Our in-house designers are the artistic visionaries behind our patterns, responsible for hundreds of designs under the New Ravenna brand. They create prototypes, work with guest designers and architects to translate their concepts into mosaic, and draw, sample, and guide our production team through our custom projects. The four artists work in our Design Center — a happy den of creative chaos that has been known to elicit frequent hushing sounds from their nearest neighbors (the sales team) after lively conversations about imaginative client requests and 80’s pop culture.
The method behind their madness is collaboration, with all members of the team working together to create a storyline through new patterns, textures, and color combinations. Designs often begin as doodles on scrap paper. Then, they gather everyone’s ideas, debate their favorites, and ask the rest of the company to weigh in. Since everyone works with the design in some aspect, collective feedback is important to the design process. Once a design has enough love, it goes into the prototyping stage and doesn’t get released from there until we’ve perfected the pattern’s repeat, texture, and array of materials.
All of our designers are first and foremost mosaicists who began their journey on our production floor where they learned the importance of scale, intricacy, attention to detail, visual flow (andamento) and piece placement. This training is critical in order to successfully produce a pattern in the same style every time with continuity.
Let’s meet the team!
Cean Irminger came to New Ravenna straight out of art school almost 20 years ago and has been happily covered in marble dust ever since. Her favorite custom projects usually include animals in them. A celebrated punmaster, she sometimes begins the design process by thinking of a goofy/quirky name (a la her “Personal Space” planetary mosaic) and then works backwards to design a visual and linguistic synergy!
Cean says of her favorite jobs, “I love the personal requests we get — the zanier the better. My favorites include a five-foot tall hyper-realistic sitting rabbit that ended up being installed on the bottom of a pool! We’ve also done a portrait of a cat shaved to look like a lion … and the greatest outdoor shower installation of all time: a silhouette portrait of a man and woman wearing nothing but cowboy hats.”
Cean is best known for her signature Kiddo Collection, but she’s also responsible for many familiar New Ravenna patterns like the ones below! You can find Cean’s fabric patterns on Spoonflower, and her personal work on her Instagram @ceanirmingerdesign.
Marcie McComb gave up the Jersey Shore for the Eastern Shore and has been with New Ravenna for more than 20 years, working her way through production to the design team and becoming the high priestess of quality control. As a master mosaicist, she is known for her expertise with glass mosaics and her magical Mist-making abilities (the mosaics, not the fog). Because she was a florist before becoming a mosaicist, she is often tasked with the concepting and creation of mosaic flowers, which are so realistic they’ve actually drawn bees into the production area.
Marcie says of her favorite jobs, “I love scenic concepts, from our glass Chinoiserie panels to Italian landscapes. I remember a beautiful Tuscan setting with grapevines draping from the corners and red geraniums in terracotta pots in the foreground. It was fun to both draw the panel and then make the mosaic from stone. I felt so connected to that piece which became a family’s beloved kitchen backsplash.”
Marcie is known for these standout patterns. Check out more of her personal work on her Instagram @m_and_m_glass_art.
Bobby Jones came to New Ravenna more than 20 years ago after the compact disc store he was working for closed their business. Since then, he has gone from a rough start on the production floor (he broke two pairs of steel nippers on his first day), to working on the assembly team, in the waterjet department, on the design team, and finally becoming a world-class glass mosaic artist with his own flock of adoring fans. He has cultivated his own style of mosaic-making, combining scoring with nipping to create gorgeous, hyper-realistic pieces. He is often scolded for making his prototypes too intricate and lifelike, therefore impossible for any lesser mortals to emulate.
Bobby says of some of his most memorable projects, “My mosaic ‘aha!’ moment happened during the making of a custom waterfall fountain that poured into a koi pond. It was the first job where I experimented with scoring glass along with nipping, and it really opened up the medium for me.”
Bobby is best known as the design brains behind many of our geometric and 3-dimensional patterns, as well as our Delft Collection. His Instagram account @jonesaics is frequently updated with his latest personal projects, including a Star Wars fan art Delft mosaic!
Jacquelyn Cashwell Bizzotto grew up on the Eastern Shore and never expected to live here as an adult. She has been with the company for five years and proven herself to be a quick study, learning the ins and outs of the Design Center in record time. There, she single-handedly takes care of most of the custom drawings and all of the copyrighting procedures. Her innate design abilities led to her having designs prototyped and in the collection within six months of starting at the studio. As the lone Millennial of the group, Jacquelyn has to take a lot of curmudgeonly ribbing from all of the Gen X’ers around her, which she does gracefully.
Her all time favorite job: “One of the first drawings I did was a scene of African Painted Dogs that was going to a zoo in the Midwest. I grew up on a farm that bred German Shepherds, so I kept finding myself drawing German Shepherd heads on these wild dogs and having to go back in and correct them.”
Jacquelyn led the design process for these fresh patterns. Her personal work is showcased on her Instagram @jacquelynbizzottodesign.
Erica Moncrief Dennison, an Eastern Shore native, started working at New Ravenna in 2007. Like the majority of the artisans at New Ravenna, she is self-taught (with a few lessons from her father and high school art teachers!), but she grew and learned through working in multiple departments at the company alongside other designers and master mosaicists. In the last nearly 15 years, Erica has proven herself to be one of New Ravenna’s top mosaicists. Her speed and ability to translate ideas into mosaics is unparalleled. Erica has been trained in quality control, material glass preparation, renderings, and design.
Erica loves the challenge of creating beautiful art and recalls a large Tuscan scene as her most memorable piece. Not only was it intricate and highly bespoke, everyone in the company came together to complete it. Her favorite designs can be seen below, Beta and Milky Way. Erica says these have a special place in her heart because she came up with the designs herself to include in an auction that New Ravenna had to benefit Feeding America. Fun fact: the bidding war for the “Beta” mosaic was ruthless and when “second place” was finally outbid, they wanted Beta so badly that they put in an order for their very own!
Erica is always creating something and her personal work can be seen on her Instagram @dennisonerica.