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Arc de Triomphe


Paris, France

While the arch is a beautiful and historic Parisian icon, what impressed me the most is the absolute absurdity of the traffic circle!  There are no lanes, so it is pretty much a free for all, and unlike American traffic circles, the cars entering the circle have the right of way.  I am so glad that we read in our guidebook that there was an underground tunnel that took us to the center, because we would never have made it by crossing the street.

We did not climb the 280 steps to the top of the arch, but from photos I have seen, the view is amazing.  Definitely something for next time!


Fun Facts:

  • Commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 as a tribute to his Grand Army
  • Built between 1806 and 1836
  • The names of 558 French Generals are inscribed on the inside walls of the arch
  • The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from WWI is under the arch
  • The eternal flame marking the tomb has been continuously burning since November 11, 1920
  • The arch is situated at the end of the Champs Elysee, a famous thoroughfare in Paris known for its high end shopping.
  • The triumphal arch sits in the middle of one of the most famous traffic circles in Europe.  The location is known as Place Charles de Gaulle, but was once known as Place de l'Etoile, which means star in French, named for its 12 radiating avenues.
  • The traffic circle is so dangerous, an underground tunnel was built to so pedestrians could safely reach the arch.


Process And Size Guidelines

I handcraft each piece in my home studio, located just outside of Kansas City, MO.

Most of the photos I use were taken by me on my travels near and far.    I review each photo, looking for striking colors and strong structural elements.    If you think of the entire design as a pie, I am looking for a perfect “slice” of pie within the picture.  Once I find it, the slice is mirrored and repeated in a circular fashion to create the whole pie, i.e. the kaleidoscopic design.


The design then is printed multiple times onto photo paper and I hand cut different elements from each copy of the design with scissors (yes, scissors!). After the cutting is done, I reassemble the pieces into tiered layers separated by foam core, creating the unique three-dimensional kaleidoscopic effect.  Finally, I mount the piece onto mat board and frame it in a shadow box, adding a small copy of the original photo to the piece.



Each design is available in multiple sizes.  The larger the piece, the more layers the design will have, which gives you even greater depth and dimension.  The larger size also allows for more intricate cutting, providing more texture and more "wow"!


Outside Dimensions Inside Dimensions Frame Color
9.75" x 9.75" x 2" 9" x 9" x 1.5" Black
13.5" x 13.5" x 2.75" 12" x 12" x 2.25" Black
18.5" x 18.5" x 4" 16" x 16" x 3" Custom made reclaimed cedar with museum quality plexiglass front