I always like to involve my clients in the creative process of art and design. When I proposed that a custom rug be fabricated using the design of a water manhole cover for his bathroom, my client was only interested in how soon could he have one? I had been admiring various water and sewer lids for some time now, while on my dog walks, and I observed many different designs and colorways. One Saturday morning, early, we toured a few covers to decide which one he would like best. He preferred the water cover to the sewer cover, and then the when there was little traffic, we set up shop in the middle of the street to do our rubbings.
Being an engineer, my client couldn't resist the opportunity to educate me as to what was a sewer cover, water cover, or catch basin and all manner of information that had never even occurred to me to ponder...all I was interested in was the color and the pattern!
Being an active, engaged client, it wasn't hard to Tom Sawyer him into "helping" me do the rubbing. We used thick, round pieces of graphite to clarify the letter edges of "St. Louis Water".
The comments that we got from passersby were amusing. First, a man pulled up in his truck and asked "What are you doing?" I said we were making a rug. He seemed alright with that response.
A pedestrian ran down the street to us, worried that there was an accident and that we were doing accident scene templates. "Is everything alright?" He took the pictures of us.
One passing bicyclist yelled out "Making art!"
A neighborhood youth stopped to watch for a long period, never saying a word.
Any car that came near us gave us plenty of clearance, except for the last one, which unnecessarily HONKED as if we were in the way or might make a sudden move.
The rug will be flat and about 1/4" thick. It will be water and mold resistant, made in New York, and take about 8 weeks. My client invested himself and his talent, and now he has a story and a rug to show for it, all because he didn't say no!