Cedarburg Garden Gate
Designing decorative and architectural ironwork often has its frustrating moments…..hours……days. The design for this garden gate in Cedarburg needed to address the wonderful stonework, the bursts of foliage and color in the gardens, and the starkness of the winter months.
Before the pencil proceeds to sketch ideas, a trip to the client’s home provides insight not only to the environment in which the piece will co-exist, but also a glimpse into the lives of the client. In this case, I came away from this meeting filled with the enthusiasm shown me by the client’s incredible passion for flora and fauna.
There was indeed a visual smorgasbord upon viewing the terraced flower gardens, as well as the field-stone walled vegetable garden they had created. Clearly, this couple had not only planned well for this 1 acre lot, but their heart, eye for composition, texture and color, coupled with sweat equity confound those of us who only have 24 hours in a day.
Upon talking with this couple, I found that because of the broad variety of flowering plants, six legged winged visitors not commonly seen in most gardens are regulars here, sparking another passion…….entomology. Such visitors include the “Hummingbird Moth”, whose appearance and antics closely mock that of its namesake.
I also found that they not only photographed these delightful guests, but they also collect some of them, displaying them in colorful glassed-fronted boxes inside their home.
All this provided much for design possibilities.
The gate needed movement, and a flow that complimented the ever changing life forces surrounding it. I couldn’t help but include hints of the couple’s interest in insects. Thus, you will see a repetitive feature inspired by the abdomen of a spider. Also, there are jointed motifs reflecting the legs of insects.
Also included in this commission was 125′ of fence to go atop the stone walls to prevent intruders such as the whitetail deer.
I came away from this job with the satisfaction that these folks truly enjoy not only the gardens themselves, but the entire process of creating the environment, and its many rewards. Being a part of their vision truly made this job special.
“When it’s all over, it’s not who you were, it’s whether you made a difference.”…….Robert Dole.