What’s a Waterfall Cushion? …an Adventure story…

3 backpacers on Grand Canyon's south rim

There’s something about the image of a waterfall that brings harmony to the moment, and to have that feeling associated with something from everyday life brings a kind of magic to the whole relationship. Here’s a little adventure story (from many years ago now) that makes that connection for me.

The most beautiful waterfall I have ever experienced was not an easy trek, but the blisters were well worth the 10 mile backpack through the Havasupai Indian Reservation… from the south rim of the Grand Canyon, 2000+ vertical feet down to the village of Supai and the campground beyond.

3 backpacers on Grand Canyon's south rim

All fresh for the journey down (Chandler, me and Amanda)…

Our campsite was perched near the top of spectacular Mooney Falls, and as we peered over the 190’ drop to the turquoise blue pool below, we knew we were in paradise…

Grand Canyon river tributary

View from the top of Mooney Falls

We learned that this blue-green water is sacred to the Havasupai people. It flows not only across the land, but also through each tribal member. The days we spent exploring this tributary to the Colorado River instilled that feeling in us as well…

190-foot waterfall with turquoise pool

View from the bottom of Mooney Falls

Even though it’s been years since this journey, this place remains in my memory as if it were yesterday. Now as I revisit the experience, I make that renewed connection with all of my senses – the feeling of the ice-blue water washing away the trail dust on my first dive into the water, the beauty of the lush green vegetation, the unfamiliar sounds of the indigenous songbirds, that ‘negative-ion’ smell that only waterfalls can generate, and the delicious flavor of our camp-cooked meal that first evening above the falls.

Running the senses through our memories has a way of awakening creative thinking, helping us to see our present circumstances from an altered perspective. This is an actual exercise that Jean Houston recommends to jump-start your creativity with any project.

So how, you may ask, does this all connect to upholstery? Well…  (and here’s my creative connection for the day)

There’s a box cushion style called ‘waterfall’ and the terraced pools in the photo above provide the perfect illustration of the derivation of the name. There are NO SEAMS, just a flowing over the edge. We’re talking about the front edge here – of course there have to be seams on the sides.


3 styles of box cushion

The waterfall cushion compared to knife edge & corded box cushion styles

The waterfall cushion is considered less formal than the corded or knife edge styles, but I think it carries its own brand of elegance, especially when you consider the real thing.

What travel experiences have you had that could inject fresh creativity into your everyday life? I invite you to try this exercise – see, taste, smell, hear and touch your memories of that place. Then bring your newly awakened senses to your project, and see how it transforms your perspective.

If you’d like to learn more about upholstering with both conventional & alternative materials, join our mailing list. If you’re ready for an in-depth creative adventure into building your own boxed upholstery cushion (including more exercises to spark your creativity), check out the Bodacious Box Cushions eCourse.

About the Author

CarlaHey there! I'm Carla Pyle. I love the stories that our furniture tells. For me a picture of my Granddaddy Milton's green upholstered arm chair brings to mind the vivid rhymes & colors of 'The Cat in the Hat' and his soft low voice in the telling. I love too that there is always an element of nature in furniture - the warm-toned curving grain of a walnut leg or the reflection of life in a mid-century chrome piece. The best part of teaching & sharing natural upholstery is that it ties all of these things together. Stories - of individual experience and of the planet - help us build happy & healthy homes.View all posts by Carla →