Friday, November 25, 2011

THE WATTS TOWERS of Simon Rodia





An other one of my collections are pique assiette ( or picassiette ) vases from the 1920’s. 


 Picassiette is a style of mosaic that incorporates pieces of broken ceramics—plates, dishes, cups, tiles—and other found objects into the design. The appeal and expressiveness of picassiette lies in the ideas of lateral thinking, humour, recycling, and the significance of the found objects.


I have always wanted to visit the Maison Picassiette in France but never did.So when I heard about a similar project in Los Angeles I had to go and explore... 






The Watts Towers,consisting of seventeen major sculptures constructed of structural steel and covered with mortar,are the work of one man : Simon Rodia.





Working alone ,for thirty-three years ( 1921-1954 ),using tile setter’s tools and with no drawing board designs,scaffolding, bolts or welding, Rodia constructed his master piece.







Rodia was famously taciturn when it came to discussing his project:”I had it in mind to do something big, and I did” is about as detailed as his explanation went.




In 1954, when he was nearly eighty, Simon Rodia suddenly quit.He deeded the site to a neighbor and walked off to never return.Thanks to a group of concerned citizens this site is now listed on the National Register of Historic Monuments.  


A bientôt,

Pierre Candra
for NicNat Chat!









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