It’s always a treat to find artists and artisans who enjoy collaboration and thrive when challenged by something new.
I met Peter Andruchow some years ago when I was looking for someone to craft several special wrought- iron pieces for a garden I designed in Boston’s Beacon Hill section. Working closely with our client and me, Peter created a woven screen that turned an alleyway window into a work of art. Curving tendrils of chestnut leaves—a reference to the tree that once stood in the garden—mix artfully with dogwood blossoms—the client’s favorite flowering tree–all softened with a variety of climbing vines. Our next challenge came at Mount Auburn Cemetery. On a steep hillside in one of the oldest parts of the cemetery, I developed a memorial landscape where a client could pay homage to her beloved husband.Fieldstone steps led up through a hillside of Baltic ivy to a small terrace carved into the hillside using natural stones for retaining.
The sitting area is overtopped by a magnificent weeping hemlock specimen and adorned with Korean guardian dogs and a handsome planter. Alas, over time, the ivy groundcover started to be trampled down, perhaps by enthusiastic birders, so I called in Peter to create an ornamental iron fence along the top of the slope. Our client suggested that the theme be the Buddhist mythological flower known as the hosogei, as seen in a book she owned on textile designs. The result is a fence that hearkens back to the many iron enclosures that traditionally surrounded family plots, yet fits our client’s particular sensibility, and is something unique and new at the same time.
Our most recent work with Peter was created for a very special client in Boston’s Beacon Hill section. Wanting a garden that married his Portuguese maritime ancestry with her interest in things Oriental, our clients worked closely with JMMDS and Peter to create a set of focal objects that work beautifully in their small bricked-in backyard.
Three spiraling rope sculptures, each slightly different from the next, suggest the maritime history of the family. Peter also made his own version of an armillary sphere—a model of the celestial globe–that we turned into a misting fountain resting on a granite pedestal and basin. Other details include a handrail at a set of garden steps and an iron strut that holds up several windchimes collected by the client.
We at JMMDS enjoy working with creative individuals like Peter Andruchow. We’ll be presenting more in upcoming Featured People columns.