Sunday, July 27, 2014

Reaching Mosaic Wall Art - Adventures with Pennyround Tiles and Shading



Reaching   28.5" x 11.5"
(Click photo to view larger image.)


Several years ago, out of the blue, during a time when I was struggling, as a Mom, with my oldest child growing into an adult, I had a strong vision: a gloriously colored piece of fabric stretching and reaching towards brightness....My daughter.


I got busy sourcing glass and tile to match my vision. Many sheets of stained glass in an array of colors. Matte black (and a bit of grey) unglazed porcelain tile for the background. 









Detail: uncut penny round tiles





Black glass pennyround tiles with an iridescent finish that varied from plain black to silver, to gold and multicolor.
  
These I nipped so as to use just the curved edge.  












Left: sorted pennyround tile bits. Right: sorted glass rectangles.


I created, from wood and hardibacker concrete board plus mesh and thin-set mortar, a 3D substrate on which to piece the colorful 'fabric'.
 
Finally, I hand cut many, many tiny rectangles in a rainbow of colors and shades from black to bright from the sheets of stained glass.




 


 


The beginning!






The process of gathering and figuring took three years.

During that time, my daughter continued to grow towards her bright light and she shines!!


The background I pieced with the unglazed porcelain tile and added subtle depth through use of smaller piece sizes along the center left, as well as a couple of perspective lines in the grout. 

I also added in very thin pieces of dark grey tile- the light source.
The last piece!  

I grouted the background with black and did a shaded grout on the woven section with pale grey at the top through black at the bottom.

This mosaic is currently available in my Etsy Shop.









Thursday, June 26, 2014

Handmade in America Exhibition at Singing Stone Gallery Tampa

   Three of my mosaic wall art pieces have been juried into the Handmade in America exhibition at the Singing Stone Gallery in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida.

   This multi-media show exhibits a wide array of the handmade, which is rich in traditions and expressive of regional craft artisans, and their contributions to America's cultural heritage. The juried exhibit will showcase contemporary jewelry, photography, paintings, glass, wood, ceramics, metals, and mixed media handcrafted by American artists.

    The exhibit opens Friday, July 4, 2014, with an opening reception from 6-8:30, and continues through August 31, 2014.

    If you will be in Tampa on July 4th,  join us for the reception - refreshments and apple pie will be served.  After the event, artists, collectors, family and friends, are able to travel on Tampa’s Trolley Car, located steps from the gallery (Stop # 1), to Channelside for fireworks and live entertainment.

Monday, June 9, 2014

How to Make: Homemade Shield for a Glass Grinder


When I rearranged by work space recently, I moved my glass grinder. Better location in most respects, with the big exception of an electrical outlet right behind the new location. Directly in the path of the lubricating water spatter!

My solution was to modify a large IKEA Trofast storage bin.

I turned the bin upside down and sat it on the lid. Using a red grease pencil, I drew in cutting lines. About 3" up from the new bottom and about 4.5" into each side. I also cut out the depression in the new top area (previous bottom of the bin).

My Dremel tool, with a cutting wheel, worked quite well to modify the bin. Make sure you use eye protection! Some melted bits of plastic did go flying.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Concrete Shapes to Mosaic

A few weeks ago, I rearranged my creative space in order to add a dedicated metal-working bench. More on that later!

In order to accommodate this new addition, I had to clean out my space. *groan*

In the process, I found an interesting collection of small concrete shapes I created over the years. These are generally free-formed in whatever shape was 'talking' to me at the moment and are made from that leftover handful of concrete from making a stepping stone. My work has moved in a different direction, so I have listed them for sale in my Etsy supply/vintage shop, SupplySmith.etsy.com https://www.etsy.com/listing/188219504/concrete-shapes-for-mosaic-or-painting?ref=shop_home_active_7

 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

How to Make Carved Concrete Stepping Stones



Here in Florida, we are a couple months into Spring and that means I have a Spring project. A rather large one this year!!
I am creating a poured concrete stepping stone path in my front yard (Yes, basically I am making a mosaic with stepping stones, ha!  :).  It will be about 80 feet long when complete.
FYI: Basic How-to for stepping stones (here on my blog).

I have about half of it set, leveled and planted with dwarf mono grass plugs and Blue-eyed grass (which is actually not a grass but is in the lily family).  And I have about another quarter of the stones poured.

That bare area will get sod.

But, of course, I HAD to get a little creative!

I am using a variety of molds for these stones, only one of which is sold as a stepping stone mold (and is not pictured).

I found awith nice crisp corners and plain bottoms (intended to be used for holiday treats), and I also found a set of tiered cake tins I had picked up at a thrift store years ago. few plastic containers around the house
Foil containers work too but result in rough sides plus can only be re-used a few times each.



The largest mold is the plastic saucer for a very large outdoor pot. You can see it towards the top of the photo above.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Glass on Glass Mosaic Clocks

Once again, time has gotten away from me and I have not updated here for a while. I HAVE been busy creating, and, ironically, much of the mosaics I have created recently have been clocks!

Have I mentioned I hate to throw away any bits?

I have been working, for a couple years (!), on gathering the pieces necessary to create a mosaic I had a vision of. This mosaic is a bit different than my usual style. The focal of the vision piece will use rectangles of stained glass shaded from dark to bright with each color value all in a line. To achieve this, I cut a LOT of tiny rectangles and, of course, had left over bits. Not garbage! I found a use for them :))

A baker's dozen of uses:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MosaicSmith?section_id=11136316
Plus:

Monday, December 2, 2013

Adventures in Mixed Media Mosaics

A few weeks ago I finished a mosaic in which I incorporated some new (to me) techniques. I oddly (again, for me) did not take work-in-progress pictures for this. Perhaps because I started it last spring and put it aside when it stopped 'talking to me'. Which was mid-layer of what turned out to be the first of four layers.

When it went silent, I propped it against the wall at the back of my work table. Where it remained silent, except for occasionally mocking me, *sigh. Until I moved it one day, then returned it to the wall- backwards.

Wow, new view, new vision!

The result:
"Misty Morning"





So..four layers. From the uppermost: Layer one is branches composed of glass drips from an glass blowing shop plus a few glass leaf beads, as well as copper enameled leaves and a copper enameled lizard that I created from sheet copper and powdered enamels + my torch.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

WIP Pictures from the Creating of My Latest Shell Mosaic

During the creation process for my "Whatcha Doing" mosaic, where the Egret bird is pieced from sections of shells, I took quite a few photos I thought I'd share.

"Whatcha Doing?"
I decided to piece the bird with shells because I thought the natural material dove-tailed well with my inspiration photo- an Egret visiting a waterfront party; natural & man-made.  I have quite a few shell that I have picked up at the beaches here in Florida.  They tend to be rather sea-worn and sun-bleached, which actually works well with the egret's coloring. So I had a plan. Next decision was to use sections of the shells rather than whole shells as is typical with shell mosaics. Out came my trusty Dremel! And after a test with the cut-off attachment, yikes!, I also put on a dust mask!!

 I used sections of this Moon shell to shape the bird's head.





The eyes were tricky. I used a small spiral shell for the left and a barnacle on the right.  (Click the photos to view large images.)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Shell Mosaic Bird and a Gallery Show

Last weekend I finished a new mosaic wall art piece just in time for it to be included in a gallery show. The inspiration for this piece was a photo I took of an Egret bird who visited a waterfront gathering I attended this summer. He (she?) sure seemed interested in our event, though perhaps because there was food involved! 
"Whatcha Doing"?

The bird is pieced from sections of shells mostly found locally here in Florida. My Dremel was instrumental in shaping these shells. If you try this technique, I recommend wearing a dust mask and doing this outside!! The background is mostly stained glass but with a section of stone pieces depicting the sea wall.

 The gallery show this piece is included in is at the Crawford Gallery in our regional library, The SouthShore

Friday, October 11, 2013

More Mixed-Media Mosaics - Playing with Enamels

Catching up the blog with a few pieces not mentioned here already. (But if you follow me on Facebook, these may be old news. And, if you don't, why not?? :D )  Link to my Facebook page is right over there. ==>

I have been continuing to play with the enamels and torch. Really love this process!!

Most recently, I completed several mosaics in my "Interloper" series. These are all based on photos I took this summer on a visit to Tybee Island, Georgia.
"Interlopers", "Morning", "Lost"
Small ones measure 5" x 5" and middle one measures 5" x 17" overall (each section is 3" x 5") Each includes hand-cut copper torch-enameled elements.

The top one, called "Interlopers" has been donated to fundraiser for Arts Council of Hillsborough County http://fivebyfivetampabay.com/

The middle compilation is called "Morning" and the bottom is called "Lost". These two are available on my Etsy site currently. (See 'Purchase' tab above.)   Edit: These have sold.

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I also completed a desk clock featuring a couple of my torch enameled pieces, including a whimsical...bird. Definitely a theme with me lately!
"The Early Bird Catches the Worm" - Desk Clock
Clock measures about 5" x 8" and, in addition to the funky bird, features a custom clock minute hand in the shape of a worm. A tiny flying bird and three millifiori flowers denote the 12,3,6&9 hours. I had fun with this piece!  Available in my Etsy shop.

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While I was playing with the torch to make the clock elements, I also created a few necklace pendants. Yup, these are available in my Etsy shop too!
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Currently, I am working on several pieces, WIP pictures soon.  I will be part of a three women Mixed-Media Show at our regional library in November and December.  More on that later too.