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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Time to get organized....arrghh!

So a couple things happened recently to spur me on to organizing my spaces (I have several rooms and a studio dedicated to my mosaicing). First a friend decided she didn't want to work with stained glass any more because she kept cutting herself. So she asked if I wanted her stash of glass. Of course I said yes, and went out to pick it up. It had been sitting outside for a long time against her garage. I washed most of it and passed the transparent pieces along to my friend Gary who works with stained glass.


Next I visited another friend who had a very organized way of storing her glass. She uses Michael's storage containers to organize glass by color. I was very impressed and went right out to Michael's and purchased four of these units. So now I've started repositing the shelves in my garage to make room for those containers. Then, since many of the sheets of glass were large, I'll need to cut them down to fit in the storage bins.
Next I moved my Beetles and Bits cutting system, circle cutter, ring saw and grinder to the studio. I'll take a picture of that later. And the most important picture, this is my helper Biscotti.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lorenzo nears the home stretch

Lorenzo is almost finished. I believe I will grout him in black and hope that pulls together all the colors. I will see my friend Jan, whose dear kitty this was, this weekend and am anxious to give it to her.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

New Watering Can Commission

I have another commission from my client who has already purchased five watering cans. This one will be a gift for his landscaper. She picked this can out of several I had because she liked the yellow spout. But she likes more cottage garden colors (the client tells me) so I'm thinking dark blue on the bottom and then gradually working through lighter blue, turquoise, lavender and finally a lavender/yellow color that will tie in with the spout. Well, that's my initial thought but who knows what it will become. I'll post work-in-progress photos.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mosaic Artist Tami Macala

Yesterday a friend from Irvine and I visited mosaic artist Tami Macala at work on site mosaicing a pizza oven. It has an underwater theme with seaweed, starfish and an octopus. Her clients are teachers and artists with a house in wild colors and a beautiful garden. And they have chickens so the mosaic has a couple chickens on wheels. It was a cold, foggy day and she was just finishing up gluing the stained glass.

Tami also holds mosaic workshops here in Santa Barbara. Check out her website for times and places:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ellen Blakeley's Workshop at Institute of Mosaic Art in Oakland, CA

Ellen Blakeley's workshop on tempered glass was wonderful! We all made several pieces on wood, rock, and glass. Here are the works of three of my classmates. That's Tara in the middle with her friends' wedding invitation under tempered glass. We learned about coloring grouts and using multiple grout colors on the same piece. Then Ellen demonstrated how to put a final sealer on using paint tints and gel medium. There was so much information that I was a little shell-shocked at the end of the class, but I'm anxious to try it now at home.
I also dropped in on the class Lillian Sizemore was teaching on Introduction to Roman Mosaics. It looks like a class I'd like to take also. She teaches the use of a hammer and hardie for cutting stone. Here is one of the students working on her stepping stone.

Lillian Sizemore's Roman Mosaics

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kitty is grouted!

Well, kitty turned out pretty well. I decided to use rose beige grout, and it seems to tie everything together. Soon I must devise a better place to take my pictures than the front porch. Here is a Begonia that is also on the porch. I am very fond of Begonias and have quite a a large number of them in my garden. Can you tell why?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Whimsical Kitty Cat is almost ready to grout

I filled in the rest of his face with white plate pieces, and now I'm ready to grout. Ahhh...but the age old question...what color grout to use? My friend Jennifer is coming over to grout her pot, so we'll see what she thinks.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, I hope this doesn't seem too self-serving, but it is my birthday today, and I just received this beautiful flower cake from my friend Debbie. The only way it could have been better is if I could eat it too!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Taking a break from mosaicing

It was the annual Multiple Sclerosis 10K Walk in southern California last weekend, and I left my mosaic studio to walk. It was a gorgeous day, and there were several hundred walkers. Here I stopped at the halfway station for a drink of water.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tempered Glass Moon

Here is another of my latest creations. It hasn't been grouted yet. The centered is tempered glass with rays of different colors around it, trying to use up a small bit of the giant batch of stained glass scraps I have. Tempered glass is very intriguing to me, and soon I'm taking a class with Ellen Blakely on all phases of making a tempered glass mosaic.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hawkeye the Blue Headed Pionus

I have sad news to report. My sister-in-law's Blue Headed Pionus (little parrot) died today. I knew Hawkeye was reaching the end of his life around November last year, so I made this mosaic of him as a Christmas gift.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Whimsical Kitty Cat

Now I'm a little farther along with the kitty. I'm trying to decide what to do with the face. Eyes are always tough, and should he have a nose and mouth?

-Then I decided to do a quick whimsical piece with broken plates on a form I got at the thrift store. It was originally meant to be a hanger for sewing thread spools (haven't we all had one of those?) so I just removed all the posts and started gluing. And I must confess, my workspace indoors doesn't look very organized. But it gets the job done!

Circular Letter Mirror

This idea came from a book called Modern Mosaic by Tessa Hunkin. She used metal printing blocks to spell out words. Not having any printing blocks on hand, I used old keyboards to spell out words like heart, love, cloud. My words were limited because I only had two keyboards (and I couldn't wait to go to a thrift store to buy more) so vowels were limited. Also I used marble, glass beads, Van Gogh glass, and smalti.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mosaic Alphabet Letters

I've started mosaicing letters for some reason. They just seem so cool in that you can spell out a word! I sounds silly. But it's fun. Now I need to grout V and E.