I want to share the deeper origin behind some of my designs. If you've been following for a while, you know that I don't just design a Poppy invite because I think poppies are pretty. For all of the the products in my line, from the essence for El Salvador and the china inspired by my grandfather, there is a narrative and real purpose behind their offerings. Sometimes, it's scary to share the real reason behind a design, because of its personal nature, but if I claim to value connection in my life and business, then I need to be doing a better job of sharing with you the meaning of what I do.
Pacific. Water seeks its own level, or more aptly, it makes its own path. I can truly relate to this after seeing the power water has, to destroy, and provide life. I've always respected this. I grew up in Southern California in the 80s, during a drought, surrounded by our largest body of water. People were fined for hosing down their sidewalks, and discouraged from watering their lawns, yet we played every weekend at the beach, the waves working their powerful magic as we rode and played, sometimes being caught in a wave that would pound you against the shore. I learned to hold my breath and ride out the thrashing, that it would be over soon if I was calm. My teenaged showers were marked by the collection of dirty water, literal run-off from the shower, pooling around my ankles, then pumped out through the window into a trash can outside, where it was later used to water the plants and grass. My chemistry teacher instructed us to never flush the toilet- if you wait long enough, he said, enough waste would accrue so that it would self flush.
It's with this respect, that when I learned of the village in El Salvador that had no water, my creative efforts came together with our essence, made of water, to support water efforts. And, it's a noticing, of what water does when it makes it's path known, sometimes it leaves a subtle pattern in the shore, and sometimes it leaves a devastating outcome, like when a flood and mudslide devastated the community of Montecito, killing 23 people in January of 2018.
It's with this understanding of water's value, by it's strength and scarcity, that I created our Pacific Invitation. Living in the midwest as a California transplant, you go to great lengths to find regional nature, and I've been lucky to have family here that shows me, and invites me to their lake cottages, where I can experience a beach that reminds me of home: uninterrupted walks, protected bluffs made of trees butting up to the sand, and the recession lines that water leaves from it's subtle waves. In fact, it might be because of those soft waves that these beautiful lines are left in the sand; in California, the waves might obliterate them. But even if these photos were taken in Michigan, it's not so much the physical place, but a feeling, when I walk the long beaches, with nature as my backdrop instead of city views, that place of nostalgia, that takes me home.
The same idea also informed this custom project we worked on with our lovely clients and their bespoke china:
All Photos by Julia Franzosa Photo