VMSD - January 2016 - (Page 63)

DESIGNER PROFILE materials + wallcoverings ST EWART F ERE BEE , V I RGI N IA BE ACH , VA . Piece by Piece Growing up in rural Virginia on her family's farm, Sara Baldwin's upbringing was one that truly fostered her creativity from the start. From foraging for oysters along the Chesapeake Bay shore to chopping trees for the wood to craft handwoven baskets, her family instilled in her a spirit of wonder and DIY determination. Baldwin credits these experiences for her willingness to experiment in her designs today. "My parents taught [my siblings and I] a tolerance for making mistakes," she says. "It's okay that the first basket you make looks like a 5-year-old made it - that's how you learn." Encouraged to pursue art at an early age, her parents began enrolling her in classes when she was 6 years old, and eventually, Baldwin went on to earn her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also secured her master's. Originally focused on painting, it was during her graduate studies when her admiration for mosaic artistry was fully realized. "I walked into the Met one day, and there was this incredible mosaic on the floor," explains Baldwin. "[I gasped] and thought, 'Why isn't anyone making these anymore?' And this lightbulb went off." Drawn to the utilitarian nature of mosaics, she decided at that moment she would start her own business in mosaic tiling. Not knowing where to start, she began her grassroots effort to get her company name publicized - which she coined New Ravenna, after the ancient Italian city, Ravenna, known for its intricate Roman mosaics. With the support of her family - and a one-year deadline to get her feet on the ground - Baldwin packed up her samples and hit the trade show circuit. Now 25 years and 130 employees later, New Ravenna (Exmore, Va.) is going strong. Her company's mosaics have graced the walls and floors of retailers such as Kiehl's and Jimmy Choo, among others. And although mosaic tiling is an ancient practice, Baldwin insists it's here to stay: "People appreciate the artistry, and they want to have it in their displays or on the façade of their retail space - they appreciate the craftsmanship," she says. "It's also an enduring way of expressing a pattern that lasts a long time. It's a tried-and-true product."-Kaileigh Peyton SARA BALDWIN FOUNDER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR NEW RAVENNA "I walked into the Met one day, and there was this incredible mosaic on the floor," explains Baldwin. "[I gasped] and thought, 'Why isn't anyone making these anymore?' " VMSD.COM | JANUARY 2016 63 http://www.VMSD.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - January 2016

Vmsd - January 2016
Contents
From the Editor
Editorial Advisory Board
Props + Decoratives
Lighting
Mannequins + Forms
Materials + Wallcoverings
Materials New Ravenna’s Sara Baldwin
Furniture
Fixtures
Fixtures Vassi Design Group/chippenhook’s Natasha Watkins
Flooring
Flooring Emma Gardner Design’s Emma Gardner
Signage + Graphics
Best of the Rest
Ad Index
Lasting Impression Melissa Shoes, New York

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