“The Pear Orchard” was created and installed by Susan Springer and Illahe Tileworks for a private homeowner in Oregon’s rich Rogue Valley. Designed for a pear orchard owner and collector of fruit crate labels, the mural was designed with an eye to the colorful stylized labels. The brightly glazed ceramic tile mosaic depicts the historic view from the property with Roxy Ann, the mountain landmark on the horizon. Measuring 40 feet in length, it is installed directly onto the exterior of the home. This is one of many successful site-specific art projects created by Susan Springer.
EVERGREEN FEDERAL BANK, SALMON FOUNTAIN WALL
Situated within yards of the world-famous Rogue River, Evergreen Federal Savings Bank has created a magnificent focal point of their recent renovation. Working with a local designer, the bank created a massive fountain wall containing a working fireplace. The three-tiered waterfall features seven sculpted ceramic Chinook Salmon. Created by artist, Susan Springer of Illahe Tileworks, each fish sculpture is individually formed with colorful and active three-dimensional features. Permanently mounted through the slate wall, the fish appear to be leaping toward the falling water in active, individual postures.
The installation, located in the center of the lobby of Evergreen Federal Savings Bank, was completed in the spring of 2001, and has become a source of pride for patrons and employees of the bank.
THE GORDON HOUSE, A FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT USONIAN HOUSE
When a family purchased their dream property, they realized that they loved the piece of land but didn’t care at all for the location of the current residence. As they were about to demolish the house, it was discovered that the house had been designed by renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.
The house has since been re-located to the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon and is being restored with care. Known as a glaze specialist, Susan Springer was called in to see if the original bathroom tiles could be reproduced and the bathrooms restored to their original state.
After many months of glaze chemistry testing, Susan came up with near matches of the original glaze work. One of her specialties is assisting in the restoration of older buildings. Through tile and glaze research, a lot of hard work, and with the assistance of historical experts, Susan has been able to reproduce historic tiles and glazes with remarkable accuracy.
In September 1999, Providence Medical Center in Medford, Oregon, opened its $10 million Cancer Center. During the planning stages, hospital employees and cancer survivors searched for an innovative way to add meaning and hope to this state of the art facility. They called upon the artisans at Illahe Tileworksto create a mural honoring all those who have fought the battle with cancer.
On National Cancer Survivors Day, in June 1998, the Providence Medical Center invited cancer survivors to attend a celebration of hope and life. Over 1,000 individuals, families and friends attended an afternoon of food and music. With the assistance of Sue Springer, artist and owner of Illahe Tileworks, and numerous volunteers, each person made a print of their hand in terra cotta clay. These hand print tiles were combined with brightly glazed tiles depicting the four seasons and the core values of the Providence Medical Centerto create a 100 foot mural that graces the halls of the Center’s entryway.