Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Monthly Mosaic Blog

November was somewhat productive as far as mosaics go.
I finished my larger piece I've been working on for a few months. The title is "Mundo de la musica" (World of music). It is 24" x 24". I used all mexican smalti and adhered the pieces using Weldbond onto a sealed plywood substrate. Overall I like the design and how it turned out. There are a few things that I might change if I were to do it over (but I'm not). I do like using smalti but I feel like I can't be as creative when I use all the different tesserae that I normally use. It was a nice challenge to try this out on my own though. I plan on getting it framed using a "floating frame". I also entered it into a juried show. Not sure if it will be in the show I have not heard back yet. There is an issue with my piece (live and learn!). After finishing I finally read through the fine print of the show and found out that you can only enter a piece that is under 15 pounds (a little difficult for those of us who work with a heavier medium). piece is 17 pounds and they will not except it as a hanging piece but if I put wood strips on the back and put it in a sculpture stand they will except the piece for the show. So note to self to make sure I read all the details beforehand! Also to use Wediboard instead, if I'm thinking of entering in a show.

Onto other things! Our Minnesota Mosaic Guild were invited to make tiles at Sheryl Tourila's studio. It was a lot of fun and so interesting to do something I have never done before. We rolled out a slab and she let us use a huge array of different cutouts. The only restriction was keeping it to one color. So...I made all sorts of shapes, including two huge olives, I have an idea with olives and a martini glass (ha). We have such a nice group of people in our guild and always so nice to see everyone!!!

I had a fun mosaic "field trip". I met a few of my MMG pals at St. Michael Catholic Church to tour their mosaics. They are BEAUTIFULLY done. There are stations of the cross and many more around. It was so fun to go with others that had an "eye" for the art of mosaics and to help see all the details and materials that were used.

Another project I started and finished is a "mini" mosaic. Thanks to an idea from an MMG friend (Janine:) I made a mosaic inside a framed mirror from IKEA. It did not take a lot of time to make. It's quite different using teeny tiny pieces to fit into your design. I loved coming up with a bunch of different designs and I'm looking forward to making a few more. I had a couple reasons for making them. One being for gifts and another is to make something quickly. They are so fun and cute :)


1. Make a few more "mini's"

2. Do some grout cleanup on the bar/countertop piece.

3. Do some sketches for next piece, maybe start???

4. make bookmark business cards.

5. may visit local stainedglass shop and see if they are looking for someone to teach stained glass mosaics.

6. Get "Mundo..." framed.


"Sometimes in the middle of a hectic day, I am stopped in my tracks by the sound coming over the speakers, melting my heart and helping me remember what life is all about. Music satifies our deep need to feel our longing heart, a core of softness within ourselves." -Madeline Bruser

(This goes for art also!!!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

November Mosaic Blog

It's officially SAMA sign up time! I was able to get into the workshops that I wanted and was so nice to sign up online. I'm looking forward to working with Emma Biggs in her workshop, "Mosaic and Pattern: Meaning, Complexity and Repetition". Also with Sophie Druin in her workshop, "Combining Stone and Blenko Glass in Modern Mosaic". I also signed up for the Austin Mosaic Tour. This will be my 3rd convention! I'm sure I'll come home with my head swimming with all the info :)

This month I did complete one of my goals. I finished the counter/bar installation piece!! I'm very happy with the colors and design along with the black grout I chose. The issue I'm having is that the grout is a little "bumpy" in places. I'm thinking of taking my dremel tool and cleaning up the grout more. Hopefully this will take care of the problem :( I should have split up the grouting into smaller increments, the grout was drying very quickly and hardening which made it difficult to clean. I'm used to doing smaller pieces, I'll have to ask some of my mosaic pals what the best way to go at this next time.

I was not able to finish my other piece and still am plugging away at it. The name for this piece will be "Mundo de la musica" (A world of music) I thought I'd go with a Spanish title since this is all done in Mexican Smalti. I am still finding it difficult to stick with one material throughout this whole piece and have to admit I'm looking forward to using stained glass, beads and ceramics again for my next piece.

Plan for the month

November 10th- MMG meeting at tile studio-we are making our own tiles

November 15th-Art Guild meeting-challenge of the month and still life

Start a new piece to get into the Arts in Harmony Show (due date Dec. 3rd!)

Finish "Mundo de la musica"

Quote of the month

"Our way is not soft grass, it's a mountain path with lots of rocks. But, it goes upwards, forwards, towards the sun." -Dr Ruth Westheimer

Friday, October 1, 2010

October Mosaic Blog

September came and went quickly. With school starting and more of a schedule in our lives I thought I would be in my studio more often (not the case). It's amazing how we can fill up our days and try to find time to work in our studios. I am one of those people that like things picked up and taken care of before I work. I am more relaxed in the studio when I know I've exercised, showered, decide what's for dinner and have the chores done (which sometimes is not until noon). So with this frame of mind I have only been able to work a few hours a day. I'm not one to work at night because I like to hang with my family/cook etc. Our kids are only around a short time and I found I do cherish that time.

With all this in mind I have not finished my latest mosaic it is taking a lot longer than I thought it would. It has been challenging working with Smalti. I have ran out of different colors so I had to reorder a few times this month. One of my colors are out of stock right now, so I changed some of my colors around. Another challenge with the Mexican Smalti is that they are all different shapes and sizes. My design has a lot of squares/rectangles that need to be the same size. I have had to do a lot of marking with a Sharpie and then cutting with my wheeled nippers. I also have found that I don't use the hammer and hardie much, I find it easier to use my nippers.

Mosaic/Art Plan for the month
Finish "Musical Meditation"
Prioritize my studio time more.
Volunteer at community Art Harvest Festival
Try to finish Bar/Counter project I started last February.
Quote for the month
"It's quite possible to leave your home for walk in the early morning air and return a different person-beguiled, enchanted." -Mary Ellen Chase

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Monthly Mosaic Blog-September

I'm starting a new chapter in blogging. I'll be blogging once a month. This will help me stay focused on my goals along with letting others know what I have been up to in the "mosaic world". I'll blog the 1st of every month.

My latest project is going okay so far-still getting used to using/cutting the Mexican Smalti. I absolutely love the texture and variety of each of the colors. I have been trying to use the hammer and hardie along with the wheeled nippers. My goals for this piece is to make it all with Mexican Smalti, which is not a normal way I work since I love using all different kinds of materials but thought this would be something to try out. I found out as I was laying the Smalti down to intermix the different shades so the areas do not look so "flat". It helped give each area more dimension.

I'm thinking of calling this piece "guitar meditation". I love listening to Govi's guitar music which was an inspiration for the piece, along with an artist whose work I liked.

It is an abstract with several hints of guitar shapes. I'm using earth tone colors because I'm making it for an entryway which these colors would fit in well. The size of the piece is 24"x 24".

My Mosaic/Art Goals for the month are:

Finish "Guitar Meditations"

Sketch my next piece

Attend the MMG opening/meeting

Attend the BCA meeting

Quote for the month

"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone." -Gladys Bronwyn Stern

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog-Day 362!

I have been blogging just a few days shy of a year!

It has been a challenge to blog each Monday. But for the most part have
been able to do that (except this month).

I have to say that blogging has helped me stay focused on continuing to educate myself with mosaic art. I have completed several mosaics, tried some new techniques, learned how to work with Smalti, how to use a hammer and hardie, understand value when using smalti, had four of my pieces in a Gallery, completed a larger "Call to Art" challenge, along with getting my first commissioned piece in a hospital!

So...on to this next year. My plan is to blog the 1st of each month, continue with ending my blog with a "plan for the month" along with a "quote of the month". This will start September 1st.

On to my next piece-
I heard some good advice awhile ago and will always remember it.

"Treat each mosaic as a commissioned piece even if it is for yourself."

so, I have started a new piece with that thought in mind.
I've had a sketch for awhile and took it out the other day while listening to beautiful guitar music and sitting out by the lake decided to play around with changing some things on it.
This is an abstract using shapes/constrasting color/different values/hints of music within.
I'm planning on using just Mexican Smalti. This will be my challenge for the month of September. I normally don't use one material and this is more straight lines/abstract compared to my other work. I would love to complete this in time for a show coming up.

I made a "key" to help with what colors of Smalti to use in the different areas.

I also made a sketch drawing out different andemento to help with the shapes and direction I want the Smalti to flow.

My Plan until September 1st

-get the Smalti colors that I need on order

-Prepare the 24" x 24" substrate and get the design drawn on

-Start adhering

Last Quote of the week

"With education and hard work it really does not matter where you came from; it matters only where you are going." -Condolezza Rice

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 334-Monday Mosaic Blog

My family and I have been having a "brilliant" time in London-so much that I did not get time to blog the last two Mondays. I would highly recommend a holiday here it is lovely!
We did see many sites that had mosaics but they would not allow picture taking. The National Museum and St Paul Cathedral to name a few. The Mosaics at St Paul Cathedral were amazing! I did take a few pictures of other mosaics. Here is one from our boat cruise through the canals. The picture of course does not do it justice since it is very sparkly from the mirror that was used.
Here are some pictures of Emma Biggs Mosaics in the Canary Wharf area it was so nice to see them in person-If you read about them on her site she explains her process-which I would like to try sometime. There were 13 different squares that were along the walk. This is one of the mosaics that I loved. The other ones were in a passage way near the Jubilee Mall.

Her mosaics are very inspiring-tried to get into a workshop with her but for some reason she never responded-oh well.

I'm looking forward to getting back home and into my studio now that I'm done with some of my big projects and filled with ideas from all our travels.

Plan for the week (back to work again-ha)

  • Tuesday-Wednesday-Still in London and traveling home
  • Thursday-Sleep and laundry
  • Friday-Get back to studio and figure what to work on next
  • Saturday-Opening event at the hospital where commission piece is located.
  • Sunday-Monday-Hopefully start adhering , drawing and blogging!

Instead of a quote for the week I'm putting down a book for the week (I've been enjoying reading this during our stay here)

"The Razor's Edge" by W Somerset Maugham

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 313-Monday Mosaic Blog

I'm done with the hospital project! I learned a lot by doing this.

-how to bid a mosaic

-how to manage my time

-how to decide on grout when not sure

-backgrounds and what to do with them

Here's a write up that the hospital wanted to have next to the piece,

(I found this a little difficult to do

"Sweet Child of Ours"

This piece of mosaic art represents the positive energy within a family.

The "baby" flower has colors (DNA) from both parents and just a bud ready to bloom

The "mother" flower is grouwing from the "v" shape between the hills and that is to represent the female form. Also notice that I gave her a pearl necklace, since most mom's love pearls.

The "father" flower is standing tall and proud protecting his family

The dragonfly represents the positive force in life.

The title came from the thought that these lowers also looked like lollipops which then led to a candy like feel thus the word "sweet".

My hope for this piece is to remind us to keep the energy positive within our families and that we live life together to the fullest and be proud of who we are.

I thoroughly enjoy working with such a textural medium. It's fun to bring "life" to so many different materials and have them work together in harmony.


So now that I'm done with some big projects, I'm taking 3 weeks off of working on mosaics. My family and I have decided to go to London for 3 weeks!!! We are very excited and I will still be blogging on Mondays about differents mosaics I've encountered on our trip. I did ask Martin Cheek and Oliver Budd where some mosaics to see in London. Also I'll blog on some other interesting things we see along the way.

I'm sure when I get back at the end of July I'll be wanting to get back to the studio again to finish some mosaics that have put on hold.

Quote of the week

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the places and moments that take our breath away." -anonymous

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog-Day 299

I have been slowly plugging away at my project. I'm finding I only have a few hours a day to dedicate to this. I am starting the background around the flowers. I'm certain of the andemento of the rest but not sure on the colors. I found it a nice touch to bring in the mirror to help with the flow of direction (following the dragonfly). I think I'm going to intermix pale yellow, white and blue together. I wish I would have put mirror on the "hills" to follow the direction. What I am going to try is using apoxy sculpt to adhere the mirror to the top of the tiles since they are different heights-hopefully this will work

Anyways...I need to start putting more time into this so I can complete it this week!

Plan for the week
Tuesday-purchase some pale yellow glass for background.
Adhere some of the extra tiles to small boards for a grout study, I am not sure what color to use yet.
Wed-Saturday-Work on finishing project.
Sunday or Monday-GROUT!!!
Quote for the week
"Believe that you can, but plan. It will not fall in your lap."
-Antonia Novella

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog-Day 292

I'm back in the studio after being pulled away for about 4 days with getting things put together for our daughter's graduation and graduation party, also entertaining family. It was so much fun and we are very proud of her!!!

I'm excited to get the three large flowers done with so I can now concentrate on the background of my project for the hospital. I like how it's looking so far, I'm still trying to balance the colors so it's not too dark in some places or too much of one color other places. I'm using a lot of different materials and andemento. I'm thinking of doing the "grass" area with blocks of green materials and the background around the large flowers more flowing with larger pieces. Also I am going to be putting letters making the words of the title "Sweet Child of Ours" in the piece. I've never done that before and think it would be a nice touch.

I'm thinking it would be great to get the piece done by next Monday so then I can grout it next week!! (Ahead of schedule!)

Plan for the week

Everyday work on the piece with Sunday off hopefully with have it finished by next Monday!

Quote for the week
"There are no miracles to the man/woman who does not believe in them."
-French Proverb

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog-Day 285

Well it was bound to happen at some point-I forgot to blog last Monday.
I was still in vacation mode with memorial weekend and it was my daughter's 19th birthday.

So...a lot has happened since the last time I blogged.
We had our mosaic guild opening last Friday. It was so much fun to be a part of and we had a lot of people that were coming through to view the pieces. I can't get over the talent within our group and everyone definitely has thier own style.

I said yes to doing another mosiac for our local hospital! It is quite an honor to be asked to do another mosaic for thier labor and delivery area. I made up some sketches and one was approved so I am already working on it. They wanted a piece that was pastel and light in color. So I went with the light purples, greens, pinks and blues. The piece will be called "Sweet Child of Ours" since after I drew the sketch the flowers reminded me of lollipops. I thought it would be nice to have a mother and father flower with a baby flower, since it is in the maternity wing.
The materials I'm using are vitreous tile, beads, marbles, buttons, metal charms, pearls, mirror, karma tile and stained glass. It is a 20" x 30". I'm having fun with the colors and the cute theme! I have a due date of July 1st. So my goal this week is to complete the flowers, so that next week I can get to the background.

Also I finished my smalti piece with bleeding hearts! I am done now with the smalti class that Connie Cohen taught-Thanks to Connie I now feel more comfortable cutting smalti-I still can't get over how long this took to complete. Overall I am happy with the piece it was nice to know how to use the gray scale to choose color and to lay it out with that process in mind.

Plan for the week
Tuesday-Thursday-work on Hospital piece and try to get all the flowers completed.
Friday-Saturday-Get ready for my daughter's graduation party (I still can't believe I will have one graduating!)
Sunday-day off
Monday-start on background. Still not sure what I am going to do yet. (and remember to blog)

Quote for the week

"Treat each day together as a gift and an adventure."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog

The peacock feather project was put on hold this weekend. I'm finding it hard to get into the studio these past few days since we have had some summer like weather. I love being outside when it's nice out. I was trying to get this done before Thursday or Friday this week since I wanted this to be one of my pieces for a mosaic show in June . Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

I have a few smaller pieces that I have had hanging in my studio to put in the show, here's the few I'm thinking of. The MMG show kind of snuck up on me to have a bigger piece ready. We have so many wonderful mosaic artists in the mosaic guild that will fill the show with beautiful artwork-it will be a nice event for our group!

I finally ordered my gryphon saw-It will be so fun to use. I first saw it at the SAMA show and was able to try it out there. It's easy to use and clean. I still need to set it up I just took it out of the box today. I'll be able to cut all sorts of shapes in glass and ceramic it will be fun to play around with it this summer.

Plan for the week

Tuesday-smalti class -hopefully will finish my bleeding heart project
Wednesday-finish adhering peacock feather
Thursday-grout peacock feather
Friday-Monday-hang out with family and friends since it is memorial weekend and my daughters birthday

Quote for the week

"It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it."

-Lena Horne

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog-Day 264

I found out a few days ago that "summer symphony" was accepted to be one of the pieces that was chosen for the hospital! Very exciting! Sounds like after seeing my work they definitely want me to do a piece for a stairway at the hospital. I'll find out soon how large and what theme, colors, design they are looking for. I'll have to go through with a sketch and submission process first. All in all I am very excited but a little nervous also.

In the meantime I have been working on my small peacock feather project. I love all the bright colors. I have done needlepoint in the past and thought I would try to use some of the pattern techniques I've learned from that with the glass. I'm using materials I already have-vitreous glass, karma tile, colorfusion tile and a marble. This piece was inspired from the carpeting at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago where SAMA was held this year.

I finally ordered my tile I won at the raffle held at SAMA from Mosaic tile. I won 195.00 worth of tile. It is mostly vitreous tile along with some colorfusion tiles. It's always nice to get some free materials! I'll probably have my girls help this summer getting the paper backing off and organizing them.
Plan for the week
Tuesday-Smalti class
Wednesday-work on the background of the peacock feather
Thursday-work on counter project (I'm getting very close to being done and I'll post pictures next monday)
Friday-Finish adhering the peacock feather
Sunday-Day off (I need to wash windows!)
Monday-Start sketching for the hospital project.
Quote for the week
"Excude happiness and you will feel it back a thousand times." -Joan Lunden

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog-day 257

I met one of my biggest challenges yet since I have started blogging. I made one of my biggest mosaics (12" x 30") and it was due in 2-1/2 weeks! This piece taught me a lot, a few important things are having patience and enjoying the process. I also learned that I love being in the creative moment when you are asking yourself what if? I did that a lot. What if I put these beads here, what if I put this color there, what if I layer these textures etc... And it is in these moments we can create and loose track of time, which is a wonderful place to be! I used stained glass, millifiori, beads, vitreous tile, karma tile, colorfusion crystal and one pearl (ha). I had all this on hand and did not have to buy anything extra, which was very nice to save some time running errands for extra materials.

I decided on the title after it was done-I usually don't title a piece until I get to know it as I am working with the piece-this may sound a little weird but it's true. I gave it the title "Summer Symphony". The flowers are the beautiful instruments that come together and the background are the beautiful sounds that move and vibrate around.

I brought "Summer Symphony" into our local art gallery Saturday morning to go through the juried process. The hospital plans on putting these in each of the new maternity rooms and they are only choosing fourteen local artists. So far it sounds like mine is accepted!!! They really liked it and may even put it in a common area instead of one room! The offer was put out there to me to do a larger piece for a stairway in the new hospital wing! The deadline is July 1st when they have the grand opening.

Here's a picture of the after effects of working for over two weeks on a project and no time to clean up in between-I guess I have some cleaning up to do (ha)
Plan for this week
Monday-clean up studio and start working on peacock feather piece
Tuesday-back to smalti class again
Wednesday-work on peacock feather
Thursday-work on counter (and my birthday!)
Friday-work on peacock feather
Saturday-day off mosaics-I have a piano recital! along with family in town
Sunday-sketch some new designs for ideas for hospital
Quote of the week
"There is a need to find and sing our own song, to stretch our limbs and shake them in a dance so wild that nothing can roost there, that stirs the yearning for solitary voyage."
-Babara Lazear Ascher

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog-Day 250

I have been continuing to try to get the hospital mosaic done in time. I've only had about 3 hours a day to dedicate to this. I still don't know how this will turn out. I started out wanting to give it a more painterly look but I did not like how the flowers were looking. I ended up giving the flowers more detail. I love the bright colors. I started to do the background today and that is really helping pull the piece together. I'm just free forming it, I didn't have a plan I'm just letting the tesserae "talk" to me as I place them down. I really enjoy working in this way.

I have been using materials that I already have. It's a little challenging but fun!

I also had a few hours to work on the counter installation and finished another section. I only have one more section and some touch up areas. I figure another 5 hours before grouting.

Plan for the week

Monday Night-Wednesday-finish adhering background for flower piece

Thursday-Grout piece and work on counter

Friday-Bring in flower piece to be jured.

Saturday and Sunday clean up studio

Monday-Work on peacock feather piece

Quote of the week

"Every time you don't follow you inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness."

-Shakti Gawain

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog-Day 243

I made the decision to make the piece for the hospital. So...I had to put all my other projects on hold. I drew up a sketch based on Klimt's "Farm Garden". This will definitely be a challenge because of the size and the time limit. I already put 12 hours into it.

The substrate is birch plywood
The size is 12" high x 30" wide, the reason for the size is that it will be going over a hospital bed.
The materials I'm using are stained glass, vitreous glass, crystalline glass, Karma tile, beads, and millifiori.
It's due on May 7th and then it goes through jurors to see if they will even choose my piece for the hospital.

I figure if they don't choose it for the hospital I can always put it in a show or hang it on our wall at home-I really like the bright colors.

Also to get ideas for this project I made a trip out to the landscape arboretum. It was such a beautiful day! I loved walking around and taking pictures. It was such a great way to do some "research". The tulips were so beautiful!

Plan for the week
Tuesday-Wednesday-Work on hospital project
Thursday-Errand day and work on counter
Friday-Saturday-work on hospital project
Sunday-day off
Monday-Work on hospital project

Quote for the week
"One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar". -Helen Keller

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog-Day 236

Well my plan for the week did not work out as planned, since we only have one week left of our smalti class , I ended up bringing home my bleeding hearts to work on-I ran out of a few reds that I need so I started on the background. Connie suggested a dark blue background and I do like how it is looking so far against the light pink flowers.
I have been wanting to start my small peacock feather piece. I love working with the bright colors-I just started laying tesserae down today and I'm thinking of using tesserae that I already have that would work for the color scheme. So I have decided to use vitreous, crystalline and karma tiles.
I still have not been settled with the design for the bathroom piece-I don't know why I am having such a difficult time with it-I did find something I liked and may use this idea from a Van Gogh painting-sorry about the fuzzy picture. I think it has been a color issue and I do like the colors in this painting
Also another thing to add to my list (not sure if I will or not) is our local hospital is wanting to buy some art from local artists. They want it to be a 30"wide x 12" high piece. The theme is nature/landscape. Jurors from out area will decide which piece they will choose. I did cut out a piece of birch plywood and sealed it to have it ready if I do decide on adding this to my list. The only thing is that there is a deadline of May 7th! One of my thoughts is to do a Klimt landscape after his "Farm Garden" piece. I love the colors of all the flowers and the variety of greens in the background. I'll see how it goes this week sketching something up.
Plan for the week
Monday night-Art Guild meeting
Tuesday-Last smalti class (I'm going to miss those gals!)
Wednesday-work on peacock feather, sketch for hospital piece
Thursday-work on the counter (I would love to get a lot of this done)
Friday-peacock feather/plan colors and tesserae for hospital piece
Saturday-work on peacock feather
Sunday-day off
Monday-finish peacock feather? (I am crazy,ha)

Quote for the week
"Gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you."
- Eileen Caddy

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog-Day 229

The weather this week has been so nice, it's been hard to be inside working the last few days.
I had my local mosaic group together on Friday. One gal finished adhering her piece and it looks so nice, I'll take a picture of it next time when she grouts it. The other two ladies are doing such a nice job also-it's fun to see how different each piece is and what colors they like to use in thier pieces.

I took my Smalti piece home from my Tuesday class so I could make a little more progress. It seems to be taking me a while to get used to cutting the smalti and making the pieces fit together closely. Also it takes awhile to figure out the different shades and where to place them. I am enjoying it though and learning a lot. I just would like to finish it before the class is done in a few weeks.

Today I finished sketching the peacock feather design and decided to go with a black background. I think I am going to use a lot of Karma tile and might even bring in some metal that I received from the tesserae exchange at SAMA. Not sure yet on all the materials until I get going on it. This will just be a small piece

8 x 13-3/4".
Plan for the week
Tuesday-Smalti class
Wednesday-Work on sketch for bathroomand start to figure out materials for peacock feather, Mosaic Guild meeting at night.
Thursday-Work on counter
Friday-Work on bathroom piece
Saturday-work on peacock feather
Sunday-Day off
Monday-Work on bathroom piece
Quote for the week
"The divine is there for all of us to see, reflected in the world's beauty, like clouds in the stillness of a lake." -Jonathan Borges

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog-Day 222

I feel like it has been awhile since I have been able to really focus my time in the studio. With my time at SAMA and having my girls home for Spring Break life has not been very structured the last few weeks (which is nice to take a break now and then). Today was nice to get back to the swing of things. I was able to get out in the studio for about 3 hours. I started working on the side border of my Zen project, it looks a bit messy right now. I'm trying to utilize some of the glass tile from thier border in thier bathroom. I'm also using Mexican Smalti.

I also wanted to give my neck a break from looking down and start sketching a mosaic idea for a smaller project. This idea came from the beautiful carpets at the Palmer House Hilton at the SAMA convention. I'm not sure what I'll do with the background (dark or light). This will probably be a 9 x 12 or 10 x 17. I bought some predone mosaic frames from Matteo Randi and it would be nice to use one. I love the bright colors and the flow of the piece-this will be fun to do!

I found a little time to fit in to work on the counter/bar. I only have two sections left! It's all crazy paving in those areas though and I find that takes a lot of time to do. I would really like to set a goal to get this done by the end of April , grout and all!

Plan for the week

Tuesday-Smalti class

Wednesday-Finish the side border of Zen piece and lay out peacock feather sketch onto the substrate.

Thursday-Work on counter/bar

Friday-Work on counter/bar, may have local mosaic group get together at night

Saturday-Organize notes from SAMA

Sunday-Day off

Monday-Zen project start other border, start peacock feather design

Quote of the week

"The most perfect guide is nature. Continue without fail to draw something everyday."

-Irving Stone

Monday, March 29, 2010

Additions to day 215

Oops! I accidently pressed publish post-Here are the pictures I meant to put on my Day 215 blog.

This is a picture of the peacock feather design I'd love to do a mosaic of.

Here's Matteo Randi's piece from the Mosaic Arts International Show at Navy Pier. This piece was my favorite!

This is the piece I just grouted- "Winter Moon", Stained glass, Cinca tile, beads, pearls, crystalline tiles and mesh mounted on wedi board which then was mounted on birch plywood.
Plan for the Week (still spring break)
Tuesday-Work on counter , go to MIA with daughter
Wednesday-Work on sketching new small piece, work on Zen border
Thursday-Work on counter
Friday-work on counter
Saturday/Sunday-Family time
Monday-Work on Zen piece
Quote of the Week
"If your everyday life seems poor, don't blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you have not been enough of a poet to call forth lifes' riches." -Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday Mosaic Blog-Day 215

Well it is back to mosaics! I have had some days off with visiting family which was very enjoyable, always nice to connect with relatives. Also starting to do the college tours-I can't believe I have kids old enough to go to college soon-I think that when it starts to hit you how fast the years can really go.

I actually started adhering my Zen piece after a lot of decisions I thought I would start on the side borders, which represent a Japanese screen. I am using leftover glass tiles from thier bathroom , brown and dark red Mexican Smalti and small pieces of shell. I highly suggest to see the space when considering a commission piece. You definitely get more of a sense of the space and feel of the piece-I also took more pictures of the area it will go in. Now I'm excited to get going on it!

Today I also finished my grouting my "Winter moon" piece-It turned out so nice-I was not planning on grouting but thought it would look nicer with grout. I'd like to start another small piece, possibly a peacock feather with inspiration from the Plaza Hotel in Chicago. They had the most beautiful carpeting in the hallways with colorful peacock feathers.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog-Day 208

Well I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the SAMA Conference! I came home exhausted but head filled with all the wonderful education that was offered. I enjoyed working with and meeting all my instructors, Matteo Randi, Ollie Budd, Gary Drostle and Martin Cheek (I guess I liked working with the "Brits" this year). It was also a lot of fun spending time with the MMG pals-we had a lot of laughs!!!

My piece that I had in the Salon sold! Very exciting! I hope she enjoys the piece.

Today I spent organizing all my tesserae from the classes and vender's market. I'm looking forward to finishing some of my pieces that I started along with sketching some new ideas. One idea will be from the beautiful designs that were in the Hotel hallways. It was colorful swirls with peacock feathers in them-very cool!

Sorry about the no pictures this week-my computor is not letting me put them on! Hopefully next week I'll be able to.

Plan for the week:
Tuesday-Smalti class
Wednesday-Work on "Zen Moon" piece
Thursday-work on Counter/Bar
Friday-Monday -Traveling again (Spring Break Starts)

Quote for the week:
"It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end."
-Ursula K. LeQuin

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog

Day 201

Well this week I was busy doing non mosaic things. I was able to fit in a little time to get a few things done though. Since I went back to the "drawing" board for the Zen project, I decided to make up an inspiration board to keep me on track with colors and the feeling I wanted to portray in this piece. I also received my Smalti and can't wait to get started on this!

This is my "Winter Moon" piece. It has been challenging working around curves and the splits between the Wedi board pieces. Not sure if I am going to grout this or not since it would be a challenge to not get grout in between-I would have to tape off each piece. I am working through a lot of issues by doing a sample before jumping into a larger version of this.

Here's the latest version of my tropical fish-I like the swirls and the brighter colors. This is what I will be mosaicing in Martin Cheek's class at SAMA (Which I can't believe I leave tomorrow!!) He made the eye and small fin in fused glass-It will be very fun to use fused glass in this piece.

Plan for the week
Wednesday-Attending 3 workshops! Hammer & Hardie w/Matteo Randi, Replicating Reality in Mosaics w/Oliver Budd, The Secrets of the Romans w/Gary Drostle
Thursday-Glass Fusion & Smalti w/ Martin Cheek
Friday-Vender's Market, Presentations and Arist Reception at Navy Pier
Saturday-Tesserae Exchange, Presentations, and Mosaic Art Salon and Auction, and Celebration Dinner/closing party
Sunday-Head home with head full of ideas!!!
Monday-Recover (ha)
Quote of the week
"Every moment of our life can be the beginning of great things.
-Juan Mascare

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog-Day 194

This is a new project that I have been working on. I've had this idea of combining different shapes of wedi board and doing a monochromatic abstract theme on it. This is a sample one I want to complete before actually making a large one. I thought I'd test it out on a smaller scale first. The pieces are attched to plywood that I painted black and used T nuts and a long screw to attach each section to the plywood-I wanted to find a way to make it more secure. I'm obviously not done laying all the tesserae on. So far it has been a fun little challenge. Well it was back to the drawing board for the Zen project, I was laying glass out and deciding on colors and andamento and it just was not feeling right. So...I thought I would change the layout a little and change the colors. I did not like the blue in the piece and I thought it needed something else besides the bamboo and moon so I added the Torii Gate which is a symbol of religion faith and peace. I am thinking about using all Smalti in this piece.

I was able to get about 5 hours on Thursday to work on the countertop. I can't get over how long it takes to do the "crazy paving". I decided not to bother with brown tiles since I had so much of the other colors left, I'm just going to stick to these colors. I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am starting to think about how to attempt grouting and dealing with the clean up along with the biggest grouting project I have ever done.

Plan for the week
Tuesday-Smalti class, order Smalti for Zen Project
Wednesday-finish white abstract and layout new design of Zen project
Thursday - Organize studio/errands/do some sketching
Friday-Work on counter
Saturday-Work on counter
Sunday-Pack for SAMA!
Monday-Hopefully will have smalti to start on project and Art Guild meeting
Quote of the week
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." -Anais Nin

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog

Day 187
Another busy week with mosaics, including a lot of decisions. I finally came up with a quick sketch to send to Martin Cheek. I am taking a Glass fusion workshop with him at SAMA and he needed to know what size substrate and what we wanted to make. I was not sure what I wanted to do so I thought since we are using fused glass it would be fun to do a tropical fish. Here is my "quick" sketch of it. I think I am going to change the fish to be more whimsical and the weeds to be more circular and flowing.
I started my "commission" piece for the Zen bathroom project.
I did not adhere any pieces yet since I am still deciding on colors, andemento and tesserae.
Hopefully by Wednesday I'll get going on it.
This is my Smalti piece I am making in the Tuesday Smalti class with Connie Cohen. It is still slow going. I do like working with Smalti but like any new thing it is taking some getting used to. I find that cutting the smalti with the wheeled nippers is working just fine. We are starting another 8 week session-I assume I will have it done by then??? The different sections are where different values of the smalti go-As Connie says "it's like painting by numbers"

Tuesday-Smalti class (and John Mayer concert at night!)
Wednesday-Work on Bamboo Zen Project and redesign fish
Thursday-Work on Counter installation
Friday-Work on counter in the morning
Saturday-Pick out what I want to bring for the tesserae exchange for SAMA and what tesserae I want to bring to add to my tropical fish
Sunday-day off

Quote for the week
"This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do, and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy."
-S.P. Schultz

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Mosaic Blog

Well I have had an aha moment this week. I realized that sometimes when you feel overwhelmed you need to step back and try something new to refresh yourself and inspire you.

I have enjoyed trying some ideas out on a smaller scale. Ideas that I have been thinking about for sometime and working with. What really got me going on this was a challenge that was given to my monthly art guild group (We are given a challenge once a month). Our challenge was to try making something using the cubist technique, like Picasso or Braque. I tried a few little sketches and it was so freeing to do something totally different and learn about the artists that started this cubist movement. Who knows maybe I'll take it to the next level and make a mosaic from one of the sketches, which would be a whole different challenge.

Here's the latest pictures of the counter installation project. It's been a slow process but I'm plugging along.

I also am starting the bathroom mosaic.

They decided on the first sketch with the bamboo and moon theme. I'm excited to get going on it. My husband was nice enough to help me with the frame - mitering, gluing and nailing it to the plywood substrate. I thought this would be a nice way to frame the piece.

Plan for the week
Tuesday-Smalti class
Wednesday-Work on Bamboo mosaic
Thursday-Work on counter
Friday-Work on counter for a few hours-shop for glass if needed for Bamboo mosaic
Saturday-day off
Sunday-Studio time with local mosaic group
Quote for the week
"A change of work is the best rest."
-William Gladstone