as well as accessories. Only these 2 areas were Southwest in a very transitional/traditional house – which proves Southwest can be appreciated in the Midwest without the entire house designed in that decor. Please notice in this house by removing the 3D tiles, Southwest wallcovering and dining room valance allowed for a new owner to completely change decor with no floortile or walltile change.
These patents are available for sale or licensing.