Well, Melbourne has been battered with incredible hail storms, really cold temperatures, gale force winds and so much rain you can barely see out of the window. Summer simply isn’t happening. Meanwhile, the outdoor studio has sprung a leak somewhere, so all my jars and pots are filled with water. Have tipped it out, no damage but then noticed my camera. Water spray has damaged it. I have had it in a bowl of rice for a day but although it is now making encouraging noises, the lens remains firmly shut. What a pain, I have the finished laundry steps on there, so it will be a little while before they get posted.
Meanwhile, in my typical way of mosaic working, I have sculpted a rug, kind of, looks great, am thinking of doing a abstract pattern in bright blues and have just ordered some fab black and white mille from the States for contrast.
Have also sculpted a cat which I have almost finished mosaicking, looks very cute, you will have to imagine it I’m afraid.
Have all my yellows and oranges out on the bench top ready for my next big panel, have also drawn out flowers for another 3 panel mosaic and have gotten the wax of the surfboard ready for its mosaic treatment. Oh, and I have a window that I am thinking of doing a glass on glass owl design on.
Classes have finished for the year so its all about me! But there is certainly no time for Christmas.
If you have been reading my blog you probably remember the posts about this kindergarten mural that I created with the four year olds. All did a brilliant job and then for the first time in my art residencies, someone else did the installation – the local Council. Despite the panels being numbered and detailed instructions being left, the panels were installed our of sequence and many feet apart from eachother.
It appears that the children still loved their work and it obviously didn’t ruin their enjoyment of the artwork, but I am still relieved and mega pleased to find out recently that they are now all installed correctly and looking as wonderful as originally intended.
H100cm x W300cm
Broken tile and glass gems over cement board
I am now working on the final riser. Have decided that this one will be a similar design to the top one but with the cool and warm colours reversed. Managed to find a bit more gold mirror so that can go on there too.
Have included a pic of the screeding if you are interested. I put it on fairly thick as you can see which means it oozes through the gaps. Helps therefore if you colour your screed to match your grout so you avoid headaches later on. I use a notched trowel to create those ridges you see. They are not just for a nice visual but take a fair amount of the screed off so you are not swimming in it.
The turtles are now installed, leaving just the final (3rd) front riser to go. Looks so pretty in the sun.
Second Riser installed.
As the first riser had 3 fish, it seemed a good idea to put 3 of something else on the other side riser. Started off by drawing emus, but ended up with turtles. I am running ou of gold mirror, so there are just a few touches on the shells. The design follows the same as the fish with the swirling background in cooler colours.
Second riser wip
The second riser is now installed and I must say I am really happy I decided to use those big glass gems. These steps are slowly coming together, really looking forward to seeing them finished. Used a small amount of gold mirror to tie in with the other risers but not enough to take over. I like the idea of using them only on one bit of the mosaic, kind of like a little surprise if the sun catches it.
Moving on with this, I only really work on it when I have other people working in the studio, as I don’t have to think too much about it and I am able to stop and help them as necessary. So this is the second (middle) riser and I have some pretty great big glass gems in oranges and yellows.
So I have drawn a very basic design, I have no intention of attempting to make each square identical, I want a hand drawn look and I want to be able to choose colours instinctively, rather than with lots of planning. Cool colours for the outsides and warm for the insides, and probably a tiny bit of gold somewhere (as its running out and I am NOT buying more).
What do you think?
Second Riser in progress
Top riser wip 2
ready for install
Moving along with the step mosaics, I have begun the first, top riser. This is the shortest one, so a good place to start. They are not very tall, as risers never are, so I wanted a simple pattern that allowed for a bit of gold to tie in with the side risers. This chosen pattern is also another brilliant way of using up glass that I don’t have lots of.
Top Riser wip 1
beginning the mosaic
H 62cm x W 33cm
Side riser 1 in progress
So I really did start out thinking that a sophisticated black and white design would be the way to go with these steps, but as I started to draw I realised this needed a be a full, in your face, colour mosaic. I have many coloured vitreous glass tiles that need replenishing, so I decided to use what I have rather than buying anything new. This will dictate how the scheme goes from now on. Have used gold mirror for sparkle as the steps are never in full sun, but also because I really love gold mirror and recently I note it is finding its way into everything I do.
Along with glass gems of various sizes, the mosaic is being worked on fibre glass mesh using thinset as the adhesive.
This was then screeded to the concrete steps and grouted in situ using black grout. It is looking really groovy, making the remaining concrete look even more boring.
side riser 1 installed