Thursday, May 29, 2008

Karalee Mosaic Seat update - WIP OzMosaics Mosaic Studio

Here are a few more photos from the work in progress on the mosaic seat at Karalee State Primary School, Ipswich Queensland Australia.
Sandy is very proud of the mosaic art on this chair, made by the students at the school and a collaboration with parents, teachers and mosaic addicts, helping to piece together the artwork to fit onto the huge concrete chair.

Pieces are still being added to the chair using thinset (cement adhesives). Approx one more week to put down all the mosaic, grout, fill in a few gaps, polish and seal. After this another artist will work with some of the students to paint indigenous artworks on any areas not adorned with magical mosaic artworks. It will be quite stunning. The vinegar will be working overtime to bring up the lustre of the mosaic tile and mirror......the final seal will enhance the black grout and bring the chair to "life". We are sure Gaudi is looking down and smiling.....the grid work done by students looks really exciting and forms "cushions" on the seat. The big gum leaves will be polished and grouted.

More mosaic koalas, kangaroos, magpies, hearts, greenery and general mosaic artworks by the students will be applied next week. We had to down tools today due to rain (I always bring rain on a big outdoor mosaic installation!!!) we hope it fines up after raining all weekend, to allow us to keep on schedule. Thanks again to Dave, Shirley and Maureen for their incredible support and assistance working on this mural installation.

Hi to all the students and teachers who have been so encouraging and such fun! We are looking forward to the opening day! Gosh, it's really pouring down hard now on our Queenslander tin roof - what a beautiful sound. I am looking forward welcoming the ladies from Ingham tomorrow for our project development workshop at the studio this weekend. I can't wait to assist in the design of the incredible waterfall mural, tabletop and pavers for the park renovation.....!!
till next update....note in your calendars the mosaic MAANZ conference for October 2009, Brisbane is the venue!
Mosaic Artist and Mosaic teacher, Sandy Robertson
shop, supplies, tools, grout, mastic, thinset, workshops, classes, mosaic fibreglass mesh, tiles - everything you need to make mosaics! Contact for class bookings, supplies or helpful assistance. Visits to the studio are by appointment please. 07 38474873

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saturday, May 24th 2008 Beginner Mosaic Workshop.

Beginner Workshop - 24th May 2008 was great fun and very busy. Six students began their mosaic journey with Sandy. The mosaic photos above show the mosaic in progress; cleaning and polishing is to be done when thinset has cured.

A mosaic wheelbarrow full of vitreous tile florals and wine bottle leaves, mirror and greenery was made by 6 students. From mosaic tile borders, opus palladianum (crazy paving), inserting beaded blings and mesh boings, using mosaic nippers, cutters, scorers, cutting machines and files, pretty white ceramic tile wheelbarrows were produced.

Students learnt how to build a background and grout it before applying 3-D flowers using black thinset (cement based adhesive). Pebbles were inserted with the push-in method; some included little shells (given to Sandy by a student years ago).

The wheelbarrow handle extended out over the tile border which looked very arty. The students always enjoy the scoring of ceramic tile and mirror but the Leponitt mosaic cutters always win hands down as the best tool for mosaic art - as they allow cutting of china, mirror, tile and so much more!

Sandy tries to pass on as much info as possible in this mosaic mad day - students leave a little grotty (black thinset is fun) but happy. Many express great interest in making mosaic pictures after viewing Sandy's own mosaic art.

The weather was beautiful yesterday and thanks to all the students for their passion and willingness to push the boundaries.
I look forward to seeing what these students produce in their future mosaic artworks.
I am back to Karalee State Primary School tomorrow with David to continue the mosaic chair.
Sandy Robertson
Mosaic Artist & Mosaic Teacher
Studio OzMosaic Mosaic Workshops
Brisbane Queensland Australia
Classes, workshops, mosaic materials and supplies
Commissions - community art

Website is live again.

The website is working again - thanks for your patience if you were trying to access OzMosaics website, the server upgrade seems to be completed.
Sandy Robertson
Mosaic Artist

Thursday, May 22, 2008

OzMosaics site down for a while due to server upgrade by VodaHost

Hi everyone,

Thanks for taking time out to read my diary/blog! The ozmosaics website is currently being upgraded to a new server by VodaHost (upgrade) and is unavailable for a short time. Please keep trying and I will put a note here when it's all converted over.

I have been very happy with VodaHost over the years and apparently the new upgrade will make the sites faster and more reliable. Thanks VodaHost!

So, I apologise for any incovenience during the transfer over. Please email OzMosaics or phone ( or 07 38474873 if you need products or wish to book a mosaic workshop or class or need any mosaic information. Thank you!


Dave & Sandy Robertson

& Shaq

mosaic madness DownUnder

Mosaic Diva DownUnder

make mosaics! - it's fun and very good therapy too.

Thursday at Karalee State Primary School - mosaic chair

Dave helping to sweep and tidy up.

In the raw - petals and leaves under "thinset" - to be scrubbed and grouted next week.

The snake back is winding around.....

Mum and Maureen.

Coming together.

Had a wonderful day today at Karalee. Maureen, Shirley, Dave and Sandy headed off early and it was a beautiful clear day again.

Mum and Maureen started scrubbing the back of the snake as soon as we arrived to remove the plastic sheeting and sticky tape and excess thinset. Dave kept going applying the gridded back of the snake and Sandy started to organise the layout of the big flowers and leaves, aided by Maureen.

We managed to get the kangaroo, koala and owl (one large petal so far) embedded in thinset and they look great. Weather turned cool and we had been using Rapid thinset in the morning and standard in the afternoon; this caused hassles as the weather changed and the Standard would not set up fast enough for Sandy's liking.

Anyway, we left the big petals covered in thinset (good hard scrub on Monday, next week) but this is better in case it rains over next 3 days and it is likely. We did not want water getting under the mosaic yet.

We worked very hard today and here are some pics in progress - very messy but you can see the progress.

It's fantastic hearing the students rave and remember making the sections in 2005, 2007 and some this year. The favourite question "are you doing the whole floor?"

The students love looking for their art in the chair. Soon they will be able to use the chair for storytelling, relaxation, school work and for the fun of it all.

So with happy hearts, tired hands, backs and feet we headed back to Brisbane. A busy day tomorrow setting up for weekend beginner mosaic workshop, housework, some paperwork and a sleep in on Sunday (hopefully) then back to Karalee on Monday.

I would like to thank Mum and Maureen so much for their help and support as always and especially my husband David. Cheryl, the DP - encourages us the whole time and we could not have a better working relationship - Karalee State Primary School is a happy school in a lovely environment. Thank you Cheryl and all the teachers, parents and students who have taken part in this huge mosaic extravaganza!

Sandy Robertson\
Mosaic Artist
Brisbane Queensland Australia
mosaic workshops, commissions, projects, supplies and fun.
mosaic shop, studio and mayhem!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wed Report - Karalee mosaic chair progress

Wednesday update: Dave and Sandy at school!

Started off with a cold morning - good drive to the school, traffic in good flow. Much easier without the trailer of mosaics being towed.

Beautiful Queensland winter day; working in brilliant sunshine, we were warm as we worked hard. Added more to the snake back, started to join it all up, river now starting to run down to the floor to the drain. Beautiful colours. Sore hands and finger tips but Savlon and Band Aids are helping.

Tomorrow, Popette is back on the scene and mosaicking mum is coming to lend her artistic hand.

Here are a few work in progress pictures; the school students love the chair and are very excited.

I have a beginner's workshop on Saturday so will be busy back at the studio on Friday to prepare for it. Polly is coming over and mum to help set it up and catch up on things. If you would like to learn the art of mosaics, come to one of my beginner mosaic classes. You would be able to do any of the cutting and mosaics on this chair. I will teach you the mosaic on fibreglass mesh method, the direct method and a touch of 3-D, mixed media. I am really looking forward to this weekend Saturday class.
So much to do! Have a good and happy mosaic day where-ever you are and if you are reading my blog/diary, thank you and please feel free to post a comment!
I found a very interesting new mesh method on this chair - I call it "deep pockets" and I will really utilize it in the Stever Irwin Mosaic Tribute mural for Australia Zoo, which will start as soon as this seating arena is complete.
I also found kneeling on polystrene sheets protects your work under foot and under "knee" and is very comfortable. A pull along trolley, flat board on wheels if a major accessory. Tomorrow we are doing the big petals and hopefully connect the whole dreamtime snake. So exciting.
The spin the bottle Sandy Style article will be out soon in a magazine and some exciting news about MAANZ.
The Beginner dvd will be finally ready by end June; held up by me continually adding new contect to it. I am also putting out a dvd on how to maintain mosaics on projects such as this chair for my clients.
State of Origin is on at the moment so I am back to cheer on Queensland! Go the maroons!
The shop will be open on Friday by appointment for clients and students if you needs tiles, smalti, adhesive, grout or a cuppa!
Darn, we lost the first round of State of Origin 2008, but Blues, you better watch out at Suncorp Stadium!
Cheers and happy nipping
Sandy Robertson
Mosaic Artist and Mosaic Teacher
Brisbane Queensland Australia
"everything you need to make mosaics"
Mosaic workshops, classes, commissions and fun.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday on the mosaic chair........

Lots of work ahead - 3 weeks till opening of the Community Hall and seating arena.

Part of snake body. The river changes shape and I will backfill and reshape on Wednesday directly to the chair and the floor. Will look good when it's patched, filled and grouted. I am looking forward to doing this - tune in tomorrow night for update.
Sore fingers, sore knees but feel good - it was great to be in the fresh air today.
Sandy Robertson
Mosaic Artist Australia
Studio OzMosaics
workshops, classes, shop, supplies - DownUnder Diva!

The chair continues OzMosaics Chair Karalee mosaic project

It was a cold Monday morning and a bit of a drive after loading up the 4WD again with all the mosaic "stuff" but we did it.
Maureen, Dave and Sandy took off on another mosaic marathon adventure and managed to install part of the inner mosaic chair back....the snake head and the river of fish were on the go.

Sandy looked her typical mess in old mosaic garb, jeans and red hat...nothing unusual.

Popette (aka Maureen( looked great and as usual was covered in thinset in the first hour). Dave painted the waterproof membrane (green goo) for starters. The black goo pattern for the mosaic petals shows through the green goo - a bonus!

Maureen sits next to the Rainbow serpent snake head, made up of lots of pieces of the students mosaic art, from two years ago leading up to this year. The eyes look great and we have to patch and grout, seal and polish yet and connect to his body tomorrow.

Sandy takes a rest - that's what seats are for???

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mosaic Workshop at OzMosaics Mosaic Studio - :Little mosaic houses

A busy weekend mosaic workshop! The students made mosaic houses or windows or both! 3-D mixed media mosaics, started from scratch, on pre-sealed pre-wired boards (MDF) which Dave prepared.

Students were inspired by Sandy over a morning cuppa on Saturday and coaxed into thinking about a mosaic picture of their own creation based around a possible house, tree, window treatment and mosaic wheelbarrow (a piece of prepared mozboard). The tile slicers and scorers, Leponitts and hammers were working over time this weekend. Luckily every student has their own full set of tools to use.

A big selection of ceramic tiles, china, tortured willow, mugs, cups, saucers, plates, bling and boing, wire, mosaic mesh, beads, bucket loads of thinset, tools and spinning the mosaic bottle kept us all very busy. Pre-wiring on mesh, how to attach beads, pre-mask and double mask glass and bottles, glitter, clear liquid nails applications, how to mix thinset "thin and thick"; shove the shard, cut flowers 3-D from magnolia to daisy, using sticky tape holding methods and more.....phew!

How to store china snips for later and find them easily, how to paint with thinset and texture, add glass highlights to windows, add fabric possibilities, attach tortured willow or bark or mix it up with china etc, how to get wine bottle curved glass to become palm branches, creepers or jacaranda foliage or perhaps grass or cacti.......

How to make window louvers stand up and how to get the sharp edges off - or not. Tumbling, rattling and rolling glass and china and ceramic......what causes the thinset mask to come off or stay long to tumble, 5,10,15,20!!!!! We worked it out today.

Cushioning mosaics when cleaning or to make sure the 3-D will look great when vertical.......getting the grout in the grooves or etching it under glass effects...painting the sides of "things" with nail polish or gold or your 'arts delight!

Knowing that chocolate is great and licorice and snakes and chiko babies....yummy. Sharing jokes, knowledge and cake.

Knowing Dave's coffee is awesome; especially as he doesn't drink coffee.....he is now king of coffee as Sandy never gets the coffee scoops right!

Having mum and Maureen in the backroom slaving away to help for Karalee on Monday (gosh that's tomorrow - early 5am get out of bed to pack the trailer with tons of mosaic...) I am out of here!!!!!!!!

Cutting china and lots more tips with getting that shape!

A good look down inside the balcony. Sandy does not know the meaning of "too much" and this student was ready to mosaic rock and roll!

Priscilla is Queen of the Bottlers! LOL! Not all are green hanging on Sandy's wall!

Sandy reveals some great mosaic tips for flowers for later on.

Bottle smashers in training~!

The mosaic fairies came in on Sat night and cleaned up the work areas...

Just love the bark in the garden - one of my precious pieces I parted with! Wine bottle cacti and greenery and willow tree starting. Little pots, rocks, and a lovely wheelbarrow treatment under all the thinset! You need to wait at day before cleaning off the thinset. The flowers in the bark garden are on the wire. The boards were all pre-rendered with black thinset over the waterproof membrane to give depth as we worked.The ground can be painted, covered in mosaic or more thinset render. So much can be done.

This house is so cute - I want to move in. The orange and grey colours are scrumptious! The path is textured with pebbles and the door is textured tile. The shingle roof is really clever and is three layers. So much more coming!

The barrow is starting to be treated with mosaic tile, gorgeous gold and browns. The tree is really wonderful if you could see it "live". Note the blue textured sky again. The barrow is uplifted with thinset and shards and in all the mosaic pictures the barrows will be full of pique assiette blooms, and other fanciful stuff!!!! The barrow will be the main feature in each picture when completed.
Tree greenery is starting now.

The tree bark is old and from my huge old white gum in the front garden. stuck on with cln. The little window has piped white thinset cross bars! I love this idea and use it so much for wrought iron effects, squiggles and signatures etc etc etc. The tile here is very 3-D (photos don't show it) and the sky is rendered. The roof line extends out off the board. The window and door have metal 3-D weather protectors. Pauline became adept with tin snips. The wheelbarrow has fabulous red flowers to come and I didn't get a final pic of this one; as it left the studio it had palm trees coming from left hand side of building and lots of greenery in the tree (jacaranda) and the barrow was filling up.

adding pots to the balcony- the shutters are upraised.

In the raw.....getting the wall down with thinset squished in to give an old wall effect later, the balcony on, louvres on the got, extended window treatment at top of roof line and more....let's clean this level up. Thinset comes off easily with water and scourer after setting overnight.

The window box is getting there.....the barrow in on and under the black thinset is red and hot pink tesserae. The barrow will have flowers, greenery and pots and bling and boing added later. The white flower at the top of the window is going to be fabulous when cleaned up.
Thanks girls for a fabulous weekend, I know you are worn out, but that's a good mosaic thing. Have fun putting the adorning touches on your mosaic masterpieces at home and I will see you soon.
Sandy Robertson
Mosaic Artist, addict, diva, tired person! Brisbane Queensland Australia OzMosaics
workshops for beginner to advanced
Mosaic products, materials and shop
commissions, classes, community art.

mOzaic Bug at Studio OzMosaics

mOzaic Bug at Studio OzMosaics
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