Museu del Cau Ferrat

Should you find yourself anywhere near Barcelona and have a love for tile, you need to make your way to Museu del Cau Ferrat in Sitges.

 

Cau Ferrat would not be the draw to this seaside town for most who would instead be lured by the cool salty waters of the Mediterranean. Winter temperatures during my visit prevented sunning and swimming leaving plenty of indoor time spent inside of a warm musuem.

Postcard from the musuem.

Postcard from the musuem.

The musuem is the former home and studio of artist Santiago Rosiñol (1861-1931).The home sits adjacent to the beach. One can glimpse the blue sparkling water through the windows. Two old houses were acquired and converted with the help of architect Francesc Rogent. The lower floor retains typical vernacular architecture while the upper floor is a Neo-Gothic Great Hall. Señor Rosiñol was not only an artist but a collector as well. Loads of plates adorn the walls above colorful tiled wainscoting in the lower floor. The tile layout displays a refreshing creative freedom. Such an exuberant mix of many patterns.

Charm galore in the paneled ceiling, stenciled walls, arched opening, and oh so many tiles.

Charm galore in the paneled ceiling, stenciled walls, arched opening, and oh so many tiles.

Spanish stars surround the Virgin and child.

Spanish stars surround the Virgin and child.

Patterns everywhere: Moorish screen, stenciled walls, marbled and colorful tiles.

Patterns everywhere: Moorish screen, stenciled walls, marbled and colorful tiles.

Lovely ceiling detail.

Lovely ceiling detail.

Tile heaven.

Tile heaven.

Love the Greek key border.

Love the Greek key border.

After climbing the tiled stairs one arrives to a dramatic large space.

Architecturally this is a beautiful room. It features tall beamed ceilings and colorful rondel windows.

Upstairs are displays of Rosiñol’s vast wrought iron collection which features clavos, door knockers, candelabras, and a bed.

Many paintings line the walls. There appears to be a study of The Birth of Venus. It has the signature of Botticelli, but it could be a copy by the artist.

On memorable aspect, of many, in the room were the plaster arches filled in with paintings by the artist. They were quite charming.

The tiles were so beautiful in this house/museum. I took countless photos.

The Cau Ferrat Museum connects to the Museu de Maricel and is just before the Palau de Maricel. This one street offers much to see in Sitges.

Casa V Interiors, based in Orlando, Florida, searches the world for inspiration.

The Chihuly Museum

The Chihuly Museum in Seattle displays a variety of the master’s colorful works that you might not have seen before.

 

We recently traveled to Seattle for a wedding. We used our free afternoon to visit the Chihuly museum. It showcases the various styles of the artist’s career in a beautiful setting.

Colorful creations hang from above. The singular colors make quite a statement.

Indigenous inspiration.

Dale Chihuly hails from Tacoma, Washington. One of his early inspirations was the work of the indigenous tribes of the Pacific Northwest.

Some of his glasswork shows similar patterns to that of basketry made by the tribes.

One room of the museum was dedicated to sea life. Wonderful colors seen above remind me of Venetian beads.

The Orlando Museum of Art has a similar piece in a gallery minus the orange sea creatures.

Preliminary sketches hang on the walls of the sea life room.

After suffering a shoulder injury and reduced sight, Chihuly drew his ideas. Artisans used them to fabricate the works.

Garden inspiration.

His mother’s garden inspired him frequently.

I would have loved to have seen a photo of her garden.

The artist has his own garden, however, with the museum. His creations seem to grow from the ground beneath.

The museum is located right next to the Space Needle. This pink sculpture looked a bit like rock candy.

Numerous gazing balls of different patterns nestle into the low plants.

This ground cover first appeared to be decorative and not real.

A flower garland floats overhead inside the atrium.

Chihuly’s Macchia Forest was inspired by stained glass and his desire to use a multitude of colors all in one work. Realizing that colors were intensified on a grey day versus a blue one, the artist begin using a white in between layer called a “cloud”. He added a colored rim as the final touch for an additional hue.

My favorite work was Winter Brilliance, 2015, commissioned by the now closed Barneys New York for their holiday windows. The artist said of this form which he began developing in 1996:

Ice is one of my favorite materials to work with because of the way it interacts with light. It inspired me to create the icicle form. 

-Dale Chihuly

Glassblowers are on site showing how pieces are made. Those are then sold in the Space Needle gift shop with proceeds donating back to the arts community. There are numerous activities when visiting Seattle. The Chihuly Museum is definitely worth a trip.

Casa V Interiors is an Orlando based interior design firm.