Saturday, January 26, 2008

Like a rolling stone

The talented crew put in another day at the studio .
Today they worked on the “L” shaped Venetian plaster wall with the Thai pebble inset panel.

After today I suppose I should stop calling it the Venetian plaster wall because I have decided to use a completely different product .
We’ll be using a product called American Clay
The look is the same when burnished and hand waxed but the content of the materials that is mixed together is very different.
In Venetian plaster we use a special type of hydraulic lime.
With the American Clay mixture there is no lime included in the mix.

I like that this product is eco friendly but the price was a bit out of my range, even with my contractor discount.
To cover a mere 140 square feet it cost $ 230 in raw materials alone, and I didn’t even purchase the special milk glue.

That is a pretty penny for such a small area.
I don’t think we will be veneering the planter box walls with the same product.
I think we will go with regular tinted stucco .

Below are the two inset panels for the shower wall.
We are using a hand carved stone tile that I purchased in Bali last year to set into one of the wall panels.

The other panel will have the shower head, which is ‘ huge’ ! ( guess all this rainy weather is getting to me ! )


mjsee said...


Love the pattern y'all have developed with the smooth river stones...very organic...almost scale-like. The contrast created with the Balinese carved piece is interesting as well.

Can't wait to see the photos of the finished installation. Hope it stops raining where you are and STARTS raining here!

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

Thanks Mel,
I just love that Balinese carved tile.
I found it while traveling with the Hortisexuals . We stopped at a stone yard and this tile was in a 'rubble pile' of cast off broken and older pieces of stone work.

I forget how much I actually paid for it , but it was dirt cheap, less than 3 or 5 dollars or so.

I too am looking forward to seeing this exhibit up.

Today it is clear and sunny so the crew is not working here. They are up in Santa Rosa working on a meditation garden that I designed last year.

I can't wait for more rain ! - When ever it rains the guys come to my place and work on the project in my garage.

So lets both do a rain dance !


Anonymous said...

Hello Michelle,

I've enjoyed watching the progress of your display garden. It looks like it's going to be fantastic (although I would not need any proof, seeing that it's coming from you). I found it interesting that you placed a "seam" down the centre of the river rock panel; is there a reason behind that?

Hope to talk to you soon!

- Audric

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

Hey Audric,

How is the Landscape Architectural program going for you ?

Some folks like the 'seam' , or as I call it, 'the zipper'.
I thought that it added a little bit of movement to the overall field of stone.

It can be 'erased' by filling in the mesh of stones, but I kinda like it.

Wish you could make it out here for the show but I guess the next best thing is to keep on checking in on the blog.

Hope all is good with you and that you are enjoying the LA program.

In friendship,

Christopher C. NC said...

I saw the Thai stacked pebbles on a pot in a Florida botanical garden. I saw the stacked slate strips in the half bath at the last house I landscaped on Maui. Both are great textures. I like the zipper too.

Now my question is, in a real job, ie not for the show, would you use these two different textures in the same installation?

I know for the show you want to be able to display options and talents and these textures are in different rooms, one in the bath/shower the other in the entry fountain, but they have such different moods to them.

Anonymous said...

Hello Michelle,

The LA program is crazy. But a good crazy; something which leaves you breathless and exhilarated and exhausted. Perhaps it is something I should be getting used to.

While you're getting ready for your show, we're gearing up to prepare for LABash which is happening in less than a month. We're hoping for 800 students, professionals, and tradespeople to attend. Should be fun! I'm excited to hear from Cornelia Hahn Oberlander after seeing her work with the new New York Times building.

I so wish I could come by for the show, but I think it would be one straw too many for my back (not quite a strong as a camel's, but I'm working on it). As you mention, I'll keep myself content by watching it develop, à la VIP backstage-pass style.

I can't wait to see more!

- Audric

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

Hi Chris,
Good question about texture and materials.
Though this is a 'stage set' type of project I believe I would use these two different stone products in the same manner as if they were installed in 'a real job'.

Originally the small square water feature was designed to be crafted out of tempered glass.
I thought ;" repeat same material for unity".

But then as the project started to take three dimensionality and there was a tangible feeling of two distinct adjoining rooms I thought I could use the opportunity to explore a different type of material.

I thought about using keirki board - a new eco wood and paper product that looks like fine baltic plywood or perhaps just a complimentary colored stucco or maybe even core ten metal.
But as I roamed the stone yards and boutique garden supply shops I came across a magazine in Borders Bookstore called Luxury Spa Finder.
In it was a gorgeous piece on the landscape design work by Bill Bensley for a new Bali Spa in Ubud called Kirana -
The various stones and stone textures that he used inspired me to keep on looking for something that would form a good marriage of both texture and color.

Though both stones are stacked , both have very different shapes and tones .
The shower inset pebbles are soft , round and stacked . The water feature stone is long , layered and stacked.
Sort of a yin yang of textures .

The unifying material that bridges all the various elements together is the American Clay stucco like product that is being used on all the wall surfaces such as the planter boxes and the shower walls.

I hope that when it is all done it does not look like a landscape architectural petting zoo.
But if it does, I take credit for being the head monkey.
Just in case I might have to "stage set out " a bowl of fruit with copious bananas.

the LABash sound like a great time.
Glad you are enjoying and drinking in all the great things that are happening for you at this time in your life.
It's the best and the most craziest time in your life.
Savor every moment of it !
I'm so happy for you !
Grab as much of this great experience while you have the opportunity !
Live and Learn big .

Keep in touch,

Anonymous said...


LOVE your website and am particularly fascinated by your SF show project. Thank you for including the how to's and great photos. I have done a couple of smaller installations for the Boise Flower Show and and can barely pick myself up off the floor after its over. Good work and good luck. I will be at the SF show and hope to meet you.

Can't wait to see the glass wall and that tub! Hell, can't wait to see all of it.......