Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
allow time for the video to load - it's worth it.
This link has been shared often on many mosaic art groups. The link is worth visiting, if you have not viewed the wonderful video of women in art. The video is a work of art itself. I never tire of watching it. Watch it in full screen mode for fabulous viewing.
Mosaic artist & Teacher
Brisbane Queensland Australia
"don't just stand there - break something!"
It's a beautiful day Downunder...just listen to the birds....
The mosaic "chair" is coming along as a community seat and a school learning and resting place. The chair has been built into the slope and landscaped to suit the new Community Hall and the school grounds. It is a fantastic building - huge, light and looks inviting!
We are making a mosaic to go around the tree base - bright and cheerful is required! The seat is coming along and we painted with black goo, to get a bit of an idea where to place the huge flowers which will be filled with the children's mosaic artwork - kangaroos, koalas, owls etc. This will encompass the Land feature of the chair project. The River element is weaving it's way up the other side of the enclosure. Between all the large flowers and huge gum leaves will be Indigenous artwork painted on the cement and two snakes weaving their way and perhaps a large goanna. It will be very colourful and we will use all the student's mosaic art.
We traced patterns on fibreglass mesh as a guide to working in the studio. The base of the chair inside will be a mix of mosaic and painted murals flowing down from the chair.
The back of the chair is covered in a mosaic fantasy - Indigenous artwork by the students, Gaudi-style floral mosaics and fantasy art. Polly from the trolley made some nice cup cakes the other day!
Shaq my darling cat, always supervises and the other night insisted on a cuddle as I grouted at 2am! I made some 3-D gum nuts on the mural for some texture in the sign...looked good when it was grouted and sealed.
We know it's straight on the wall - I found a great method to work out where the studs went, using sticky tape as usual, one of my "favourite things!" Yes, that's a vegemite jar but it has milk in it - Dave uses the jars for so many things, including "stuff" for our cups of tea. I look like farmer Brown's wife! Needed a shady hat as it was sooo hot!!!! We think the sign looks so good on the blue walls of the building. Note the wording is all UP and Down intentionally. We used my mini-grids to assist in the letter making. Very convenient with sticky tape method.
We are piecing the fish for the mural made by the little kids, onto a large piece of mesh and black thinset is our glue of choice (as usual).
The simple edging and background will set off the student's fish and their opus which I love! Great andamento happening here. The blue and green tiles are so gorgeous and flash different colours in changing light moods.
A good trick.
Just work in progress at the studio.
Jan A visited and was a great help to cut some border tiles and background. Thanks Jan!
As usual, Mum, Maureen and Shirley W were my back-up team and Dave is my mosaic hero!!
I am looking forward to installing the next areas in a month, when it's cooler and doing the "final" decor of gems and patching to make it so beautiful. We still and considering Gaudi spheres on the chair.
mosaic artist Brisbane Australia
Mosaic Workshops and classes
Mosaic tools, tiles and supplies
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"while I mosaic I grow...."
Sunday, February 24, 2008
It's a tradition started by Marcia Hines that all visitors to OzMosaics studio sign the dunny wall. We have totally covered the inner sanctum of the studio Loo so now it's spreading out to the studio! The Red Hat Ladies all signed their red hat and manged to put a teeny weeny hat in Big Red Roo!
The Red Hat Ladies all made mosaic flowers and leaves to adorn the two kangaroos...not a bad effort for beginners to mosaic and they sure could wield those Leps! They learnt about adhesives, mesh method and health and safety tips. It's great making murals as a group for a very special mosaic project.
Of course we ate Janis's coconut ice (yummy) and enjoyed lots of cups of tea and coffee outside by the pool.
The above link is a message to Vickie's mum, from the Red Hat ladies Brisbane Southside, wishing Gayle well and saying hi to another Red Hat Lady in USA from DownUnder!
We had a wonderful day putting together two mosaic kangaroos for the Steve Irwin Mosaic Mural Tribute. We used some tesserae, tiles and mosaic eyes that Vickie in Tenessee sent to us last year (Polly was thrilled to bits). Thanks Vickie! The eyes look so good.
My mother Shirley, is the one in the purple hat! The Red hat ladies like to declare they are sassy and sexy on Sundays LOL! The ladies are great fun and were very good at making
Mosaic Artist Brisbane
Monday, February 18, 2008
Dave cut the cement sheeting for the sign at Karalee school where the chair is being completed and the extensions came out well - fiddly but I am very pleased with the results.
I could not resist - I added lovely gumnuts and white flowers in 3-D - a mix of Orsoni smalti, china cups, plates from our first dinner set (veyr special) and the mosaic is "resting" overnight. It was easy to do the 3-D work with the extensions supporting the gumleaves. I was really into the zone and enjoying myself.
I can't wait to do some of my own personal mosaics but think I will just have to "let go" and put it all into the Steve Irwin mural- all this pent up emotion really helps one create some wonderful mosaic art. I found it very theraputic to lose myself in making 3-D gumnuts and flowers for the last 8 hours.
I thinsetted the original mosaic sign, which was on moZboard to a piece of thin cement sheeting to give a special backerboard (the wall for the sign is really "weird") and we will go to the site on Wednesday to install the sign, complete the back of the seating arena, add touches of doo-dads and touch ups. Dave is master of installation ceremony on this one! LOL.
Tomorrow Polly and Popette are coming over to help place the rivers of fish the children made 2 years ago and I am looking forward to it. The desing looks great with two rivers running from the ground, up the chair to the top and over. Next week I will do the land section which is so cute with koalas, kangaroos and other "interesting art by the darling children"..
This month is packed with workshops, commission work and there is hardly a day spare but we are also starting to sort all the Steve Irwin mural pieces next week into design categories and hope to chat to Oz Zoo tomorrow. I can't wait to have a day this coming Sunday with the Red Hat ladies who are coming to make a piece of mosaic for the SI mural.
It's raining again and it's hard to believe we didn't have rain for so many years - it seems we are back to our wet season. It always seems to rain whenever I am about to install a large piece of mosaic....every time. I am not complaining as we need the rain and I could do with leaving the installation till next week, but come what may.
Finally an early night, it's 12.32 am! Yipee! .....and to put a smile on your face perhaps.....a lady rang me today wanting to book her 4 year old into a mosaic workshop! I have taught 4 year olds but it triggered off the idea of mum and child workshops.......too much to do, too little time.....
Sandy Robertson - mosaic artist, Brisbane Queensland Australia
learn to mosaic
mosaic workshops, mosaic classes, mosaic supplies and materials
commissions, community and public art
gift vouchers and always a smile and a cuppa at the studio!
Monday, February 11, 2008
Make a mosaic shoe (or lots of them) testing process 2008 by Sandy Robertson Mosaic Teacher & Artist
Just finished thinsetting and meshing one shoe (white thinset, but white is not really my thing LOL). Looks great; I will put a very thin layer of smeared thinset over it again later on (perhaps) when it's dry and that's when I can change the colour for the base if I want to.
The most important thing to me was keeping as little as possible in the thinset rendering process on the shoe, so the shoe still looks fairly elegant, althought that won't matter later when all the "stuff" goes on, but would for some ideas.
Weird thing is the pair of shoes I am starting with were given to me by a girlfriend and I can see the shape her foot made in different parts of the shoe and it's weird! I remember Janis wearing these shoes and loving them......I can't wait to give them back to her (maybe LOL) - So the test here is that these shoes were fabric(ky) and flexible and I will report on their state of dryness later tonight.
Now I am going back to work to get my workshop ready for Thursday- I should be in the naughty corner but the break out was worth it.
more later, pics and video snippets coming soon.
Part 1 Shoe beginning
I just had to stop sorting my studio (Himself will be after me!!) and trysomething new re shoe making - and want to share these tips with you:This post is on using thinset (rapid set) (any colour) and mesh for theshoe prep.
I have taken pics will get it all together soon.
tip 1: Stuff the toe if necessary with a grouting sponge or dense sponge!Cut it to fit or stuff it in! Works a dream! Keeps the shoe nice and firmand easy to remove. Wrap it in cling wrap if mess is an issue (not me!).LOL.
tip2: Sift the grout or thinset powder base for your thinset (I used whitetoday, to show results againt rigidwrap but will do lots of other colourbases as I will do lots in black) so that there are no lumps.
Use a sifteror old colander (pics coming of my quick method - Popette videoed it lastweek here but she couldn't get here today).
tip 3: I pre-sealed the first shoe as it's fabric, felty sort of finish - Idid shoe one with diluted Weldbond the other with my pre-sealer fromLaticrete. They are drying at the moment and I will report onsuccess/failture on the fabric/felt shoes - Only do this on shoes thatabsorb water and if you intend to use thinset to make the mesh shoe.
tip 4: I have an incredible fibreglass mesh here that I sell for $3 permetre that is very, very fine fibreglass mesh and it's 10cm wide. It's justperfect. Sits and really behaves. My mesh man and I are having fun.
tip 5: If using the standard fibreglass mesh, I cut it into really ittybitty bits and put on the shoe and smooth over with the thinset...just keepputting it on and smoothing and layering. Nancy, this makes the standardmesh flat and I mix the thinset into a nice mix, not sloppy.
(tip 4 above is better though if you have the fabulous tiny hole mesh (no - its not flyscreen!)).
tip 6: spread the thinset with a tiling sponge (a bit of it) and if you arewearing gloves, of course you have your hand washing system set up, so youdon't waste gloves. Lightly dampen the sponge and continually rinse andwring out the sponge, almost dry, if you need to. I love the way the spongeglides and smooths. You will get the feel of it.
tip 7: I have lovely smooth shoes in the making, strong and waterproof. tip8: If you are going to grout your shoe eg in black, make your thinset inblack...you might like it non-grouted and the push in method with thinsetcomes in handy! LOL. If it's a decorative shoe and for indoors try drops ofpaint to colour and you can do the glass over coloured thinset base orpaper, strings, sequins etc or use grout colourants or oxides if foroutdoors (to stop fading).
tip 8: the whole process so far took just half hour. I will add bits as Iam preparing my studio....shouldn't be doing it but I am taking photos ofevery step.Best thing so far: spreading the stuff with a bit of sponge for smoothingover and stuffing with sponge. The tiny mesh is just perfect for me.
If anyone wants to buy some, please email me directly - but after I have it all done and a final report on the weight when finished. Remember the shoe getseven stronger if you glue the tesserae on with thinset.
If you have areas that are not sitting flat with your bandage or mesh onthe shoe, try snipping the pieces before putting them on the shoe - snipfrom corners in and it allows the mesh/bandage to move to the shape you wanton the shoe. I don't dip the mesh in the thinset, I put down thinset andthen gently press the mesh into the thinset and keep applying and smoothingwith the sponge/finger etc
.I like the thinset and mesh as I don't need to soak anything, it comes of myhands easily and I can make the thinset very thick or thin if I want to makesome interesting shapes on the shoe as I go, if you get my drift.
The shoes so far aren't very heavy and I will do a weigh in before andafter. Thank Goodness I am not wearing them.
Thought here; if you have amosaic mate you could put the shoe on, then get them give it the treatmentand then it should still fit your foot (ie use your foot as thesponge!).....Polly, Popette, where are you. Sam, Coralee, Jan....anyonewho wants to how about a day of shoe making here......for fun. LOL!
I really should not be doing this till next week but you guys have meall excited too. I will do about 10 shoes and report in all the good and bad with thedifferent methods. I am also going to try the epoxy grout from Laticretewith glow in the dark.
Latest tip: Make the shoe into a vase or candleholder but the shoebag isstill my favourite - mirror, containers, phone area, etc etc. LOL! If usingshoe for a candleholder note - you must prep the shoe so it doesn't catchfire - thinset or inset something to contain the water and/or candles.
I want to put floating candles in a few shoes and water for floral work -lovely table settings and I am thinking of making some bridal shoes for acake topping for my niece who married recently - fab anniversary gift. moresoon, phone going, time rushing by....no rest for the addicted.
I will continue this story on my blog so not to take up too muchspace.....and put all the pictures and video clips on my website later on. cheers Sandy
Last night Polly and I had a late night phone call and laughed so much we cried. Nothing like ending the day and starting a new one laughing out loud.
I was telling Polly about my adventures with Mr Google and more.....and other things. I started to write a story about it and well that's another story. I have a love/hate relationship with Mr Google and it reached a climax yesterday; SnugglePOt and Cuddlepie have nothing on Mrs ST and MG..can't tell you the titles on this post LOL, but can in the chat room.
Anyway, Grace and I were thinking about when we get really old and what might happen in the nursing homes - would you like to add to this list for fun?
-old ladies taking their Leps to bed-no wheeling around the garden, take me to the hardware store instead for an outing-running around in bin bags-comparing black finger nails and grouting stories of old-insisting our veges be cut in shapes-complaining about the texture of the gravy-trying to grout with potato
-throwing plates and not saying sorry-sitting in a row gluing things to the building-lots of pink everywhere-sneaking in chocolate-using the cutlery to try and break out
I think I will run away with Grace first; we certainly would have some good laughs and make some very outrageous mosaics....who wants to join us? Do any of you know where we should build the Pink House of Tiles - a secluded place with a transport when needed? hmmmmmm. suggestions please
- I had written a long post about grouting 3-D and my system froze up. grrrr...will do it again later as I have to get down and get dirty cleaing the studio floor (new coat of sealer) but for what it's worth, do small sections if very textural stuff; when placing the tesserae initially in the mosaic, think of what it will look like when the grout goes in and allow for grout grading and sloping and cut backs...makes All the Difference .....I have recorded all this, but time is at a premium at the moment, but it is coming. Make the grout much runnier when doing 3-D. Do use the grout as icing sugar when needed to help it get ready to clean up.........don't wait too long.......slip, slop, slap, stare, etch, remove, soften. Use a sponge to grade edges on the final smooth over for a lovely finish, especially on project edges.
There is nothing like a grout sponge, nothing in the world.......... Let your sponge and fingers do the walking and talking. Newspaper is fantastic and old t-shirt material. Use your instincts. Start cleaning off the grout when it works! Test an area. Some tesserae is chalky on the cut sides and sucks in the the grout, non-porous the opposite.
With mixed media lots of things are happening at once, it's glorious. You will sometimes need to cover the section, do the stare and the chant, then gleefully start removing the excess grout. It might take a bit of water, rubbing with newspaper but in the end, it all starts to come together. If you have Weldbond on some of the tile surface, the grout likes to stick to it. This can be a good thing if protecting your tiles form grout pitting. Allow it to sit there whilst the surrounding grout lines set up and then go at later with a scourer and clean water.
tip: when removing excess thinset off tiles, use cold water, a sponge and a scourer/mixing tool to remove. It comes off well up to 24hours later and ok up to 48 hours after that more elbow grease...but it's amazing how it goes come off. Better to be neater in applying, but you know me!
off and running
Shaq is not amused by pink cup cakes and ribbons! Janis is shown trying to force feed the cat but I rescued the cake and ate it! .....but Shaq is so cute and would rather poke his head in my thinset bucket (which he did earlier!).
The buckets here show how I "sift" my ingredients for making thinset (cement based adhesive). It's good to have sifted base as there will be no lumps in your thinset piping bag! I buy old sieves from second hand stores or just take them out of the kitchen.
Rub the grout or thinset base throught the sieve...Easy! I sometimes use the sieves that pump, but too much work when mixing large lots. Lots more info on my dvd.
some really old mosaic photos I forgot about on flickr: http://flickr.com/photos/10380795@N04/