January 2012: Ignorance Is Bliss

Not a day goes by that I don’t get a question about how the mosaics were made in Berry Austin. So this will be the subject of blog post #1: How the Mosaics at Berry Austin Came to be…or, Ignorance is Bliss.


When I developed the initial concept for Berry Austin one of my goals was to use as many recycled materials as possible. From the very beginning the earliest little seeds of inspiration included thoughts of how I could incorporate recycling into the overall design. That is one of the reasons why I had no interest in opening a national frozen yogurt franchise. I needed to have creative license to grow my idea from the ground up. I come from a family where recycling is looked upon as a responsibility. I learned at an early age that it is everyone’s responsibility to take care of the earth we live in. As children, my siblings and I would pick up discarded soda cans.  This was in a time when aluminum cans was pretty much all that was recycled on a community wide basis. My Dad would drive the full bags of cans down to the recycling center. To this day I find it impossible to put something in the trash that can be somehow reused.

So making something from materials that can be reused or recycled into something bigger and better became my mantra while creating the look and feel


Collecting "junk"

of Berry Austin. Fortunately, I have very creative friends that inspire me. When I was struggling with what type of material to use on the walls, Nancy Johnson, a good friend and amazing artist I met in graduate school, suggested creating a mosaic. I wasn’t excited about buying new tile. The idea finally gelled when we realized I could use recycled materials in the mosaic rather than the traditional tile or glass.  Why not put a pot lid on the wall? Better yet – a discarded pot lid that had become separated from the pot and no longer served any useful purpose – Eureka! Although Nancy and I both had art backgrounds, the fact that neither of us had ever done a mosaic was never a deterrent. I mean, really, how hard could it be? I’ll let you know in my next blog: The continuation of “Ignorance is bliss.”