A hidden benefit of my work is that I get to work in unusual places and see and learn about unusual things. Recently, I’ve been working in an underground crypt in downtown Richmond. The ceiling in the space is a thing of beauty. This is a “timbrel vaulted” ceiling, a self supported arch made using thin ceramic tiles as a structural element. This particular example of a timbrel vault is called “Gaustavino tile,” after Rafael Guastavino, who developed and patented his process in the late 19th century.