Skip to content

Blues Maloof

January 30, 2012


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.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Vickie Perez permalink
    January 30, 2012 7:07 am

    It doesn’t surprise me that his home and workshop are so intriging. All that’s been said about him and the things he built and influenced!! It’s so right the he has recieved the praise he has. Thanks again for going on one of your day trips!!!!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 30, 2012 12:55 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Vickie!

  2. January 30, 2012 8:00 pm

    Am planning a visit next weekend as I type. Another place I cannot believe I haven’t yet visited. (Stupid stupid stupid! 🙂 Can’t wait!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 30, 2012 8:04 pm

      I hope it’s raining or at least overcast … you will love in any case!

      • February 5, 2012 6:26 am

        Had a really good time today at the Maloof Residence… got lost and ended up wandering around inside the house, and we got yelled at for not having tickets: was totally worth it, because the house is AMAZING. Thanks for the recommendation.

      • reubix1 permalink*
        February 5, 2012 3:38 pm

        Whoa … I will have to wander into the residence too, next time …we just lurked outside. So glad you went and liked it … It’s a fave, for sure

  3. January 31, 2012 12:50 am

    Another reminder to get out to the Huntington and see the cactus garden and the Maloof exhibit. What a fine day you had!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 31, 2012 12:52 am

      For rainy day goodness, it’s a definite destination!

  4. January 31, 2012 1:44 pm

    I recently re-watched the PBS series Craft in America and was reminded again how much I love what Sam Maloof’s life stood for. To see him working in his studio is magnificent. (He is in the section called “Memories”.) This is a great post, think I will get out some paint and try to match the Maloof blue…

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 31, 2012 4:34 pm

      I’m on the hunt for Maloof blue, too … if you come across the hue before I do let me know the who/what/where’s, Lois!

  5. February 19, 2012 8:41 pm

    Green chromis or Chromis viridis belong to the family Pomacentridae. This family is comprised of approximately 360 individual species in 28 genera. It includes all clownfish and damselfish. Chromis is but a single genus within this family. The collective name damselfish describes a group of fish that spans more than one genus. However, most damselfish fall within the genus chromis.

Leave a Reply to reubix1 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: