Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tilikum Crossing - Bridge of the People

This summer Pratt & Larson had the honor of working on a project with TriMet, Portland's transit authority. 
Tilikum Crossing - Bridge of the People Image courtesy of TriMet

The latest bridge to cross the Willamette River in Portland since the Fremont Bridge in 1973, the Tilikum Crossing was designed specifically for pedestrians, cyclists, buses, light rail and the street car. In fact even it's name means "people" in the Chinook Wawa language used by the traders in the Pacific Northwest in the 19th century. Check out this cool time lapse video of the building of the bridge.

The Sonic Dish
Artists rendition of the Sonic Dish
TriMet allocates 1.5 percent of a projects budget toward art installations along the transit line. One of the art installations for this project is the Sonic Dish, designed by artists Douglas Hollis and the late Anna Valentina Murch. Here's a great 1 minute clip about them.

The idea behind the Sonic Dish is to link the bridge to it's surroundings by amplifying ambient sounds under the bridge as pedestrians and cyclists pass the bridge's curved abutments. The environment plays an active role in the artwork, in the same way that the changing lights illuminating the bridge at night are controlled by changes in the river. The image above explains how the dish will magnify the sounds and focus them at a point 5 to 10 feet from the wall. Of course, its also meant to be a visual experience as explained by Mary Priester, manager of TriMet's public arts programs."The dish is there to be experienced as it is; more art than science, as much visual as aural"

Here's the Sonic Dish's underlying concrete structure. Pratt & Larson supplied the tile that would be attached to this surface. We made 1400 square feet of  white 2" circle tiles and mesh mounted them in our factory just a few blocks away from the bridge. That's 63,000 tiles!! We also mounted 436sf of smaller metal circles in sheets to make installation easier. As you can see our team had a great time visiting the site:

The tall guy overseeing the installation here is our CEO Timothy Roberts.
And our Production Manager, Anthony Asch. Obviously the hard hats were a hit with this crowd.
Here you can see the two different kinds of tile as they are being installed. 
Curved surfaces are very challenging to install flat tile on. These guys did a great job!
This shot shows the finished grouted installation. 63,000 white circles!!
The east side Sonic Dish, completed.
The bridge doesn't open until September 2015 but the Springwater trail is open again and passes right under the bridge by the Sonic Dish.  Check it out and let us know what you hear!

Tilikum Crossing Fact sheet
1/5/15 - Update - They took the fencing down so now you can go and try it out for yourself!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Indigo, Navy, Midnight. Blue by any other name.

A few years back i wrote a blog about all the deep dark blues that were turning up on my favorite design sites. Two years later and the deep dark blues are still going strong and i thought this topic was worth another visit. 
Here's an update to that original post.  

Indigo, Midnight, Navy.  These beautiful dark blues have been appearing in all my favorite design sites and magazines lately.  I've put together some pictures of these midnight beauties along with the Pratt & Larson tile they inspired me to order up in our own collection of deep blue glazes.

Filigree C in  W96
The soft texture of this rich navy blue painted wallpaper lead me to try our Filigree patterns in a deep blue Watercolor glaze. It gathers and pools in the recesses becoming deep and dark and pulls away from the delicate pattern, leaving it with a hint of the palest of blues.

Indigo Diamond wallpaper from Galbraith and Paul 
Scraffito C in PW1 with Charcoal
The strong contrasting pattern of this Galbraith & Paul wallpaper has a similar feeling to our Scraffito Series. Here we've highlighted the pattern of the tile by applying an accent color with a technique called PolyWash.  

Carpet squares from Flor

P&L's 2x6 Herringbone in R147 (glossy) and C340 (matte)
For a quieter look like the subtle stripes of these carpet tiles from Flor try a tone on tone pattern. Here I used a glossy glaze and a matte glaze in very similar colors to create a subtle herringbone chevron pattern suitable for use on the floor. 

Kitchen design by Miles Redd
6x12 Field in R147
Texture A in W10
Texture B in W11
Maybe you'd like the whole room in that beautiful deep sea blue? Use our field tile to fill your walls with dramatic color. We can make sizes as large as 6x18! Add one of our new Textures to your field tile for a one of a kind look. 

From Martha Stewart Living
Can't decide which blue to use? Pick a blend and use them in one of our mosaic patterns. There are almost 100 different mosaic patterns available from Pratt & Larson and they can be ordered in any combination of our beautiful blue glazes. Find the right blue for your next project at a Pratt & Larson dealer near you.

Follow the links in this post for downloadable brochures on each of these lines from P&L.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Bevels & Frames - New Bas Relief styles at Pratt & Larson

We've added on to the Pratt & Larson Bas Relief collection with some new dimensional tiles. More sizes in our popular Bevels, a Pyramid and a whole new series of dimensional Frame tiles that are a great clean, contemporary version of the classic bevel.

Our 3x6 Bevel has been popular for decades so we thought it was about time we added some more sizes to go along with it. The new bevel sizes include a 5x10 and a 4x8 in addition to our 3x6 bevel and there are beveled squares too, in 5x5, 4x4 and 3x3.

The Bevels look great in any of our glazes, from Watercolors, to R-Gloss, Craftsman and Metallic. The Watercolors pool beautifully on the edges of the bevel accentuating the dimension of the bevel and the Metallic glazes really catch the light on all those angles. 


There are two styles of our new Frames - Recessed and Raised. Keep in mind we are describing the Frame - the outer ring of the design, when we say raised or recessed so you don't mix them up! Refer to this diagram and call them Frame A or Frame B, and make sure of your codes when ordering. 

You can order the Recessed Frame in 4x4, 4x8, 6x6 and 6x12, while the Raised Frame comes only in the 4x4 & 4x8 sizes. 

The Frame series comes in any of our glaze colors and they break on the edges and pool in the recesses in wonderful ways. Order some samples for your showroom or stop by our Portland showroom to see how beautiful they are in person. Download the brochure from our website here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pratt & Larson Mosaics

If you came to our booth at Coverings in Las Vegas this year then you know we've been hard at work on our mosaic patterns. We cleaned up the shapes, tightened up the grout lines and sorted through the patterns; imagining them in all sorts of fresh color combinations. There's a new brochure with images of these patterns for inspiration and it also has black and white line drawings to use in designing your own color combinations. Download the brochure here

Choose high contrast colors for bold patterns, and bright colors for a touch of whimsy.

Go with low contrast and pale color combinations for a quiet subtle look. 
With our hundreds of glaze colors to choose from there is no end to the variations.

Change the colors,
or change the scale. There's so many options.

Use the line drawings to design your own color combinations. 
Just tell us where you want the colors placed and we'll send you a sample.
And there's so many colors to choose from....

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Coverings 2014

It was so wonderful to see everyone at Coverings this year! It seemed like everyone was in good spirits and having lots of fun. We got lots of terrific feedback on our new products too. Here's a little recap in case you didn't make it to the show this year. Not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas after all!

Building the booth
The outside of the booth featured factory images
The tiled entry
Building the booth was quite an undertaking! It took a week of hard work at the convention center to put it up and getting to that point was months in the making back in Portland.

From the very beginning
Our focus this year was on new Sales Tools for our vendors. We offered the newest version of our Sales Tools Credenza and a great new way to show our tremendous color palette and our shapes and sizes in new framed display panels.

The Sales Tool Credenza with the 2x4 Color Palette Panels
The Color Panels also come in 2x2's which allows you to show all our colors in a smaller foot print

The Shapes and Sizes Panels show our best selling field tile sizes and shapes and all of our mosaic sizes are grouped together so you know which ones come mesh mounted.

The Mosaic Package
The Mosaic Package is a fun new way to display our huge assortment of mosaic patterns. The package comes with 20 Mosaic Pattern 12x12 display boards for the wall and a floor box that can either hold 32 more display boards or 56 white pattern tool boards. With the rising popularity of mosaics this is a terrific new package for any showroom.

The Mosaic Package
Large display panels show off new product
We had lots of new product to show as well! This wall featured large displays of our new pieces. Larger format tile has been very popular lately and we have some new sizes available like 6x18! We also presented the new Textured tiles at the show along with our new dimensional tiles - like the new 5x10 Bevel and the Recessed Frame series. Check out the new Catalog Addendum available on our website. 

Michael Pratt & Tim Roberts inspecting the booth before the show opens

The booth was packed for days!

We took in the sights
We found a little time for fun at the Art Tile Party

Packed up and going home.
We found a little time to take in the sights and we had fun at the Art Tile Party and before we knew it, it was time to pack it up and go home. We hope you had a great time at the show too! Let us know if there is any info you'd like about our new products or how to order the new sales tools for your showroom.