For the past year or so, I've been thinking a lot about patterns - not so much the contours I see in the environment, but more like the behaviors I see in myself when I experience feelings of doubt. Ultimately, it starts with the wayward thoughts in my head, so I made a vow to start practicing certainty, even when I don't feel it.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to pull myself up the side of a rocky canyon in Kentucky, about 120 feet above the ground, and navigate a tough Via Ferrata climb with my two daughters. At one point I became terrified, and all I could think about was staying strong for them so they could feel coolheaded to continue. As I watched my 11 year old traverse the cliff above me faster than the rest of us could keep up, and my unruffled 13-year old clip calmly in and out of the dangling cables behind me, I realized that they could have cared less if I was trying to summon courage for them. They were busy building trust in themselves, as it should be.
Plowing forward despite my fears was a personal moment of triumph, but nothing was more inspiring than witnessing the confidence that radiates from young girls who never doubted themselves in the first place.
Terrazzo Floor Design at New Rapid Station in Cleveland
Susie inspects the installation of the terrazzo floor she designed for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's new Little Italy - University Circle Rapid Station just days before the ribbon cutting on August 11th. The $15.6 million project, designed by City Architecture, is the RTA's first new Red Line station in 46 years.
"Flusso", an Italian word that means "flow," is the title of her composition, which visually points pedestrians towards the head station and out towards the sidewalks, depending on which direction one is walking. The concept was inspired by swarming behavior in the natural world. Whether it's the flocking of birds, schooling of fish or herding of mammals, studies across different species have shown that staying in swarms appears to be a calming mechanism for animals and is a powerful social motivator to move as a collective. Humans also show signs of swarm behavior especially when moving through transit environments, so Frazier's floor pattern is symbolic of those living organisms aggregating into their instinctual, supportive current. To learn more about the project, read here.
This month, Susie presents several new products that are part of her Spirit Collection, a line of modern accents crafted out of hot rolled steel from Cleveland's manufacturing industry. These sophisticated and sturdy products include various sizes of desktop and wall-mount magnet boards, decorative trays, and wall vases. Add a wide variety of wooden magnets to go with them and hold important notes or your favorite photographs in place. See what industrial design blog, Core77, is saying about Susie Frazier products like the one shown here.
Another limited run of soft, eco-dyed scarves are back at the Susie Frazier Showroom! Each silk wool jersey wrap is created through a non-toxic process using all natural materials to produce a one-of-a-kind "transfer print." Real leaves and stems are bundled and wrapped inside the fabric and are cooked in a kettle over an outdoor fire. It's a slow, botanical alchemy in which the colors only develop with heat, pressure and time.
Beam Block Sculpture
When century-old St Catherine's Catholic Church in Cleveland was torn down in 2011, several enormous beams were salvaged from the site. Susie was able to come across a few of these beams and had them cut into stumps at varying heights. The geometric repetition and the concentric contours of the wood made for an exciting composition as a coffee table, but also add versatility for separating into stools! This piece has sold, but another one can be made to order.
To see more of Susie's design ideas, follow her boards on Pinterest.