TUMBLEWEED WALLPAPER COLLECTION

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THE STORY OF HOW THE TUMBLEWEED WALLPAPER CAME TO BE

Tumbleweeds caught my attention the first time I went to the west to meet Cy's family at their cattle ranch, The HC Cattle Company on the outskirts of Dalhart,Texas.  I was drawn to the way they playfully bounced along the landscape. Growing up in the North East I had not seen them before.

The catalyst to make a pattern from a tumbleweed was the recent drought and the overwhelming amount of tumbleweeds that were blowing around the ranch. 

Cy's cousin, Whitney Gilliam, kindly photographed a single tumbleweed from the piles of weeds. We played around with pattern ideas in Los Angeles as an attempt to make lemonade out of lemons as the tumbleweeds and drought are a very hard thing to live through.

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The overwhelming amount of Tumbleweeds that blew onto the ranch during the winter of 2013.

The overwhelming amount of Tumbleweeds that blew onto the ranch during the winter of 2013.

I asked Cy's mother Beth Carter, to jot down her thoughts on tumbleweeds. As a rancher's wife and resident of the Texas Panhandle for the majority of her life she counts as an expert on the subject of Tumbleweeds. Her thoughts are below:

"Nothing calls to mind the isolation in the wide, open spaces of the southwest more than the picture of a lone tumbleweed blowing across an empty highway under a dust filled gray sky…  Its presence is a sure sign of drought, and onslaughts of them are the bane of the rancher’s existence, piling up in fencerows and corrals and water tanks, making his rough outdoor life just a little more trying than usual.  However, as with most things in life, there are two sides to the story, a choice to make, if you will, to see these products of the drought as a curse – or blessing.  Despite their tiny root system, they grow fast and green with the least bit of moisture, doing their part to hold down the precious topsoil while ranchers wait for enough rain or snow to grow back the grass they need to feed their livestock.  The thing about tumbleweeds is that they grow anywhere; the less rain they get, the larger they grow, and instead of withering at the season’s change, they just dry out and let go of their tenuous tie to mother earth and blow where the wind takes them."

Below are some images and a movie documenting the tumbleweeds at the HC Cattle Company and our process making them into wallpaper.

A movie Cy’s father Ike Carter took of the tumbleweeds blowing across their land

The actual Tumbleweed from HC Cattle Company, taken by Whitney Gilliam , Cy's cousin.  A prickly but light model : )

The actual Tumbleweed from HC Cattle Company, taken by Whitney Gilliam , Cy's cousin.

A prickly but light model : )

A mock-up in our studio of possible layouts of the tumbleweed wallpaper at a small scale in full color and black and white

A mock-up in our studio of possible layouts of the tumbleweed wallpaper at a small scale in full color and black and white

At the printer reviewing the full scale samples on different paper and in different colors

At the printer reviewing the full scale samples on different paper and in different colors

Full Circle- The Tumbleweed wallpaper is now installed in the main house at the Ranch thanks to Kay and Curt White, Cy’s Aunt and Uncle. It was a surprise to me that brought tears to my eyes.

Full Circle- The Tumbleweed wallpaper is now installed in the main house at the Ranch thanks to Kay and Curt White, Cy’s Aunt and Uncle. It was a surprise to me that brought tears to my eyes.

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The Tumbleweed Wallpaper is available for purchase or to get samples through Astek Wallcovering.

Thank you Wall Street Journal for including the Tumbleweed Wallpaper in your selection of wallpapers. You can read the article  here

Thank you Wall Street Journal for including the Tumbleweed Wallpaper in your selection of wallpapers. You can read the article here

Charles and Ray Eames were also fascinated with Tumbleweeds and displayed them in the Herman Miller Showroom.

Charles and Ray Eames were also fascinated with Tumbleweeds and displayed them in the Herman Miller Showroom.

wanna johansson