Monthly Archives: March 2017

Class Photo With Mosaics

Opus Pixellatum Mosaic Class Photos and Videos

Frederic Lecut’s “Opus Pixellatum” Mosaic Class was a lot of fun, and I think the mosaics were very successful, especially the improvised tweaking and colorization that students did in phase two of the process. In the photo above, instructor Frederic Lecut kneels in front of the class.

When people are in position at the end of the video, here is who you are looking at from left to right:

  • Robbintina Harrison holding her adorable granddaughter’s portrait.
  • Joanne Remppel holding her rescue dog’s portrait.
  • Kate Carroll holding her friend Martha Barton’s portrait.
  • Daniel Adams holding his self portrait.
  • Amy Galbavy holding her self portrait.
  • Apryl Howard holding her self portrait.
  • Daniel Baxley holding his self portrait.
  • Stephanie Cosenza holding her son Danny’s portrait.
  • Sandra Atherton holding her self portrait.

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Lighthouse Mosaic By Natalija Moss

Making Pictures With Colored Mirror Tile

Natalija improvised this picture of a lighthouse using the Colored Mirror Tiles to show that they can be used to render an image. We added these tiles last year, but I haven’t had time to use them in anything.

In Praise of Colored Mirror Tiles

I can say that the Colored Mirror Tile ranks the highest of all our product lines in terms of being “pretty shiny things” in a rainbow of colors. (Sure the 24kt Gold Mosaic Glass is dazzling, but that is only one color, and things like beads and gemstones are more accents than they are materials for rendering.)

The colored mirror tile seems pretty durable in terms of the oxidation protection on the silver backing. There was some left-over bleach water at the warehouse, I dumped in some cut up Colored Mirror Tile, and the bleach water completely dried up without the tile oxidizing.

As an engineer that has experience in materials testing, I know that a more meaningful test would be to put them in straight bleach for a period of months, AND MULTIPLE SPECIMENS OF ALL COLORS would need to be tested, but I was still surprised that cut edges could be exposed to bleach water for days without any visible effect.

That sort of protection on the silver backing means that you can definitely use a white PVA adhesive like Weldbond without any worries about it compromising the the silver, which is something you can’t say about the cheap colored mirror stock that other suppliers cut up for tiles.

I wouldn’t use our Colored Mirror Tile in a chlorinated swimming pool just because I am an engineer and want anything I make to last as long as things made by the ancient Roman. But the manufacturer says that they are being used in swimming pools.

I did note that the manufacturer states that the Colored Mirror Tiles shouldn’t be exposed to sulfur. I guess that means as long as you do not practice alchemy on your mosaic coffee table, these should be good to go…

Suitable Mosaic Backers For Indoors

If you are going to use materials like colored glass tile, which take a lot of fossil fuel and minerals to make, then the environmental cost of these materials dictate that you use a durable backer for any mosaic you make with them.

Natalija made this mosaic on a whim, and she made it on a piece of pallet wood instead of a more suitable piece of plywood, which we have tons of in the studio. Pallets are made from the cheapest variety of wood, which is porous and brittle, and so this was not the best choice.

To compensate for using such a vulnerable backer, Natalija painted the sides of the backer with several coats of artists acrylic paint and sealed the bottom with Weldbond. That should lock out moisture and keep the wood from warping or splitting over time.

Note that you would want to paint or seal the sides of the sanded plywood Mosaic Backer Boards we sell, but you wouldn’t have to seal the bottoms, which come sealed in clear polyurethane.

La Primavera Mosaic Michael Kruzich.

Mosaic Artist Michael Kruzich’s Must-See Work

Mosaic Artist Michael Kruzich has a body of work worth taking a look at, especially if you have any doubts about how well dramatic lighting can be rendered in mosaic portraiture and other figurative mosaic artwork.

But that’s not all that you need to see of his work. Michael has also made some mosaic-clad figurative sculpture that is as interesting in it’s abstract geometrical textural elements as it is in it verisimilitude –plus he has some stylized, classical and medieval interpretations. These stylized pieces are as eye catching as Michael’s naturalistic work. The reason is simple: All of Kruzich’s mosaics make great use of contrasting light and dark elements in addition to using strong pairs of complementary colors.  Continue reading

Mosaic Interior Design

Figurative Mosaic Artwork As An Element of Interior Design

Figurative mosaic art (mosaic pictures) can be used as an element of interior design in the same way that paintings are used. The only difference is that a stronger, more secure way of mounting the artwork to the wall is needed.

Natalija wrote an article about using a French cleat mounting system to securely hang a mosaic if you need more information about how to do that, and I discuss some concerns about using picture wire toward the end of this article, but first I want to talk about aesthetic considerations and how to make sure a mosaic looks right in a room. Continue reading

Marlene Dietrich Mosaic

Inspiring Mosaic Portraits Using A Grid Pattern

David Armstrong has created some inspiring mosaic portraits, and he did it using whole tiles arranged in a grid instead of irregular pieces cut and fit as needed. Normally, I dislike mosaic designs based on grids because they lack the extra visual element provided by tile arrangement (andamento), but David’s work has tons of visual interest that more than compensates for this. Continue reading