Tag: contemporary mosaic

  • Mosaic Virtuosity: Stained Glass Paintings

    Mosaic Virtuosity: Stained Glass Paintings

    Artist Lisa Sunshine’s stained-glass mosaics are tiny 4-inch iconic images intended for use in an illustrated alphabet series.

    I’m not sure whether these images are Sunshine’s own compositions or if she is using an existing illustrated series as a model, but either way the mosaics are virtuoso stuff.

    Sunshine’s mosaics are “impressionistic paintings” rendered in stained glass, they are miniatures, and they make the rest of us look like amateurs.

    TIP: Most people wouldn’t enjoy working in this small size and would prefer a 10″ or 12″ backer, especially if the mosaic contains multiple figures.

  • White Grout: The Floral Print Aesthetic

    White Grout: The Floral Print Aesthetic

    Artist Masha Leder‘s mixed pique-assiette architectural mosaics using white grout are so good I wanted to name this blog article “In Praise of White Grout.”

    I have been hoping more people would email me some photos of their white-grout mosaic artwork ever since I started posting about avoiding white grout in mosaic images, meaning figurative mosaic that strives to be as life-like as possible.

    Well, art doesn’t have to reflect nature or nature alone.

    This is particularly true of mosaic, which intrinsically incorporates the concept of found object (anything can be a tile) and intrinsically suggests the possibilities of abstract geometric art (when uniform tiles are used).

  • Pattern to Mosaic: Design Evolution

    Pattern to Mosaic: Design Evolution

    I thought I would share this particular studio photo because it shows the evolution of an improvised mosaic design, in this case a sailing ship.

    It also showed ad hoc changes to the pattern after it was already taped beneath clear contact paper.

    A mosaic is not a drawing, and we call rendering an existing image into a new medium “an interpretation” even when executed by the same artist because different artistic mediums have different languages.

    You can create a mosaic pattern by placing tracing paper over an existing image and merely tracing it, but there is still a lot of artistic decisions to be made.

    When you start laying tile, you may find that your design has to change is some way and that the pattern was just a starting point.

  • Amazing Commission

    Amazing Commission

    I have survived the stress of managing the supply business during the pandemic/supply crisis so far only by allowing myself periods when I get very slack in responding to non-crisis emails.

    I tell myself I will get back to them eventually, but sometimes eventually is a long time.

    Most emails that can be ignored for a month lose all relevance and can be ignored forever.

    Other emails are just as important as they were on the day they were sent.

    Artist Jill Gatwood sent me an email back on August 4th with the subject line “My largest solo mosaic piece.”

    Both the mosaic and the email itself are worth seeing.

  • Mosaic Art Exhibition

    Mosaic Art Exhibition

    Janet Crawford has owned and operated Fog Forest Gallery in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada since 1984.

    The gallery’s current exhibit is called “Piece Works” and has been in the making for several years.

    As the name implies, the exhibit features works of art that were created by assembling small pieces, and the exhibit itself is an assemblage of multiple artists and mediums, and so the title of the show is apt on multiple levels.

    The mediums include collage, found-object sculpture, rug hooking, mixed media, and of course mosaic.

    There are 12 artists in total including mosaicists Kath Kornelsen Rutherford, Tim Isaac, Sheryl Crowley, and Janet Crawford.

    I think Janet did a great job curating the exhibit because the mosaics selected show a range of styles possible in that medium.

    This article doesn’t include any images of the sculptures, rugs, and mixed-media artwork in the show, and so make sure you take a look at the gallery exhibition.

  • Mosaic Tables and Interior Design

    Mosaic Tables and Interior Design

    Artist RJ Spurr recently completed two mosaic tables for his home, and I wanted to share them because the level of craft work is excellent, and the designs are integrated with the color schemes of rooms where they were installed.

    The great thing about dry indoor mosaics is that you can use wood as a base, and that means you can put mosaics on wooden tables. Thrift shops, yard sales, and unfinished furniture stores are great sources for tables, but you can also breath new life into old tables you already have on hand.

  • Mosaic Memorial Cross for Maddie

    Mosaic Memorial Cross for Maddie

    Georgia Art Teacher Connie Wells has been working with her students on a memorial cross project:

    Highland Christian Academy in Valdosta, GA  wanted to remember one of our 8th grade students, Maddie Pitts that recently passed away from cancer in a personal, honorable way. As we constructed a small garden area with a pink bench and beautiful flowers, the students will be making rows of mosaic tiles to place on the centerpiece cross as a personal tribute to her memory. Maddie’s siblings, will also place a personal row of tiles to add to the memorial.

    We are so grateful to my daughter Katie at Mosaic Art Supply in Atlanta for their gracious donations of beautiful tiles for the students to compose their personal contribution. We are grateful to Home Depot for the grout and building base for the cross.

    The cross stands 6′ by 4′, with its backer material mechanically fastened to the wall. Each line of tile is created by students.

  • Mosaic Furniture Pique Assiette Alternative

    Mosaic Furniture Pique Assiette Alternative

    Mosaic furniture can be made from glass mosaic tile more easily and more affordably than it can be made from pieces cut from antique china and other patterned dinnerware. It’s also much more colorful! The choices available range from bright rainbow colors to soft pastels to different color families, earth tones, black and white.

    You can even render portraits and landscapes on things like headboards because you have a complete rendering tool.

    When you use glass tile instead of whatever you could scrounge up from months of yard sales and thrift shops, you start with a lot of horsepower on your side.

  • Repeating Motifs and Abstract Mosaics

    Repeating Motifs and Abstract Mosaics

    Repeating simple designs or motifs is an effective way to make iconic compositions that catch the eye, and you can take this technique to its extreme to produce abstract art where the pattern itself becomes the subject of the art and not just a tool for rendering figures.

    Karla Conmy’s River Meanders mosaic is a good example of repeating motifs taken to the level of abstraction, and Sally Scardino’s Hummingbird mosaic is a good example of using a repeated motif to make a figurative composition stronger.

  • Mosaic Saints, Angels, and Icons

    Mosaic Saints, Angels, and Icons

    Historically, mosaic icons were made with traditional materials like smalti, marble, and gold leaf glass. Those traditional mosaic materials might be preferred if you are trying to make a reproduction that looks historically accurate, but they are more expensive and more difficult to work with.

    Do You Need Smalti?

    If you have any latitude in choosing your materials, remember that it is possible to make striking and realistic images using ordinary vitreous glass mosaic tile, which is both affordable and easy to work with.

    Vitreous is the same thickness as the gold leaf glass we sell, and so you could still incorporate gold in your icon if you decided to nix the smalti and stone. In fact, it would be easier to use our gold leaf glass with vitreous than with the thicker smalti and stone.

  • Mosaic Letters and Numerals

    Mosaic Letters and Numerals

    You can make mosaic street numbers and signs using a grid, but mosaics made from irregular shapes of non-gridded tesserae are more interesting, especially if you use concentric andamento for the background surrounding the figures.

    Sara Sommers emailed us some pictures of her mosaic street number plaque, and it is made from cut pieces of tile in strongly contrasting colors. It is definitely worth checking out if you are thinking of making a piece with large mosaic letters or numerals.

    Contrasting Colors

    For starters, Sara uses strong color contrast between her numerals and background, which is critical for making eye-catching art. She also uses multiple related colors and variegated patterns instead of solid monochromatic color fields.

  • Beginner Mosaic Artwork

    Beginner Mosaic Artwork

    Mosaic is a great medium for beginners because it is accessible for people who don’t have much confidence in their ability to draw. Images can be rendered merely by arranging tile by trial and error until you like what you see.

    Of course it helps to have a simple outline or pattern of the image you want to create, but you can easily create mosaic patterns without drawing, and you can easily transfer the pattern by tracing. You can also enlarge a pattern using only a ruler and pencil to draw grids.

    Artist Debbie Watson emailed me some photos of her work and described herself as a newbie, saying that she has only been doing mosaic “since about February,” but it is fair to say that she has spent some time looking at mosaic art and thinking about what she would like to make.

    Debbie’s mosaics have interesting elements and personality in spite of being relatively simple designs, and that is no small thing.