Last Saturday’s rainy, cool weather inspired a trip to the garden at the Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts in Alta Loma. Rainy and overcast days are my favorite times to visit any garden, and in fact, the last time we were there the weather was very similar … surprisingly, that was almost 2 years ago! At that time I fell in love with all the sculptural pieces sited within the garden (read post here). Those charming art pieces are still there, as well as new ones, and small signs noted spaces reserved for more. What I found most interesting this visit, though, were the various buildings, including the Maloof residence and workspaces, and their distinctive blue roofs. Used not only on top, this signature blue appears on doors, too … on this day the cool blue rivals in intensity patches of sky exposed by swift-moving clouds overhead.
By the time we arrived at the garden the rain had mostly stopped, leaving a cool breeziness. The sun peered in through the clouds now and then, highlighting the mix of native shrubbery, succulents and fruit trees along the path that front the Maloof residence.
The garage door showcases an expanse of Maloof blue; an ‘M’ cutout beneath a steer’s skull completes the rustic signature.
I love this huge terra-cotta vessel near a patio door … the surface embellishment has a ’70s art appeal that reminds me of my high school years and the art ceramics popular then.
On the same patio a weathered chunk of wood serves as a platform for a variety of wizened succulents, some trailing off to parts unknown.
Above the ceramics and succulents, a carved wood trapeze artist strikes an expressive pose in the breeze.
New-to-us art pieces appeared here and there; these rusty, predatory-looking birds began their lives as common garden tools …
… a skulking ‘gator shares the same humble origins, its head was once a post-hole digger.
An inscrutable stone cat holds secrets in another part of the complex …
A path leading up from the residence and toward the workshops and public spaces, is lined with colorful ribbon-topped poles … the winds caused them to dance playfully as the sky filled with clouds again …
… we hugged our jackets tightly around us, and I was glad I had a hood: it was sprinkling again.
Small agaves at the base of a large palm tree send up relatively-lengthy dried flower stalks …
A favorite spot, this child’s picnic area is actually a group of ceramic pieces: a whimsical glazed daisy-topped table and stools shares a shady spot with two chubby piggies. So cute!
A doorway of the workshop features tools, a vintage Coke thermometer/sign, and license plates that reference the prized wood pieces of master furniture-maker, Sam Maloof.
A window of the workshop is crowded with templates for furniture components; I love their repeated shapes, and knowing that they are the starting point for what become beautiful, functional sculptures … like this one.
This wooden-clad structure features a pattern of squares provided by the ends of vintage wood crates, topped by the elegant curve of a aged saw … a vignette that speaks to a love for woodworking.
Finally, we had to take our leave … we were just too cold and in need of coffee. Heading out, I was comforted by the knowledge that after some future rain I could return to this garden for those Sam Maloof blues.
The Maloof Foundation and Garden website is here; click for information.