22 June 2009

Help New Ravenna Mosaics name their new collection

New Ravena Mosaics is a great friend to this blog and they are in a quandary over one of their new collections. On Saturday, a call went out for help in naming a new collection of monochromatic, classically-inspired mosaics. It goes without saying that this collection is gorgeous and raises the bar quite a bit. It helps that I came up with one of the options for the name of this collection. So please, pop over to Sara Baldwin's blog, Sara Baldwin Design: Blog and vote! Hint: I think Cimbrone is about as perfect a name as there is, not that I'm attempting to influence the outcome here or anything like that.
Two postings back I requested a name for our 2009 black, gray and shades of white collection. Did I ever mention how commitment-phobic I can be?

Since we're writing press releases for the collection, it seems that now would be a good time to settle on a name (duh). The two names I like the most via suggestions in the comments section of the blog or from emails and discussions in Kelly's pub are: Cimbrone, or Samsāra.

Kitchen and Residential Design blog guru Paul Anater made the first suggestion saying, "How about Cimbrone? The Villa Cimbrone is now a grand hotel in Ravello but it started in the 11th century as a grand home. The Villa and the town it sits in is a one stop shop for the history of western art. Classical, Moorish, Renaissance, Baroque and Modern influences are all over the place and they compliment one another perfectly, just like your new collection." I checked out the website--and I'm ready to check in tomorrow, Paul. Also, in 1991 I was completely at a loss for what to name our first mosaic borders and ended up naming them after small towns in Italy. One of them was Ravello.

New Ravenna purchaser Karen Fowler suggested Samsāra: "These designs are all perfectly balanced, and have a Yin/Yang sort of feel to them- with their dual natures. I can't come up with any Buddhist/Eastern philosophy words other than Samsāra (cycle of reincarnation)." I think Samsara could work. It appeals to me because so much of design is simply a reincarnation and reinterpretation of previous work.

Honoring the tradition that came before was the reason I chose New Ravenna as the name for our mosaic company so many years ago--Ravenna, Italy is known for it's amazing Byzantine mosaics, but we wanted to emphasize an American perspective, a new perspective, while revering the best of the old world.

Both of these names appeal to me. What do you guys think?
What are you waiting for? Vote!


  1. I just voted! You may want to take a peek to see what I said. -Brenda-

  2. Unless Sara's hoarding votes, my suggestion is losing. I feel a crushing need to stuff this ballot box.

  3. That and thank you for voting Brenda!

  4. Paul, I left a comment but see it hasn't been posted yet. I voted for............well let's put it this way. I never think of you 'as being on a high horse'. You just call it the way you see it which in my books is called 'honesty'. -Brenda-

  5. That's what I call it too. In an industry based on fawning deference to anything new, it makes me stand out, that's for sure!

  6. Are you aware that there was a firm founded in 1923 called Ravenna Mosaic Company? It was the American branch of an extremely important German stained glass/mosaic firm, Puhl & Wagner, Gottfried Heinersdorff. Herr Heinersdorff (1883-1941) was such a brilliant young stained glass designer and fabricator that in 1914, before he was 30 years, the Puhl & Wagner firm wanted to merge with him. (In the 1890s, Puhl & Wagner did the mosaics in the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin, said to be the greatest mosaics in Germany -- before most of them were destroyed in World War II.) Gottfried Heinersdorff is revered in Germany more highly than Louis Comfort Tiffany is here in America.

    The Cathedral Church of the Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, located in Kansas City, Missouri, is fortunate to have the only example of Heinersdorff's glassmaking skills on the North American Continent (and probably in this Hemisphere). The window was fabricated in January of 1913, one year before the merger with the Puhl & Wagner firm. It was designed by an American female artist, Mary Fraser Wesselhoeft (1873-1971), of Boston, Massachusetts, who was studying stained glass design and techniques with Heinersdorff, when the commission for our window was received in 1912.

    Because work in Germany after World War I was so scare, Heinersdorff was always trying to secure commissions for his firm. He felt there was a huge market in the United States for mosaic work, and so the Ravenna Mosaic Company was created in America in 1923.

    The Ravenna Mosaic Company is most known for their work in the Catholic Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis in St. Louis, Missouri, but they prepared exceptionally fine mosaics for many venues in the United States.

    I thought you would be interested in having this information.

    Randal J. Loy
    Historian to the Dean of
    Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral
    Kansas City, Missouri 64105
    Direct Line: (816) 452-5055

  7. That's fascinating Randal, thank you. I will pass this along to Sara and the rest of the team at New Ravenna.


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