Monday, December 21, 2009

"Happy Holidays"

6" by 5" - Mirror, glass, mosaic gold, ribbon, cut styrofoam ball

This is my sign off mosaic for the year, so that I can enjoy the holidays to the fullest.  I'll be picking up the project again in the New Year.  From a technical standpoint, it was interesting to use the strips of stained glass as the background--may have to try this again.  Also, this is the first (and possibly the last) time I've used hot glue in a the construction of a mosaic.

Thanks to everyone for following my crazy project and blog this year.  I'd like to wish everyone a safe and very happy holiday. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Lapis Pendant"

Approximately 2.3" by 0.7" - Silver plate base, sterling chain, lapis lazuli, dichroic glass

The photo of this particular pendant is not as good as it could be.  You can't really see the dichroic glass in it.  The effect of the dichro is kind of neat in this one, as it is a similar color to the lapis, but then flashes to turquoise from a side view.  In hindsight, a different color might have been more effective, but I was going for tone on tone, so I certainly achieved that!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"Waves" - SOLD

5" by 4" - Ammonite fossil, sea spikes, shell beads
Okay, as much as I love being in the studio, I can't remember the last time I had THIS much fun.  This piece is another of those that just fell together, and I felt like I didn't really do much but let it happen.  The muse was definitely whispering into my ear on this one.

Friday, December 11, 2009

"No Stress" - SOLD

5" by 5" - Chandelier crystals, mosaic gold, marble
I just love how this one turned out.  At first, I had the crystals pointed straight up and down, but then I tilted them a bit, and the whole thing changed for the better.  The yellow marble somehow gives the whole thing a French feel, which wasn't necessarily what I was going for, but I'll take it.  It's just wonderful when things come together so tidily, and artfully.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


7" by 4" - Jasper, amazonite, mosaic gold, marble, eco smalti, copper

I'm not super crazy about this one.  For starters, I don't think there is enough tonal contrast for the mosaic to be truely effective.  In addition, I would cut the background pieces smaller if I could do it all over again.  However, I do like how I fixed the fact that this piece was a bit boring when I was finished--I glued small squares of reverse mosaic gold on top of other tesserae, which adds interesting depth when viewed in person.

Monday, December 7, 2009

"Breaking Through" - SOLD

4" by 6" Marble, mosaic gold, carborundum, bismuth, chalcopyrite

I love shiny things, and natural shiny things like carborundum, bismuth, and chalcopyrite are no exception to the rule. I'm quite pleased with how this one turned out, though I have to admit I think it looks like a landscape out of a science fiction story.

Friday, December 4, 2009

"S" - NFS

7" by 6" - Stained glass, mosaic gold
The second in the set of commissions for a little girl's room. This is for the new baby sister. I got to play with mauve grout this time.
On another, less happy note, my piece "Earth Chimes" did not get into the MAI exhibition. Oh well, wasn't too sure if the jurors they have this year would appreciate my work.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

" Lime Pendant" - SOLD

Approx 2.3" by 0.7" - Glass tile, mosaic gold, silverplate base, sterling chain
It's been a long while since I have worked on a pendant, so I thought it was high time I did so. I love the color lime, and hadn't yet done a green pendant. I've got new pendant bases on the way, so there should be more pendants coming in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"K"- NFS

6" by 8" - Stained Glass, millefiori, mosaic gold, dichroic glass
This cutie mosaic was a commission for a little girl's room. I normally don't grout, but this seemed an appropriate instance to do so--plus, I got to play with indigo grout, which is just too fun.

Monday, November 30, 2009

"Red Perspective" - SOLD

6" x 6" - Mexican or Eco Smalti

My sister is the godess of helping me maintain perspective when mine goes awry. She was helping me out today with my perspective regarding a client as I was color correcting this mosaic. Ergo, when it came time to name it, "Red Perspective" it was.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Earth Chimes" - SAMA Entry

14.25" x 16.75" x 2"- Marble, glass, mosaic gold, copper, pearls, obsidian, amethyst, amber, ammonite fossil

Well, here it is! The piece holding the "chimes together is covered in a variety of copper meshes. Keep your fingers crossed for me that it gets in! I also have a detail shot here for you as well.

Friday, November 27, 2009

SAMA Entry Part 4 - NFS

10" x 2" - Marble, glass, mosaic gold, copper, pearls, obsidian, amethyst, amber
This is the last of the small mosaics that comprise my SAMA entry. Tomorrow, you get to see how it all gets put together.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

SAMA Entry Part 3 - NFS

12" x 2" - Marble, glass, mosaic gold, copper, pearls, obsidian, amethyst, amber

This is the third in the series that will come together to be my MAI entry. Obviously, they are are very similar, so as to relate to one another.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

SAMA Entry Part 2 - NFS

12" x 2" - Marble, glass, mosaic gold, copper, pearls, obsidian, amethyst, amber, ammonite fossil
Thank you so much to everyone who sent me lovely emails welcoming me back to the project. You've inspired me to keep going! This is the second mosaic that will comprise my Mosaic Arts International entry.

Monday, November 23, 2009

SAMA Entry Part 1 - NFS

10" x 2" - Marble, glass, mosaic gold, copper, pearls, obsidian, amethyst, amber
In keeping with the mosaic a day idea, I decided that this year I'd create a larger work out of several smaller works for my entry into the Mosaic Arts International juried show. This is the first of the wee mosaics.
On another note, I'm picking the project up again, so you can expect more posts from here on in.

Friday, August 21, 2009

"Dueling Bunny Feet" - SOLD

6" by 5" - Smalti, sea spines, millefiori, ceramic bunny feet

Remember how I've mentioned I received some weird items when I asked friend to contribute items to the Mosaic a Day project? Well, the one of the weirdest has to be these ceramic bunny feet. Note: the bunny was not attached to the feet when I received them. So of course, they brought out the silly side of me, so I decided they needed to be pitted against one another in a battle. And with the circus like atmosphere that one would expect from a bunny foot duel, I had to do a background worthy of the big top. In some very serious Orsoni smalti, of course.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"The Swept Floor" - SOLD

5" by 5" - Everything but the floor itself

Since the beginning of this project, I've been collecting all my studio floor sweepings in a box with the intent of creating a "swept floor" mosaic. This is an ironic nod to the Hellenistic tradition of the unswept floor mosaics, where the floor was mosaicked to look like it had the leavings of a banquet on it. All the pieces in this mosaic literally came from off of my studio floor, and I cut as few of them as possible. There is still probably enough material in the box for several more of these. It was a very interesting exercise, and I'll probably do it again in another 50 or so mosaics.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


6" by 5" - Marble, dichroic glass, quartz crystal, glass, chandelier components
Not entirely sure what I think of this one. I think it actually has ended up looking like two ideas or two mosaics stuck together. The dichro is a little overwhelming--I think that if I had used silver gold in those sections, and in a much narrower fashion, the effect would have been more what I was going for.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Otherworldly" - SOLD

6" by 5" - Mirror, dichroic glass, glass blowing offcasts
I lucked out a few weeks back, and was allowed to go through all the off bits from a glass blowing studio. Some of the pieces were EXTREMELY cool. Most of them are clear, but some are colored as well. In this piece, I glued the bits and bobs directly to a grouted mirror mosaic. As y'all know, I don't normally grout, but I do often have occasion to demonstrate grouting, so layered pieces like this work well for when grouting is the order of the day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Kaleidoscope" - SOLD

6" by 5" - Eco and Mexican Smalti, mosaic gold

Again with the new laying style. I incorporated some colored gold this time as well. Interestingly enough, although this style looks a bit mishmash, it's actually pretty difficult for me to accomplish. I spend a lot of time standing back and squinting to make sure I have the texture and color balance just so. As of yet, it takes me much longer than most other styles I use.

Friday, August 7, 2009

"Signposts" - SOLD

6" by 5" - Mexican and Eco Smalti

There were a lot of pale colors in this one, which for some reason makes it a tricky one to photograph and color correct, but I think I did okay. I'm really enjoying working in this new style. The whole process is about trying to achieve a certain balance while making it look random and interesting. There's a flow, but it's a very different sort of flow from other flows I've made in mosaic. I haven't yet discovered all the rules to this type of style yet, or if there even are any.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

"Stonefire" - SOLD

7" by 6" - Marble, dichroic glass, smalti, mosaic gold
I do so like the combination of dichroic glass and marble. This time I mixed a little eco smalti and gold in with the marble for good measure. Needless to say, I enjoy the effect. This mosaic is yet another one that is better in person than in the photo. Dichroic glass is just the worst to photograph.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Untitled"- NFS

6" by 5" - Mexican and Eco Smalti

I did it, I finally did it! I finally achieved proper "Spilimbergo" modern style. Of course, then I had to go auction it off to raise money for art scholarships at a college I teach at every summer, which is why it isn't for sale. But it's super abstract, super pleasing to the eye (well, my eye at least), and I love it.

Which brings me to the the contrast and compare part of today's blog entry. While looking at this one, I was struck by how far I've come in 6 1/2 years of mosaic. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is my first mosaic, from January of 2003:

A wee bit of a difference, no?

Monday, July 27, 2009

"Teeny Bit of Pride" - NFS

Approx. 1 3/4" by 1 3/8" - Dichroic glass, stained glass, filati and marble on sterling silver base
Okay, so I jumped the gun on returning to the mosaic a day project. I just wrapped up a week of teaching in Red Deer, AB. My students were amazing, and produced wonderful mosaics, despite most of them having no experience with the medium.
This piece is a commission based on a pendant that I sold at the SAMA conference. Both pendants are based on a piece I did a few years back, called "Pride", a huge peacock feather with a marble background. I may need to create one of these pendants for myself someday....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Onwards and Upwards"- SOLD

8" by 5" - Ammonite, Eco and Mexican smalti, dichro, gold, turquoise, marble
I'm BAA-AACK! After a month and a half hiatus, I decided it was high time that I rebooted the Mosaic a Day project. Having said that, I plan on downsizing to four mosaics a week for the next couple of months. Canadian summers are so short that I have to enjoy it while I can. I will also be working on converting the garage into a teaching studio in August, so I expect that will eat up an extra chunk of time as well.
I don't know if I've mentioned it, but turquoise and red is probably my favorite color combo in the world.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Backsplash: Finished!

My apologies for the huge wait on this post. I have been working on too many projects all at once to even think straight most of the time. Here are a few pictures of the installation and completed work.
Here's a pic of me pushing some of the first sections in:

Here's the backsplash partly installed:

Putting in one of the last sections:

Sometimes you have to get a little uncomfortable for your art:

But the finished project is worth it!

In all seriousness, though this backsplash isn't created in my usual style, I really had a good time making and installing it. Of course, the fact that I could expect a succession of seafood feasts and steak dinners when all was done was certainly a boon. Naturally, my father now thinks we need to remove the bottom half tiles and finish the project with more field tile and a border. I figure, if he keeps the filet mignon and crab legs coming, he can have whatever he wants....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Backsplash: Episode 3

It's been awhile since I have had any time to blog. Or think straight for that matter! Here is the section that will go immediately to the right hand side of the stove. There's another 3 feet or so before I hit the wall and turn. I've done about 8 linear feet so far, and I think that makes it just 5 or 6 feet to go. But I've only got a week and a half, so time to get cracking.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Backsplash: Episode 2

On weekends, I work at a local diner, so I haven't had as much time to work on the backsplash. I've managed another couple of feet, the skinny section about the stove and under the microwave. Realigning the mesh and template after removing a couple of sections was a little more difficult than I anticipated but I think I managed alright. You can see a section cut off here.

On another note, I've also acquired another huge project. An artist friend of mine was commissioned to do a large mosaic on a column in a local junior high school. Although a mosaic enthusiast, she has very little experience working in mosaic. She asked me to come in at the start of the project to get her going on the right path. While there, she asked the principal of the school if there was money for her to keep me on for the project's duration, and received a positive response. So in addition to working on this backsplash, I'm also working on this new project about 18 hours a week, plus my waitressing job. So if I blog belatedly, or sporatically, please forgive me!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Backsplash: Episode 1

I received many comments after my last post from people wanting me to blog about the backsplash project, since I've temporarily suspended M.A.D to get this done.

This is the backsplash that got started nearly a year ago in my brain, for my dad. Some of you know my dad as this:

For those of you that have met him, he's a pretty conservative guy, and REALLY likes Roman mosaics. So a Romanesque mosaic it is for his backsplash. The dimensions are approximately 1' by 14'.

First came the great debate of what method to use. I chose thinset to mesh double direct, based on the advice of my good friend Lynne Chinn. I'm not an experienced installer, and have been worried about the adhesive coming up to the top of the tile during installation, and not being able to get the grout in, for one. So I wanted to glue to the mesh in a way that would prevent this from happening. I also don't like that mesh has some "wiggle" to it while installing, so I thought that thinset pancakes would be more rigid. As well, marble is really hard to use indirect, since it is so thick. It is often wider at the top than bottom, or vice versa. This means that the reverse side usually ends up looking really different than the side you were looking at while working. As this is my first backsplash, I really want to know what is going on as I work on it. Plus I'm using the fantastic stone tiles from Mosaic Rocks, and they are pretty much the same thickness, so I'm not worried about the flat surface.
So here's my gathered materials:

And here it is all ready to go. Drawing first (proving that drawing is not my best skill), then plastic, then mesh. I've taped to a laminated board. Easy to remove tape from, portable if I want to work outside, or if I want to rotate the whole thing for easier working.

I would have blogged this all yesterday, except my Internet was down, so the first WIP picture is the end of Day 2:

As you can see, the progess is pretty fast, as there is a lot of Opus Tesselatum, which I have now learned to lay two tiles at a time. About 3 linear feet have been laid at this point. You can see the mesh trailing off the right side of the board. I've already cut this part into sections, but haven't removed them. Then I'll have to slide everything over, retape, and keep going.

And here's a close up of one of the olive branches:

Won't get quite as much done tomorrow, as I probably only have about 2 hours to work on it.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


6" by 7" - Marble, mosaic gold (reversed), amazonite, glass
I'm still enjoying creating these rhythmic pieces, but decided to mix it up a little by varying the marble color in a non random, deliberate way. I always want these pieces to impart a sense of tranquility, and this one does that, I think.
On another topic, I will be taking a break from mosaic a day beginning later this week to work on a large backsplash project that I've been putting off. I would be happy to blog my progress on that if people are interested. Let me know!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Mardi Gras" - SOLD

6" by 7" - Glass, Lapis lazuli, quartz, amber
A number of people really liked "Layered" from a couple days ago, so I thought I'd try the concept again. It's quite a lot of fun to see what happens when you layer glass. My husband thought this looked very festival-like, so we named it "Mardi Gras". Tomorrow it's back to marble. I start feeling a little weird when I haven't used any in a while.
By the way, does anyone know what the metal thingy from yesterday's "space ship" is?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Ground Control to Major Tom" *- SOLD

* With apologies to David Bowie
7" by 7" - Dichroic glass and thingies, metal thingies, semi precious stone
Those who know me well, know I have a very silly side. I usually curtail it for my artwork, but today it had to come out. So I present a very silly mosaic.
Having said that, I asked all my mosaic friends to bring me weird things to put in my daily mosaics. I suspect that some of the items were a bit of a joke, but I intend to dutifully use them all. This piece features a couple of the more unusual items.

Monday, May 25, 2009

"Layered" -SOLD

7" by 6" - Various glass, quartz points, peridot

I've seen a number of mosaic artist layer glass for incredible effect. I played with this concept in "Penguins Marching" and "Mountain Lake", but hadn't yet tried something abstract. Layering is definitely interesting and a lot of fun, so I may have to explore this concept some more at some point.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

"Secondary Amoebas" - SOLD

7" by 6" - Eco Smalti, mosaic gold, amethyst, calcite

Putting all the primary colors in a design is pretty easy. I've done it many a time. However, I've always admired those artists who manage to put all the secondary colors in a piece, which is a much harder task. This is my attempt to do so, and I think it worked out. In hindsight, I wish I had eliminated either one of the orange tones or one of the grean tones--it's a bit busy for a mosaic of this scale.

Friday, May 22, 2009

"Baby Lodes" - SOLD

7" by 6" - Pyrite, marble, Eco Smalti
Okay, apparently I couldn't wait to play with this idea again. I just love these "veins" of pyrite I've been creating. I may have to try this on a large scale at some point.
On another topic, a big thank you to everyone who emails me or writes blog comments. They really do keep me going, and I love to hear what people think of what I've done that day. I often hear how I've inspired someone, and hearing these sorts of things "inspires" me to continue what I am doing.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Mother Lode" - SOLD

6" by 7" - Pyrite, calcite, Eco Smalti

I finished my day too late yesterday to post, so I'm posting yesterday's piece this morning. I really enjoyed working on this one. The color palette is a bit unusual for me, but I like the way all the elements work together here. I might have to play with this idea again in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


7" by 6" - Marble, mosaic gold, pearls, semiprecious stone, quartz, glass, funky scarab thingy
In a former mosaic life, I created a lot of mosaic mirrors that I called "Wall Jewelry". My materials have changed a lot since then, but I decided to try to see if the wall jewelry idea would still work with what I use now to create my mosaics. I think it does, although the balance seems slightly off in this piece.
I also sharpened my hammer and hardie today, so can't WAIT to play tomorrow.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"Sundial" - SOLD

6" by 6" - Ammonite, sea urchin spines, marble
I've been suffering from a lot of fatigue lately. This could be partly due to my ridiculous schedule, but partially is probably an issue of low iron. But somehow, I am managing to keep up the project, which makes me pretty pleased. There is something about this particular piece that I find really quite calming, and it's creation practically seemed to happen without me; it was one of those times where I suddenly realized I was done already.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Flame and Lime" - SOLD

6" by 7" - Cut beach glass, Eco Smalti
This was a bit of an experiment, but I liked how it turned out. I had some beach glass that had a lot of curve to it, and it made really cool semi circle thingies when I cut it. Of course I had to try to piece it together, and this is what happened. Then I just figured it needed its color complement to really pop. And how could I turn down an excuse to use a lot of lime green?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Abacus"- SOLD

6" by 6" - Smalti, mosaic gold, pearls, beach glass

I cried "Uncle" yesterday and did not do a daily mosaic as scheduled. Since starting my sale on Mosaic Outpost, I have been inundated with orders to pack. This is a good thing, but all the busy work, plus my part time waitress job made me just too tired to do justice to a mosaic.
But I like today's piece a lot, even if I hate photographing and color correcting deep blues. My camera just does not like them at all, and the color still isn't correct. This piece could have potential as a larger piece; if you look back you'll see I've played with a similar concept a couple of times throughout the project.