At A Glance: The First Trip

Rob’s first buying trip to Italy was in the fall if 1993-two years before I would buy the property and building that would become Detroit Garden Works.  It was an exploratory trip in the truest sense of the word.  The goal of the trip-see what was out there in terra cotta pots, and other garden ornament.  I bought no end of European design magazines-that was just about the only way we could think of to search.  We had no idea where he was going, and once he got there, what he would find.  These pictures have a slightly blurry and romantic look for several reasons.  These are my digital pictures of what Rob photographed with a 35mm camera 18 years ago.  The other?  The excitement he must have felt to see these pots in person is recorded in these pictures; I cannot really explain this any better.  Eight months later 3 pallets of pots arrived.  I was conducting my landscape business from my home then.  Ralph and Kirk from GP Enterprises were kind enough to accept delivery at their commercial yard.  I had never seen clay pots like them before. I felt like I had just met my intended.  The 522 Italian terra cotta pots, 120 bowls, and 160 pot feet that were delivered 3 days ago?  It feels just the same now as it did then-only better.


  1. How completely glorious! The two photos taken in the workshop where the pinecone appears to still be in it’s mold….is that the color of the clay before it is “cooked” ?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Michael, that is the color of the raw clay, yes. I don’t know the chemistry well, but the orange color has to do with the iron oxide in the clay. Different clay bodies have differing amounts of iron. Deborah

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