Reclaimed objects: large beveled mirror

This mirror was an experimental design, made just a few days before I was to exhibit all my new mosaics at a fair and when I completed it I thought it was a bit of a mess and maybe I shouldn’t exhibit it at all. In the venerable tradition of last-minute artistic experiments that are a bit of a mess and are in a style very different from the rest of the works, it was a hit. People would glance at the mosaics on display and when they noticed this one in the lower corner, their eyes would light up, they would approach it reverently, examine the finish closely and then give me a look that said: “This other stuff is fine and all, but this one…!” Some even said this out loud.

Large beveled mirror with a stained glass mosaic frame

Continue reading » » »

Reclaimed objects: curvy coffee table

Thankfully, in this day of cheap disposable household goods of ever-worsening quality, the garage sales, second-hand stores and garbage-day curb sides of the city still remain excellent sources of solid wood objects of quality and craftsmanship that would be otherwise unavailable or unaffordable to an artist.

Close up of mosaic table with scalloped edgeEach piece of used furniture to which a mosaic is added begins a second life of enhanced beauty. Each also poses a unique creative challenge.

The shape of each piece sets some constraints on the layout of the mosaic. Working within those constraints usually generates ideas that I wouldn’t have come up with given a blank canvas and free rein. Any individual defining features of a vintage object are likely to be incorporated into a well-tailored design, making it impossible to replicate on a different surface.

an old photo in a scalloped vignette frame

A vignette is a decorative border which covers up some of the picture’s edges. They are most often just oval

(See, for example, this coffee table, whose burned surface lead to an inlaid mosaic design – a very cumbersome thing to execute and one that would be completely unnecessary given an unblemished surface. The resulting piece is as impressive as it is unlikely to ever be replicated.)

The small coffee table that is the subject of this post comes from a good home and is part of the hand-picked haul of a street-wide garage sale.

It has a interesting shape, which I was tempted to call “vignette” until I googled it and was told that vignette is not a shape. The closest thing to describe it seems to be “scalloped”.

Continue reading » » »

Recently completed projects: Black, White & Red

I spent the last few weeks focused on making new mosaics for the DECA fair, which is only a couple of weeks away now and will be the first ever exhibition of Fragmentalist mosaics. Much excitement!

The great thing about setting out to make as many new pieces as possible in a short time period is that so many ideas jotted down, sketched out and imagined over the years suddenly get used and brought to life.

Nearly five years ago, after completing my first mosaic – an abstract pattern of two contrasting colours, a dark brown and a pale beige – I thought: “it would be really cool to try out the same idea in pure black and white with red grout. That could be mind-blowing.”

And so here it is, manifest reality of black, white and red. It’s pretty awesome.

Mosaic mirror frame with abstract black & white design and red groutMosaic mirror frame with abstract black & white design and red grout

Continue reading » » »