Thursday, May 2, 2013

Monthly Mosaic Blog

With attending the SAMA 2013 conference last month I have been doing more thinking then actual working on mosiacs.  This usually happens afterwords since it is information overload (in a good way!)  I have hit a point in this medium in which I am pondering what direction I would like proceed with it.  It is wonderful that there ARE several directions in which to spend my energy.  Teaching, having work in galleries, commissions, doing sculpture (large and small), being involved with large community projects, get into liscening my designs, etc.  Interesting to think about and see what works best for my personality, time and energy.

For now I will continue to plug along and figure it out as I go.

This is my 12 x 12 "Moon Garden" piece.  It was nice to try out a blue and white theme.  As you can see it has all sorts of materials within it.  Buttons, beads, marbles, glass rods, ceramic, mirror, karma tile, and other various glass tiles along with Cinca matte tiles for the background.  I have been wanting to do a play on the moon garden theme since I saw one when traveling to Florida along with seeing pictures of some.  

Since there was so much information at SAMA I am going to do  something new in my blog and share my experience along with give you a little taste of what I learned.  This month I will discuss what I learned in my Micromosaic class with Orosoni's Maestra Antonell Gellenda.  

Tools needed:  Filato rods, finished and sealed framed wood, pattern cut to fit inside of frame, file, tweezers, and putty.
1.  Take an amount of putty that will fit inside of the frame that when pressed down will fill up space halfway up the sides of the frame-Knead it first before pressing into frame.

2.  Choose a design that will fit into frame.

3.  Choose colors of filato that best suits your design.

4.  Cut out small area of the design starting in upper corner that you will start working in then place into the frame.

5.  Cut filato by filing across then breaking with fingers or tweezers depending on the thickness.  You need to cut them a consistent length so that when placing them into the putty it does not come up higher then the surface of the frame.  

6.  Start in the corner you cut out and place filato in with tweezers placing them vertically against each other.  When that area is filled in cut out the next section and continue until done.

-Make sure:  filato is being placed vertically and not slanted along with level with the frames surface.
-If you find the putty is "bunching" up you can remove excess with tweezers, you do not want the putty getting in between the filato.
-If piece is not completed in one sitting you can cover with plastic so that the putty with not dry out.

filato , frame, micro file, tweezers, lime putty

 Here is my 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" micromosaic.  This was one day of work.  You can see that this would work well for jewlery or just a small version of a mosaic design.  It was enjoyable to learn this artform which dates back to  Rome in the 1700's when mosaicist Giacomo Raffaelli invented a flinty mixture that could be spun and turned into wands from which he obtained tiny pieces that he used in 1775 to produce micromosaics.

I found a helpful website which you can learn more and get materials is

Here is my latest mosaic I am working on.  I decided to dust off those jars of Cinca tiles and do a mosaic with just them-no other materials will be in this.  It is definitely a different way for me to work since I LOVE using all different materials.  Next month I will discuss more where these tiles come from and what tools I have been using for this.  It has been fun to do something different.

Goals for the month
-Finish current mosaic
-Sketch each time I am in the studio.  This has been something new I started-I have been taking the first 1/2 hour of my worktime in my studio doing a 4" x 4" sketch.  It is meditative and I feel very productive after (I feel that I actually completed something).
-Take a look at a new commission I may be starting.  I will take pictures of the space and post next month.

Quote of the month
"What comes from the heart goes to the heart".  -Samuel Taylor Coleridge