Tag: contemporary mosaic

  • The Importance of Context in Figurative Mosaic Art

    The Importance of Context in Figurative Mosaic Art

    Artist Lisa Sunshine emailed us asking about improving one of her recent mosaics, and Natalija and I both agreed that the problems Lisa perceived in her work largely disappeared when the mosaic was viewed at the appropriate distance.

    The situation reminded me of a line from the award-winning 1995 movie Clueless, which is the story of a spoiled Beverly Hills high-school girl AND a loose adaptation of Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma:

    “She’s a full-on Monet…It’s like a painting, see. From far away it’s okay, but up close it’s a big ol’ mess.

    -Cher Horowitz, Clueless

  • Floor Inset Mosaic Medallions

    Floor Inset Mosaic Medallions

    Artist Catherine Augustus recently installed some mosaic medallion insets in the floor of St Clare of Assisi Catholic Church on Daniel Island, South Carolina, and you might want to take a look.

    These mosaics were a volunteer project for the artist and her team of parishioners. They learned on the job and had to dance around some technical mistakes, but the results are great.

  • Framing and Hanging Exterior Mosaic Plaques

    Framing and Hanging Exterior Mosaic Plaques

    Artist Brad Srebnik’s mosaic street number plaque is worth taking a look at for several reasons. It has a harmonious color scheme with good warm-cool contrast, it’s tightly executed, and the numerals have crisp outlines and subtle curves in a distinct font style.

    If you are thinking about a project with mosaic numerals or letters with any kind of calligraphy or distinctive font, this mosaic has a lot to show you.

    Brad also did a good job photographing the work in progress, including the method he used for mounting the hanging wire.

  • Masterpiece Miniature Mosaic Series

    Masterpiece Miniature Mosaic Series

    In centuries past, crafts people worked in guilds, with a guild for each craft: shoemakers, gold smiths, etc. To join a guild, a person had to apprentice themselves to a member of the guild for years and work themselves up from repetitive physical work in the studio to more and more advanced tasks over time.

    Eventually the apprentice would be competent in all the skills and tasks required for practicing the craft. At that point, the apprentice would submit to the guild what was called a masterpiece, which was an ornate and difficult piece of work that demonstrated that the apprentice had mastered the craft.

    Well, if I were a master mosaicist instead of a jack of all trades, I would declare Lisa Sunshine‘s Alphabet Mosaic Miniatures series a masterpiece of glass mosaic merely in the execution.

  • White Tile in Mosaic Artwork

    White Tile in Mosaic Artwork

    Artist Brad Srebnik‘s latest mosaic street number sign is a good example for a discussion about white tile in mosaic artwork.

    I also think the color scheme is excellent, and I wanted to say a few things about that.

    The green and blue and red are all intense but not bright. The color scheme is all “in the same key” (instead of being a mix of intensities) and so the mosaic looks more sophisticated.

    I think the accent of green was a critical addition. The choice of a dark marbled red instead of a bright primary red also goes a long way toward creating an antique look.

  • Case Study: Non-Sanded Grout for Mosaics with Incidental Gap

    Case Study: Non-Sanded Grout for Mosaics with Incidental Gap

    For better glass mosaic images, tiny incidental gaps are the way to go. Just forget about grouting and fit the glass as tightly as possible.

    Or better yet, cut the pieces less precisely and use the slight errors in shapes to form an incidental grout gap.

    I highly recommend this latter mode of working because you focus on the visual and make better art instead of getting frustrated trying to cut precise shapes.

  • Entranceway Mosaic: How to Use Grids, Mesh, Tape, and Thinset

    Entranceway Mosaic: How to Use Grids, Mesh, Tape, and Thinset

    Natalija recently created an entranceway mosaic as one of the final projects in the renovation of her new home.

    She did a great job photo documenting the process step by step, including some serious mistakes/missteps, and that is why I am eager to share it.

    Also, the mosaic itself looks good and was well executed.

  • Mosaic Icon: Moses on Sinai

    Mosaic Icon: Moses on Sinai

    Here is the first of a series of small mosaic icons I am making on thin concrete outdoor mosaic backers that resemble rough-edged flagstones but are significantly more crack-resistant.

    I am not sure if this will be the only Biblical subject in the series.

    The mosaic is ungrouted at this point, but I plan to use black grout.

  • Mosaic Surfboards

    Mosaic Surfboards

    Hermosa Beach artist Katy Jenssen makes mosaic surfboards, and for her, it is a logical choice of sculpture base.

    Katy’s family history and ethos are grounded in the local community, a premier beach town and surf destination, part of an area where a lot of Americana was born.

    Katy’s compositions fit the shape of the surfboards and are ocean themed.

    I also recommend looking at Katy’s work because she uses best practices and correct materials and methods for her mosaic surfboards.

  • Mosaic Art Opening

    Mosaic Art Opening

    Artist Dorothy Stucki is having an opening reception for a show of her recent work, which includes some mosaics.

    The show is called “Angelic Presence,” and the opening is Sunday April 16th, 2023, from 4 to 7pm.

    Dorothy is a Mosaic Art Supply alum and a talented artist. She works in a variety of visual mediums including mixed-media drawing, painting, and mosaic.

  • Mixed-Media Mosaic with Ceramic Relief Sculpture

    Mixed-Media Mosaic with Ceramic Relief Sculpture

    Artist Aly Winningham of Terra Firma Studios has some great mixed-media mosaic artwork. These wall-relief mosaics are a balanced mix of custom ceramic sculptural elements, found objects, and elements of conventional tesserae.

    I love mixed-media mosaic, and I love to make it myself, but the problem is that you have to spend time at yard sales when you would rather be in the studio making stuff.

    Finding odd items for mixed-media mosaics can become an end in itself for this reason:

  • Value Contrast and Variegation in Small Mosaic Artwork

    Value Contrast and Variegation in Small Mosaic Artwork

    I have written quite a bit about using color variegation to increase visual interest and the importance of value contrast in mosaic artwork.

    These two concepts are related, at least in a crude way: they both involve using multiple colors instead of one color, and they both make the artwork more interesting visually.

    Value Contrast

    Contrast in value is usually encountered in the form of highlights and shadows, although it should be noted that even abstract art is much more visually interesting when there is contrast in value.