Saturday, November 20, 2010

Making of my Mosaic 'Journey' Wall Art

10" x 10"
Click to enlarge

My mosaic, 'Journey', in addition to the obvious, tells the story of my own mosaic journey beginning with the use of glass tile (on reverse), to stained glass (front outer section), to a mix of tessearae and most recently exploring the use of smalti glass (center square).

There is actually a third journey to this piece and that is the transformation of an ordinary IKEA Malma mirror (see second photo below) into the substrate for this mosaic.

Some background: This mosaic began with a call to artists with a stipulation for square mosaic art. Hmm. I remembered the square IKEA mirrors I have. OK, that might work. And the square format seemed like a good fit with a photo of a gorgeous sunset I took this summer (from the passenger seat :). With these two ingredients in mind, I mulled this over and came up with the mosaic journey concept.

The journey begins on the reverse where I reproduced a wall quilt I made years ago. Vitreous tile was used since it was the first material I played with to create a simple mosaic table top. This represents my transition from piecing with fabric to piecing with glass.

I used a border of thick glass to make the surface level. I filled in the center mirror back area to level the surface as well- visible here as the gold in the spaces as this is before grouting.

These IKEA mirrors are very plain and simple ==>

But they have a broad flat border and a recessed mirror that would work here to add depth to the scene.

To further add depth I built up a third level around the perimeter using 2" wide black glass. And to frame that, I used 1/4" thin glass strips on top of the 2" wide glass.
Note- I used mitered corners throughout to add to the one point perspective of the image.

Each section is divided with strips of stained glass, placed on end. (I use wet sanding paper along the long edge corners to reduce sharpness of glass whenever I place it on end like this- people like to touch mosaics!)

Here you can see I chose to color coordinate the frame around the center (smalti on mirror) section but used solid black to divide the outer-most pieced stained glass area from the mixed-media center section.

A note on glue- Most of this mosaic is pieced using Weldbond but the smalti was attached to the mirror using silicone adhesive. To eliminate any reflection in the space between the smalti, I made sure there was silicone glue on all exposed bits of mirror.

The mosaic was finished with more strips of black on the outer edges and grouted in black and natural grey. And not a bit of the original IKEA mirror is visable, front or back.

See my Etsy MosaicSmith shop for available mosaic art:

I create original design silver jewelry too!!


Christine Burgess said...

What a great blog post. I love to hear how things are made, especially this unique and wonderful mosaic. Thanks.

Linda Smith said...

Thanks so much Chris!

Kim Wozniak said...

Awesome piece depicting your journey.

Anonymous said...

I love this piece so much.

herhimnbryn said...

Stunning work Smith. I love the idea of the perspective conveying your mosaic journey.