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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tanit the Punic Goddess

Goddesses Julie and Jennifer working on marble goddesses
Last weekend I attended a wonderfully informative workshop at Tami Macala's Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art. My friend Jennifer and I were the only participants, and we were taught the art of indirect mosaic from the renown mosaic artist, Betsy Gallery. Betsy had prepared a paper template for each of us of the goddess Tunit, or Tank as she was sometimes called. Betsy also explained the technique for scaling up a mosaic by transferring lines in small boxes to larger boxes.

We began by mixing up flour, salt and water into a paste which we cooked to create a glue. Then we traced Tunit onto brown paper and then went over the lines with red and black Sharpie markers. The idea was to have the design bleed through to the back of the paper. I was making a stepping stone and Jennifer made a wall hanging as she was here from Colorado and had to tote the finished mosaic home with her.

Betsy provided long strips of various colors of marble which we cut into smaller pieces. Then we began gluing the marble to the paper. It didn't seem like the glue was going to hold but magically it did. We spent the afternoon gluing the marble to our designs

and only got about half way through.

After grouting
Saturday morning we arrived and continued gluing marble to paper. When we finished a little after lunch, we put the mosaic on the paper into the sun to dry. Then we turned them over and, lo and behold, only two or three pieces fell off. So then we stirred up some thinset and carefully put down a layer on our substrates. Next, with another person to help, we inverted the mosaic and placed it marble-side down on the thinset. Then we took a board and mallet and pounded the mable into the thinset. Then we sprayed water on the paper and after a while it was relatively easy to remove. We did lodge a few pieces of marble loose but we just pushed them back into the thinset.

The next morning we returned and viewed our beautiful goddesses. Then we mixed up some charcoal grout and grouted our pieces. And they are beautiful! Here is mine warding off bad juju in front of my porch.