I've often grouted with multiple colors before, to make areas of a mosaic stand out. In a recent class, one of my students said she colored her grout with water color. She piqued my curiosity and I decided to try acrylics mixed with water on a mosaic that I wanted to have more contrast. This one is simply called, "San Carlos, MX Landscape," taken from a photo (with permission) by Leonel Garza Sanchez. Hold your mouse over each image to read what I am doing in the picture.
After the painting is the cleaning...
First round of paint leads to more...
Final comparison...I like the mosaic but next time, I would use smaller tesserae and more yellows. There's always a next time, mosaic artists, so don't be afraid to try something new!
Hover your mouse over each image to see what is going on.
Now I need to prepare to work vertically instead of horizontally...
Now for the transport of the pieces to the substrate.
Finally, the messy but satisfying part - grouting.
And about the name of my mosaic..."How My Brain Works"
I often spend a long time juggling ideas around in my head, just like this bunch of colorful paisleys. Even once I've started a project (a mosaic or even a work project), I tend to modify my original plan, so my ideas are very fluid. But finally, a final idea emerges and that final one is represented by the awesome brilliant little paisley on the bottom right - he's a star!
"Olla de Historia"
A friend had old pottery shards and rock pieces in a box that he gave to me to create a mosaic. Since I was taking an online mosaic sculpture class, I decided to apply some of what I was learning to this project. I decided to make a 3-D wall hanging that looked like an old Native American pot, using the variety of pieces he gave me. My goal was to use ALL of the pieces!
Roll your mouse over each image to read what is happening.
The foundational shape is what takes the most time, but it was fun working with new tools and products (the hot knife, spray adhesive for styro, Apoxie Sculpt and Clayshay).
Here's where I made the new edge for the pot and created a pot shape with Clayshay.
Finally the fun part - attaching all the tesserae!
Now the background...
I used every bit of pottery except a shard that I used for testing finishes. I used most of the random stones. I could have used all of them, but it would have been overkill.
As to the name of the piece "Olla de Historia" means Pot of History. The shards are from random places, mostly in the Southwest, and each has its own history.
STEPS TO JERRY
Just hover over each image and click to see what was being done. I had to build the snake to fit the plant stand and then I created the 'scales' on mesh instead of applying each one directly to the substrate. He liked to roll and curl a lot (dang snake) so it took awhile to finish the scales.
JERRY STARTS TO TAKE FORM
I applied the mesh 'scales' to the snake substrate (top first; then bottom) and then grouted. Notice what a dramatic difference the grout makes. His eyes are actually buttons.
Attaching Jerry was the toughest part because I FORGOT to drill bolt holes in him before I tiled and grouted. Sorry Jerry! I had to pop off a few tiles to drill and place bolts.
I mosaicked the plant holder, stained the wooden areas with teak oil, and reattached it to the stand. I sealed the grout so everything is ready for the outdoors.
Not shown: Small green leaf loop at top for hanging the gourd. Also, repainted that green area under the roof to beige to match the grout.
This was a piece commissioned by Cox Communications here in Tucson for Earth Day 2019.
The Final Product
Unless I sell the bird house, I'll be mounting it in my back yard on a metal perch off the patio.
I wanted to build something useful while I was learning to use all my tools. The project let me use all the features of my new band saw (stART grant). However, I also used a jig saw, the versacut saw, and my drill, plus wood glue, nails, screws, and hinges. Thanks, Pam, for helping me learn to use all the tools (safely)!
The Final Touches
As usual, I used plenty of re-purposed materials to complete the project. My friend NJ gave me the brass letters; the roof 'tiles' were metal samples used by a sales rep.