Natalie Blake Studios' work profiled in Healthcare Design MagazineIn September we completed this Tree of Life mural for Skyline Art Services. The piece was installed in the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia. We are honored that our work was selected for this prestigious hospital, which is the first of a new generation of world-class military medical facilities. We have known for some time that our work fills a niche for art in healthcare settings, as the healthcare industry moves towards evidence-based design (EBD). Incorporating the visual arts in the healthcare environment is a fundamental component of EBD, with proven benefits for patients, family and staff, translating into measurable outcomes in health, well-being, and cost of care. (see our recent blogpost on this topic). Healthcare Design Magazine recently published a case study of the art at Fort Belvoir. According to the article, "HDR established a design imperative to bring the outdoors in, and so provided the common areas with access to daylight as well as views to the forests and river beyond the site and to the campus grounds and gardens. Both the abundance of external views and the nature-based motifs of each pavilion are key components of biophilic design, the deliberate attempt to translate an understanding of the inherent human affinity with nature in the built environment." Read the full article here.
Healthcare Installations are our specialty"Natalie Blake Studios’ natural themes, which evoke the restorative properties of balance and harmony, have proven to be therapeutic to patients." Carla Santia, Art Consultant for Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA "The craftsmanship is top notch. Not only are Natalie's designs unique and gorgeous, she will custom-create designs to your own specifications. Her attention to detail is extraordinary. Her staff is eager to please and easy to work with. It is a winning combination of excellent product and great customer service." Barbara Markoff, Art Consultant, Artrageous! In 2006 Natalie Blake Studios began creating handmade, ceramic, nature-based design tiles, responding to an increased demand for art installations in health care facilities and marking a turning point for the studio toward more meaning-based work. Our designs incorporate universally-recognizable natural features: trees, flowers, botanical elements, which symbolize abundance, rejuvenation and growth. The images are safe, welcoming and are designed to create a more positive, peaceful environment. We are honored to join more and more healthcare institutions in their groundbreaking missions to further serve patients by incorporating art into their health care setting. Our staff has worked with design teams to create innovative, lasting artwork in cancer research centers, women crisis centers, pediatric care institutions, radiology departments, general care facilities and many others. We base our work on research that has tracked the effects of nature on patients including shorter time in the hospital, fewer doses of analgesics, lower blood pressure levels, less anxiety and less intense pain. Our murals are comprised of individually-made, sgraffito-carved, ceramic wall tiles in sizes ranging from 4” – 24” square. Tiles are made by smoothing a slab of clay over hand-made forms to give the tiles undulation. Designs are then carved into each tile using the ancient technique of “sgraffito” (meaning “to score”) and glazed from a palette of 33 rich, luminous glaze colors. When laid next to each other, the tiles form contiguous designs that can be expanded to any size. Because of the modular format of tiles, the murals and groupings are highly- adaptable to different spaces, well-suited to hallways, stairwells and large, open spaces. They can also be grouted in place or individually mounted and hung, and lend themselves to viewing from a distance or up close, providing a tactile experience. Ceramic tile is an enduring, resilient, easily-maintained medium. The sealed tiles can be cleaned with common cleaners. We provide our own custom installation backings and clear installation instruction. The work is fully insured and customized for each specific project. The discussion begins with the client and their specific needs for the artwork. Then, drawing from the studio’s portfolio of designs, sketches are prepared for approval. The Tree of Life, water imagery, landscapes, large flowers and leaf patterns comprise a large part of our commissions, though the studio has also created works with human and animal figures. Our process makes it possible to adapt the designs to any size tile. We would work closely with you and/or your art selection committee to render sketches that would fit all criteria. We pride ourselves on our craftsmanship and customer service and would welcome the opportunity to work with you on providing art for your next healthcare installation.