Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mosaic Mural - Under the Sea

These are a few panels from much larger 30'x3' mural. Made by the Spring 2015 Community Mural Mosaic class at the Sharon Art Center in Golden Gate Park, taught by Shirley Smith (click here to check out some of Shirley's awesome work).

Panels are not yet grouted. When completed, they will be installed at a preschool/homeless shelter next month. Big fun working on this under the sea theme!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Institute of Mosaic Art, Oakland

Here are a few pictures of the Institute of Mosaic Art where I took a wonderful 3-day intensive class with world-class mosaic artist Sonia King. The IMA building literally rises like a shining jewel from the surrounding blight of industrial West Oakland. The class was amazing and the building was inspiring, inside and out. Exterior walls covered with murals, inside has vibrant colors everywhere. A lovely place to recharge one's creative batteries! Highly recommended for beginner and expert alike.
Here's a little 5"x5" piece I did on the fly in the amazing Sonia King 3-day intensive mosaic class. I'm usually big on pre-planning, carefully laying things out before gluing anything down... but this time I decided to wing it, just pulled some fun pieces that sang to me, arranged them willy-nilly and began gluing away. The photo doesn't show it but all the center tesserae were iridescent and jewel-like, just lovely. A bit of a departure from my usual careful geometric style. Good stretch. Sonia's class was amazing, she has an encyclopedic knowledge of mosaic tools, materials and history. Loved every minute.
Here's my new address sign: 22"x24" and finally done... only took about a year (well, including a 6-month break from mosaic work). Love the blues & greens but things got a little muddy with the leaves. Don't care much for flowers as a theme generally, but this was my homage to nature. Bravo for light gray/blue grout: subtle and doesn't overpower the tesserae. This "heron blue" grout was leftover from the bathroom remodel...

Word to the wise: the pros say never use grout that's been sitting around for a year or more in its original paper bag, even if it hasn't been opened. It's particularly bad mojo if said grout bag has been sitting on a concrete floor, as mine was. Apparently moisture from the temperature fluctuations in the concrete will be absorbed into the dry grout and will compromise its shelf-life and quality. Guess that explains why the grout was full of lumps, kind of like brown sugar that has been open on the shelf...I tried to squish down the lumps once I added water, but there were so many... I used it anyway... we'll see how long the new address sign lasts. So, for future reference: Unused dry grout goes into an airtight plastic container, up off the floor.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Resurfacing, on many levels

It's been awhile since I posted anything, been hibernating all winter... and similarly, it's been awhile since I did any mosaic. Recently I embellished the exterior of the chimney with a decorative terra cotta sun face. This piece is about 24" in diameter. Generally I'm more of a clouds & rain kind of a gal... the sun has never been an inspiration for me ... but it was good to get my hands on the materials again. I've really missed it. My only regret is that unsuspecting visitors to my home will now be greeted by this deceptively perky image, which belies the somewhat less sunny occupant within. mwahahahahaa. My true friends know better. I guess it will add to the eventual resale value.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Finished Projects

The re-purposed bowling ball/concrete foundation pier is finally done. It was definitely a challenge to mosaic a rounded surface, since it's impossible to lay everything out in advance. It came out much differently than I had hoped, not quite as pleasing for various reasons... got sick of it halfway through and more or less slapped together the base pieces using broken china pieces and old sugar bowl lids. Still, I've never seen a garden gazing ball that looks quite like this. I'll have to revisit this concept after I acquire another old bowling ball...

I hope I've done the goddess justice with the final version of the Temple of Isis Floor (below). I ended up chipping off and re-doing the lower right triangle, the prior version (see earlier posts) looked too much like a disco. Or something. Anyway... not particularly pleased with the sand-colored grout that I chose, as it minimizes the 3D effect which made this piece so much fun... should have gone with my initial hunch which was to use black grout, but since the piece has so much black I thought that might be too much black. (Even when honoring the goddess I had to inject my personal will. hmph!) Still, it's a nice piece, started last year on my birthday and done two weeks before my next birthday! Ha.

Almost Done with the Bathroom...

Almost done with the bathroom remodel... thought it would take a couple months at most... we're going on four and still have yet to install a new window and shower walls. But those are coming soon (such optimism!)
We did hire a burly young tilesetter (Tony) to finish laying the tile and doing the half-walls I designed. He really did a fabulous job, he's as picky as I am. (I like that in a contractor.) Better his [young, strong] back than mine!! Our museum-quality bathroom is now much, much nicer than the rest of the house.
Here is the bathroom pre-appliances: