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Backsplash!

Friday, 6 October 2017 16:40:15 Europe/London

 

Captured from YouTube video, Sherry’s Mosaic Kitchen by twisted4art

Backsplash!

The mosaic backsplash is a design idea that easily lends itself to Kitchen renovation projects. As well thoughtful mosaic images, patterns and designs can add a splash of colour and a visual focal point to any bathroom space. An original mosaic backsplash may be exactly the thing your kitchen or bathroom remodelling project needs. If committing yourself to a particular design is slowing you down on tackling a backsplash project read on …

Make it Portable

There’s no need to tie yourself down to a single mosaic art design forever! We really like the approach described in this older post on DIY diva Kate Pruitt’s blog, Design SpongeThe kitchen redo + mosaic backsplash project she showcases in this article was created by one of her followers. We particularly like the fact that the backsplash, which is placed behind the kitchen sink, is removable. After enjoying the mosaic for a few years anyone following this design idea will be able to take the current backsplash off and replace it with a new one. The older backsplash can then be repurposed into a table or simply hung on the wall in a different location. Plus; we also like the fact that the whole removable backsplash approach lends itself well to the mosaic enthusiast who’s renting and may need to relocate eventually. Here’s the before and after picture of this mosaic backsplash project:

   

No Holds Barred
When mosaic artist, Sherry Eckhart, decided to tackle the kitchen in her older Long Beach California apartment she knew that even though the space was small the project was going to be BIG. Ecclectic in her tastes she took a “no holds barred” approach to the project. Eckhart let her imagination run wild and a carnival/fun house type of theme emerged. The end result; an eye-popping kitchen with a myriad of striped patterns, textured surfaces and surprising details. Watch the following YouTube video by twisted4art to see what Sherry cooked up in her kitchen!
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Need Inspiration?
'Looking for ideas? Not everyone will want to be quite as dramatic in their backsplash design as Ms. Eckhart. For those of you with tamer tastes we suggest having a look at the award winning work of mosaic artists, Carl and Sandra Bryant. Check out some of their coveted designs from commissioned projects here on their website. These two work as a team and the scope of their many projects is broad, reflecting their combined skill-sets. The joint artists’ statement posted on the website reflects the inspirational thinking that informs each work of art presented in their online gallery: Mosaics as an art form, inspires constant growth, patience and the ability to push the boundaries of what is expected. It is our goal to continually grow and evolve in our choice of materials, our methods and artistic views, to further the recognition of mosaics as true fine art. Our goal is [to] create mosaics that expand the footprint onto building walls, floors and ceilings. We find that the larger work broadens the experience, taking the small details to a new level. There really are no limits.'
- Carl & Sandra Bryant
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Comments | Posted in Mosaic Techniques By Thomas Arribehaute

Last Minute Christmas Projects

Friday, 6 October 2017 16:34:23 Europe/London

Photo captured from How to Make a Christmas Tree Mosaic Brick by EcoHeidi Borchers

Last Minute Christmas Projects

Time is running short; we are in the countdown to Christmas and closing in on the big day! If you are are looking for a few Christmas-type projects that can be completed quickly we’ve found some easy to execute ideas that might interest you. Today we are featuring three mosaic projects we found on YouTube.

Christmas Tree Mosaic Brick

The Christmas tree door-stop shown above was made by Heidi Borchers, who demonstrates her method of decorating an ordinary brick using mosaic tiles in this video. Featured on Cool2Craft TV the video is now available on YouTube and gives clear step-by-step instructions on creating a doorstop that can be used either outside or inside. Borcher uses a simple Christmas tree silhouette but really, you can use your own design when customizing this last minute Christmas project.

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Mosaic Ornament

Photo captured from DIY – Christmas Ornament by Aim to Create

Here’s a great use for an old scratched CD or a blank new one. These Christmas ornaments are made using scissors, glue, a blank (or used) CD, a few glittery rhinestones and a cheap clear plastic ornament. It’s easy to make several in one sitting and the end result is so pretty you can give them away as hostess gifts during the holiday season. This do-it-yourself video by Aim to Create, found on YouTube gives a short, well-structured and clear set of instructions that are easy to follow.

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Christmas Coaster

Photo captured from How to make a Mosaic Coaster by Artist Resource

This is another project that can be completed quickly and the end result is a useful item you will be pleased to unpack when Christmas rolls around each year. It’s also a great way to use up the left-over bits of tile that most of us have kicking around the studio or home workspace.

Perhaps this could be a yearly project with a new coaster being added to the collection each Christmas season. For best results cover the back of your coasters with felt.

Mosaic Garden Stepping Stone

Photo captured from How to make a Garden Stepping Stone by Heidi Borchers

The last project we are featuring today is a Mosaic Stepping Stone for the garden. It’s another brain-child of the prolific DIY specialist, Heidi Borchers (also known as EcoHeidiBorchers). In this video, she shows how to cut, glue, grout and clean a mosaic stepping stone. This project was also featured on Cool2Craft TV. Now the YouTube video for this project is longer than the others in this article and in truth, the stepping stone will also take a little longer to complete. But we still think there’s time to get it done before Christmas arrives plus; it’s a hand-made gift most gardeners would love to receive!

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Comments | Posted in Mosaic Techniques By Thomas Arribehaute

Mosaic Portraiture: Past & Present

Friday, 6 October 2017 16:27:50 Europe/London

Screen capture of portrait by mosaic artist, Ruth Minola Scheibler from the video, UTA (published on Apr 16, 2012)

Mosaic Portraiture: Past & Present

Much historical information is gleaned from clues contained in artwork. The time honoured tradition of mosaic portraiture provides us with many tidbits of information about the times in which they were created. These two portraits from the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna Italy were created in 547. The mosaic of Roman emperor, Justinian I shows him flanked by soldiers on the right-hand side and priests on the left, indicating to viewers he was the leader of both the church and the state. His queen, Theodora is depicted carrying the sacramental wine as she and her entourage enter the church. Both Justinian and Theodora are shown with golden halos further emphasizing the importance of the state within the church hierarchy. 

        

Photos courtesy of Petar M via Wikimedia Commons

Mirror to the Soul

We take comfort in seeing pictures of ancestors in the family album but the time honoured practice of portraiture in the visual arts is rooted in more than just a need to establish a presence on the family tree. “The face is the mirror to the soul,” is an often used homily. We read each other’s faces to gain an understanding of what is motivating the people that surround us. At a deep level, understanding what a face may be communicating could even be linked to survival. An ability to empathise with others and understand non-verbal forms of communication is essential to members of the human herd.

The majority of us can remember the search for faces in a cloud studded sky or the configuration of rocks in a cliff that reminded us of a face. We are social creatures and facial recognition is wired into our brains from the get-go. We know that newborn babies recognise human faces from birth and given a choice will choose to look at faces of people. When looking at abstract art, it’s common for people to look for something identifiable and often they will find faces in swirling paint and textured surfaces.

Most will be mesmerized watching a face take form in the following video, UTA, as mosaic artist, Ruth Minola Scheibler creates a portrait.

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Ed Chapman

Faces have certainly captured the attention of award winning British, contemporary mosaic artist, Ed Chapman. He creates portraits of celebrities using traditional mosaic materials as well as some interesting alternatives. A charity auction in 2012 saw his portrait of Jimmy Hendrix, created using five thousand fender guitar picks, fetching a whopping £23,000. Proceeds of the auction went to support cancer research in UK. 

In a similar vein Chapman used broken vinyl records to piece together a mosaic image titled “Ziggy Stardust” and three thousand and nine sugar cubes went into a stunning portrait of Lord Alan Sugar. Chapman humorously referred to the Alan Sugar portrait as, sugar cubism.

We’ll be featuring a more in-depth article about Ed Chapman in weeks to come. Until then here’s a quick peak into Ed’s mosaic artwork.

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Comments | Posted in Mosaic Techniques By Thomas Arribehaute

Smalto-Filati Micro Mosaics: Beauty in the palm of your hand

Friday, 6 October 2017 16:25:29 Europe/London

Taking the Grand Tour

Micro mosaic artworks were a popular gift purchased by wealthy European travellers from the mid 1600’s through to the middle of the 19th century. This was the era of the Grand Tour which included a number of celebrated stops along the way. A cultural education was the focus for these travellers of means and a memento of a visit to Rome in particular, was perceived by many as a status symbol. Micro-mosaic artworks were a common purchase as they were small and could be packed easily. Here is an example of this miniature art-form created in this same time period.

Photo courtesy of Hydriz via Wikimedia Commons

These small works often depicted architectural features of the areas visited and were crafted from smalti-filati; rods of glass that were heated then flattened and stretched until extremely thin and finally cut into micro block pieces. These miniscule blocks (tesserae) were then packed together tightly forming the mosaic design. The little works of art were often embedded into snuff boxes or used to embellish a jewelry box. Sometimes they were set into gold and made into pendants and brooches. These small bits of eye candy could contain from 1500 – 5000 tesserae!

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

The artisans of the Vatican Mosaic Studio were instrumental in developing the smalti-filati style of mosaic art. In the 1600’s the famous paintings that adorned the Vatican’s damp St. Peter’s Cathedral were being damaged by mold. There was a need to recreate these beautiful images in mosaic materials that could withstand the cathedral’s atmosphere. Most attribute the creation of this technique to Giacomo Rafaelli  (1753 -1836) one of this time-period’s most accomplished mosaic artists, perhaps best known for his mosaic re-creation of Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous, Last Supper.

The early smalti-filati mosaics made use of tesserae so tiny that they weren’t even visible to the naked eye. Some micro mosaic paintings can have as many as 16,000 blocks of glass per square inch.

As time wore on entrepreneurs, wanting quicker inventory to satisfy the culture seekers on the Grand Tour route started to make images using larger and larger pieces of glass. And so, the mocro mosaic artworks that came later are easy to distinguish from the earlier and now more valuable, micro mosaic beauties.

Micro Mosaics Today

This video from the Mosaic Art School in Ravenna Italy shows Filati rods being formed using the smalti-filati technique; still in use today.

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While some micro-mosaic artists have the skill and set-up required to create a custom palette of colours for themselves using the smalti-filati techniques developed so long ago, many are content to purchase the tiny smalti tiles that are commercially available today. 

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Comments | Posted in Mosaic Techniques By Thomas Arribehaute
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