<< Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination. >> (Voltaire)
"It is my belief, no matter our origin, beauty and craftsmanship can be appreciated. It is for the purpose of bringing people together that I create."
Born and raised in a small coastal town slightly north of San Francisco, Norman developed a distinct love of nature and the outdoors, a continual undercurrent in his work. He remembers his mother’s tireless passion for gardening, endlessly cultivating her flower bed’s into near botanical libraries of local and imported varieties full of vibrant colors and textures. Her beautiful gardens were in complete contrast to the drought-ridden golden hued hills of Marin, which on their own held a majestic, monochromatic grandeur that California is famous for. This example of natural and curated beauty lends inspiration to Norman by way of taking contrasting and unlike pairings to create harmony.
Encouraged to be outdoors, Norman was involved in several sports, his favorite being sailing. The crashing waves of the ocean upon the rocks, watching the currents change along Angel Island and Alcatraz. Norman felt a strong sense of freedom while in control of his boat, a care-free ease which is the spirit of being all-American. Although contrasting, Norman's American and European origins are both rooted in a simplicity centered around family and heritage.
Norman's mother, sailing with his grandfather
San Francisco Bay, 1976
At Norman's core is a strong sense of familial value. Brought up with regular family dinners, he would listen to stories shared by his grandparents of their former lives. The table set with hand embroidered linens, their intricate stitching similar to detailing often found in Norman's creations. With each tale, the young boy's imagination ran wild with images of the heroic and romantic tales of his grandmother’s triumphs to protect her family in a war-torn Budapest. This inspired his sentimental love of history, respect for his folk heritage, and his ability to dream.
Norman's grandmother with her first husband
Budapest, Hungary 1936
As a teenager, Norman's grandmother in her bedroom. Tihany, Hungary circa 1926
Norman's grandmother on her wedding day, 1936
The cold realities of conflict and warmth of people bonding are emotions that represent the contrasting elements that are continually incorporated in the work Norman creates. Despite our differences, the art of constructing a new beginning can break down barriers and bond mankind.
Translating to design
This respect of the past is the Norman Ambrose future, and translates to his philosophy of instilling old-world craftsmanship which has been passed down for generations, with a modern and functional all-American spirit that is naturally, Norman.