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The Carson Mansion Story


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The Carson Mansion Story


The story of two generations that found inspiration in the magnificent architecture of Carson Mansion.

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Paul's Mother Jane


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Paul's Mother Jane


Paul Busse, founder of Applied Imagination, grew up admiring his mother Jane's talents.  She was a gifted artist, best known for her elaborate textile & rug weaving.

Jane's hand-hooked rug "Liberty Tree" was awarded Grand Champion at The Ohio State Fair in 1966.

This abstract geometric woven rug by Jane was part of the Smithsonian's "Craft Multiples" exhibit, which toured the country from 1975-1979. The rug still resides in the Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection.

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Growing Up


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Growing Up


As a young boy, Paul was encouraged by his mother Jane to create his own art, coloring books were never allowed!  

His parents inspired his love for the arts, most notably, his love for architecture, gardening and model railroading, which shines through in what he creates today.

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The Carson Mansion Inspiration


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The Carson Mansion Inspiration


Hailed as one of the most notable examples of Victorian architecture in the United States, the Carson Mansion in Eureka, CA had always fascinated Jane.

She was so inspired by it, that she built her own model, which Paul would sit and admire as a young boy.                                                             

Jane's HO model of the Carson Mansion stands just over 8 inches tall. Built in 1949, the year of Paul's birth, and constructed primarily using illustration board and matchsticks. 

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Paul's Carson Mansion Illustration


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Paul's Carson Mansion Illustration


In High School, Paul made a pen and ink illustration of Carson Mansion, highlighted with watercolors, which hung proudly in his parents' living room from that day on.

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Applied Imagination's Carson Mansion


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Applied Imagination's Carson Mansion


This year, in loving memory of his mother Jane, Paul decided to pay homage to Carson Mansion one more time, and with the help of Applied Imagination's lead botanical architect, Cindy Johnson, they brought it to life like never before. Standing 54 inches tall, every architectural detail of the elaborate mansion is expressed using exclusively the natural textures & shapes of actual dried plant materials.

Cindy Johnson, lead botanical architect for the northern Kentucky studio Applied Imagination, shows the process used to create a botanical representation of the Carson Mansion of Eureka, California. ©KET Muse Moments


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The Carson Mansion Legacy


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The Carson Mansion Legacy


Applied Imagination's masterpiece now sits as a focal point in Paul's home, and represents the celebrated artwork of two generations.

Paul Busse Cindy Johnson Applied Imagination

Paul Busse, founder of Applied Imagination with artist & master botanical architect, Cindy Johnson.