Thursday, May 01, 2014

"Sourcing" for a Design Project!

I took a trip a week ago today to Delores Hidalgo where a huge amount of the tile that you see in the USA is made.  Add to that talavera dishes, bowls, huge urns, etc. and you can bet there are many eighteen wheelers rolling out, heading north, on a daily basis.  Thanks to NAFTA. Just about everything made in Delores now is for export, amazing.  And, not just to the USA or Canada.

It was fun to go and source for a master suite redo for a "client". She and I had an enjoyable day. I had not done design work in at least fifteen years.  Maybe longer since this is residential. I am very rusty.  It would be an understatement to say how interesting it was to see new designs and styles at various manufacturers.  All of these photos were in one showroom at Cortez Tile.
 I still go over to Delores from time to time to find something, but with no real agenda.  This trip was different.  We were on a mission to find a certain color of tile and also, at the request of the homeowner, to go to Cortez Tile.  Now, when sourcing, I never knew the names of the streets.  Half the time I didn't know the name of the showroom, shop or workshop.  I just knew how to get there.  This time it was interesting, in that, without knowing where or how we were going, we still got there!  I chuckled about it multiple times.
 The above series of tiles are really fun on the theme of skeletons in every day jobs.  I think they would be so delightful  if I were working on a Tex-Mex or Mexican restaurant.  That's always my first thought when I see something that is unique.  I could imagine that that could have been the beginning of a concept.  It has happened before.
 Something new to me, are the tiles made to look like a fine Persian rug.  Very clever!
One of my favorite things were these tiles to be used to designate the female and male restrooms, usually in bars and restaurants.  It brought back many memories of all the times we tried to come up with a defining way to establish the restroom designations.  Mexicans have such a dry sense of humor.  These did not disappoint.

One of the most enjoyable parts of a complete project for me was the sourcing.....especially when it was on the back roads of Mexico.  I've had many funny stories.  And poignant ones.  I remember the first time I went to Tonala in the early 80's.  There was NOT one shop to buy anything but there were LOTS of homes that people were painting and making all kinds of things.  As the door opened on one home, there were about ten boys around 12 years old, delicately painting Nativity scenes and other very detailed items.  It's still that way in many places.  We have many workshops down the streets by my house that no one would ever know about unless you could see behind the doors.

Ahh, and when you do see behind the doors, at least in my case, the adrenaline starts running along with the desire to figure out a way to use the beautiful items in some way in a project.  Unfortunately, well, not really, my project days are over.

By the way, Tonala is now crammed with stores, kilns to make large pots, markets. It has a huge market on Tuesdays and Saturdays to sell everything and anything you can imagine.   A lot of the glass blowing that originated in Guadalajara is now in Tonala.  Tlaquepaque and Tonala are now all one big source for unique and beautiful items.  Guadalajara is now home to manufacturing fine furniture for Century, Henredon and other manufacturers of that price point.  That began about twenty-five years ago and is in full swing now.

Did we find the right tile, in the right color?  Of course.  Well, I think so and so does the homeowner.  We'll see how this progresses as time moves on..........residential is never cut and dry.  It always has some changes.  Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Dolores Hidalgo is a great little town, and the musuems there are worth browsing.

Babs said...

You are SO right Jennifer. The church too is magnificent as well as the jardin.

billow said...

Ah! I see you still have the touch for design.

Babs said...

Well Bill, it did bring back lots of memories of many years of work. Not sure I still have the touch....ha