Kiva Style: Former Tipi Residents Build a Rammed-Earth Home

Working with earth, wood, glass and crystals, Tom and Flame Lutes have created a truly sacred space in the Colorado high country.

In the kitchen, Flame broke dinner plates to create a one-of-a-kind custom backsplash. Tom watched in semi-horror as she cracked the thirty-dollar plates and in true horror when the initial design looked awful. “But it’s like a puzzle,” says Flame, who eventually did find the configuration that works. “You just keep trying until you get it right.” Flame chose a matched set of dishes for her backsplash, but remnants or singles will also work. To make the backsplash, break the plates using a rubber-tipped hammer and experiment with arranging them against the wall until you find a design that pleases you. Then apply mastic and adhere the plates to the wall. Fill in cracks and crevices with grout, which adds to the plates’ staying power.
Photo By Laurie Dickson