At the weekend I went over to St Georges Care Home and installed the four mosaic flowers that were created by the community during my Open Studios in April. As I have previously posted, this was all inspired by Millie, a resident in her late nineties who is still a keen gardener. I read a story about her in my local paper over a year ago and thought that the brick walls at the Home could use some brightening up.
As Millie was the catalyst for this to happen, staff at the Home suggested that Millie picked one of the flowers to be installed in the courtyard garden that she tends. Her favourite colour is purple, so it was an easy choice for her. She tells me that the shrubs beneath the mosaic will eventually be covered in bright purple flowers.
The other mosaics were installed in other gardens at the Home.
Yesterday I popped over there again where Millie and I had fun posing for the local paper on our photo shoot. Images to follow hopefully next week but meanwhile here is a pic that a member of staff took.
Millie and Me
Some time ago I created this sculpture as an experiment. Since then it has just been sitting in the studio taking up valuable space. For some reason the time wasn’t right to continue with it. Yesterday i glanced at it and suddenly got all inspired to begin. Have started looking at colours but at this stage I am feeling the love of black and white.
Meanwhile at the kinder, the kids continued to work on their rainbow serpent yesterday. It is a big project for the little ones though and it is getting harder to get them to willingly help out. I probably only need a couple more mornings there though so it is just as well.
On Sunday, I will be installing the flowers that the community did during my Open Studios in April. They will adorn the walls of the courtyard at St Georges Residential Care Home. Images to follow.
Rug Sculpture work in progress
So the school residency has slowed down a bit as the children are off for two weeks winter break. It has given me time to catch up on other artworks. I am doing a degree at the moment so assignments are piling up, but luckily this semester is all practical and no academic essays. Have been messing about with paint, charcoal, pastels, ink etc. Lots of fun.
Am also working on a new mosaic, but currently that is under wraps. Back to the school next week.
Black Still Life
Paint and charcoal
White Still Life charcoal, pastel, glass frit and paint A3 paper
I am using this week to get all the kids work cemented to board and grouted. Spending about two hours each morning achieving this and I have about had enough!! aaaagh…. my arms are aching and my wrists are sore. One more morning to go.
The children are on their two week winter break, when they return there will be two and a half 120cm long panels to go and the serpent will be finished.
My only solo piece on this mosaic is the serpent head which I did yesterday. What do you think prior to grouting, will be cementing it on to the board this morning, grouting tomorrow.
ceramic with an irridescent red glass tongue
Its been a mad few weeks. I go to the kinder for two mornings, each time taking in 3 drawings for the kids to start. In the afternoons, I finish the areas the kids were unable to, I tidy up edges and glue down tesserae that has fallen off. The next morning, I flip the mosaics, remove paper and plastic and let the thinset dry. Next I flip the piece back and cut the mesh closely to the edges with a stanley knife. Flipping again, I apply thinset to the back and place on the cement panel.
The following day I grout it in black and polish up. A few days later I seal the grout and polish up again. Three down, five to go. The kids are about to have a two week winter break, so I get chance to work on something else.
These are images of two of the finished panels, just need the background painting properly (in black) and holes drilling for installation.
Circle part of the design
striped part of the design
I am about to go to the kindergarten for the third morning. The children are really enjoying helping out on the mosaic and cutting the tiles into little blocks rather than random shapes was a good choice. They are loving the colours of the tiles and are making a beautiful job of creating unique colour schemes. I have 12 colours overall and take 8 in each time so there are endless possibilities of what to put with what. One little girl told me that I have been very good because I remembered to bring girl colours and boy colours. LOL.
When the pieces get home to the studio I have been finishing any areas that need it. The following day they have been cemented to cement sheet panels which I have painted with black waterproofing membrance, for added insurance, as the mural will be screwed to an outside brick wall. Then I have grouted with a black grout which bring the colours up beautifully.
Here is an example of the kids’ colour choices. What do you think? The empty circular shapes will be filled with whole clay tiles that they school will get families to write on before glazing.
Little hands, lots of gems and often too much thinset is a great way to spend a morning.
My next school job is working with 50 little four year olds on a 10 metre long Rainbow Serpent. The serpent will snake it way over their entrance brick wall, on the street side. All very exciting as every single school job in the past has installed the mosaics in areas that are not seen from the street. The brief was, it needs to be colourful and we want a WOW. Love it, right up my street.
I use ceramic tile when working with the little people so I have chosen around 12 beautiful colours and have spent a fair amount of time cutting them ready for tomorrows class. I have drawn the design on paper, on 24 different panels and will be taking in a few at a time for the children to start on and choose colours. We will work on mesh, using thinset as the adhesive.
Usually I smash tiles with a hammer but this time I have cut them into strips and then into small rectangles with a tile nipper as I want the design to run in rows rather than completely random.
Ceramic Tile Selection
Part of the design ready to go.
Hello everyone, things have been pretty hectic in the studio of late, so I haven’t had chance to organize any photos for this post.
But I was just thinking how when I came to Australia i was unnerved as I have had a snake phobia since I was little and I wondered, would they be wandering around the streets on their own! What an awful thought. Over the years the phobia as lessened but I still wouldn’t want to come face to face with them.
So the irony isn’t lost that I have just secured two school residencies and both of them want a Rainbow Serpent, which is one of the Aboriginal Dreamtime animals. Both are talking about wriggling snakes and patterns on the body etc.
The first will be 10 metres long on a brick wall, so it will literally be snake in your face and the second is much narrower but 11 metres long and low down, so it will be snake in the grass. Thank goodness this is a fun cartoon like mythical creature so my imagination can go wild. i could not have coped if we were talking the real thing.
Well its pretty exciting when your artworks can be bought as greetings cards and posters, but even more fun when they can be made into throw pillows and cushion covers. They can all come in three sizes, with or without the cushion insert. Check out the full collection at http://www.redbubble.com/people/juleelatimer/portfolio
I have seven butterfly designs, five flowers and the frog. They can be sent anywhere worldwide and are made in the States.
I also have an extensive collection of greetings cards, at more reasonable costs than in the shops. These are made in Australia.
Here are a small selection of the throw pillows. What do you think?
That is the question!
A number of students ask me why we grout and if they need to. I also get students who are concerned when I suggest a darker grout. Grouting can be a bit of a ‘heart in your mouth’ kind of exercise, but it is worth it in the end. It ties your whole piece together and gives added strength, so useful for exterior works.
Take a look at my student’s paver, she only had time to grout part of it in the last class and will finish it this coming Saturday. It was the perfect piece to photograph to show the merits of grouting and how a darker grout can really make those colours pop, don’t you agree?
ceramic and glass gems on concrete. 37cm diameter with black grout.