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Old World Craftsmanship By Clifford Scholz

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Old World Craftsmanship

By Clifford M. Scholz

 
Let’s try and define “Old World Craftsmanship”.  Obviously, it is a talent that has a very long history.  It is international, and it has to do with quality. It is something that we hold dearly and, unfortunately, is getting harder and harder to find.

There is more to Old World Craftsmanship that makes defining it somewhat difficult. It embraces the talent of an artist and the desire to define that art in the built environment. It is prolific in larger metropolitan areas where there were projects that attracted the most talented of workmen and artisans. It can also be found in areas out of the mainstream like Sarasota and North Carolina, where artisans were brought in from all over the world to work on such designs as Ca’D Zan and The Biltmore Estate. The most powerful and influential names of our nation like Vanderbilt, Ringling, and Hearst imported many of these Old World Craftsmen to our nation to create and recreate “Old World Craftsmanship”. The true home of this talent is in the older parts of our world where it was born and has only improved with age.

cliff-stairwell-1In our architectural practice, working with these fine artists whenever the opportunity arises is definitely one of my more enjoyable duties. Whether it is a mural, a carved furniture piece, or an ornamental iron design, there is always something distinctive about a craftsman. It is within their nature, and they have the confidence to be able to envision, implement and complete a piece of art without hesitation or doubt. I was once watching a muralist finish their perfect artwork on one of our ceilings and I was given perhaps the most enduring compliment ever. I had commented on how rewarding it was to be able to have such a talented artist complete our ceilings when he returned with “it was he who should be indebted to me, to allow him to complete only a small portion of such a beautiful symphony”. 

cliff-foyer-2I have taken three examples from our portfolio of Old World Craftsmanship in the photos on this page.  The first is the stair foyer of a Bird Key home that was in response to the Owner’s love of the architecture of Addison Mizner. The massing of the mahogany combined with the elegance of the wrought iron gives way to a craftsmanship of old. The second is a living room of a home on Longboat Key where every detail was tuned to an Italian Villa. The third photo is of a ground floor entranceway/outdoor dining area which led to a pool deck area that is reminiscent of an Italian grotto.

cliff-walkway-3All of these designs were based on a client’s love of Old World Craftsmanship. When I get asked to create the Old World Craftsmanship that a client saw while in Europe, I sometimes reply that it is very possible, but in order to do it correctly, they may need to give it hundreds of years for it to truly look as they had seen it.

As founder of CMSA, Cliff has over 35 years of experience in architecture and construction. His sense of design and clear-cut goals has created a reputation for quality and excellence for his firm. As lead architect, he is responsible for the design of projects consisting of custom residential developments, office structures, commercial renovations, golf clubs and high-rise condominium buildings. He takes a proactive role in every project as the client contact, and directs his team of highly skilled professionals to keep every endeavor in balance.  Cliff received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Lawrence Institute of Technology in Southfield, Michigan, and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. Cliff is also a Licensed General Contractor in the State of Florida and certified as a LEED AP. Cliff may be reached at 941-923-2400 or via email at cscholz@cmsa1.com.

Copyright © 2010 REAL Magazine

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