About The Grottas

Sandra Karen Brown was born on June 7th, 1934.

Sandy Grotta

Pictured: Sandra and her two older sisters, Sherry and Barbara, their mother Ada, a former Miss Detroit, and their father, John L. Brown, founder of Great Lakes Recreation Company, and owner of more bowling alleys than anyone else in the country.

The family shared a beautifully landscaped and furnished home —a sprawling smorgasbord of three different architectural styles in the desirable Palmer Woods neighborhood of Detroit.

Louis William Grotta Junior was born on September 6th, 1933.

Pictured are Lou, his older sister Sue, their mother Pauline, who was a rare-for-her-era female Ivy League college graduate, and their father, Lou Senior, who was the long-termed president of Hatfield wire and cable company.

They shared a comfortable home in the nice northern New jersey suburb of West Orange, not noted for its architecture or interior design.

Sandy and Lou had been inseparable ever since their first date during her sophomore and his junior year as literature school students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Lou’s greatest graduation present was the presence of Sandy by his side at their wedding in Detriot on 09/08/1955 when their two rabbis pronounced them as man and wife.

Sandy and Lou image from wedding

Their first typical home, in the nice Maplewood New Jersey neighborhood, was a great fit for the two of them and their two children, their son Tom and his younger sister Tracy.

Sandy and Lou’s 24-year occupancy was a protracted learning curve in the direction of the way they would come to surround themselves visually in the years to come. By 1982, their home looked like this living room picture of Sandy. A few of their pieces appeared in the American Craft Museum’s major show Approaches to Collecting.

For many years, though a number of names changes, first Lou then Sandy sat on its board of directors with Sandy serving as creative director for a number of its major fundraising events.

When daughter Tracy was well into grammar school, Sandy also became a student, enrolling herself in the New York School of Interior Design. Upon graduation, she qualified as a licensed professional. She and her friend Helen Schwartz formed HSG Interiors. Many successful years later, they amicably chose to split, and Sandy launched SG Interiors, where she continued placing many of her favorite craft artists' work in most of her clients' homes.

The Grottas' first contemporary craft acquisition was the wedding band Sandy commissioned from Alan Adler on their honeymoon. All through the succeeding years, wherever in the world they went, Sandy and Lou never stopped searching for and acquiring finds designed by well-known and unknown talents for every space and purpose in their home, from their Peter Voulkos ceramic wall plates to their Joyce and Edgar Anderson wood dinner plates to their various paper place settings.

The Grottas came to interact — more than casually -- with a significant percentage of the over 175 men and women whose work resides on this website. A number of them became close personal friends Toshiko Takaezu and Lenore Tawney.

Lou’s nearly 60 years in business were spent entirely in the electrical wire and cable-industry. First he was a salesman; subsequently as the jack-of-all-trades president of Paige Electric’s worldwide manufacturing and distribution operations for over 30 years.

Sandy and Lou’s family tree branched out from their son Tom and his wife Rhonda and their son Carter.

Their daughter Tracy and her dentist husband, Dr. Richard Tell and their four rhyming offspring: sons Cory and Rory, and daughters Stacy and Lacy.

Sandy passed away on August 29th 2021, 24097 days from the day of their marriage.  This website is a presentation of the pick of the litter of Sandy and Lou’s inseparable lives together.

24097 days artworkSandy and Lou

Lou’s carryings on ever since have included a number of new acquisitions, all of which he is quite certain would meet Sandy’s approval.