Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Reversible Mixed Media Glass on Glass Mosaic - Part 1

This series of posts will highlight some of the how-to on the making of my "Fire and Rain" glass on glass reversible mosaic. Below is the finished main flower on the 'Fire' side. Click images to enlarge.
Fire side of "Fire and Rain" glass mosaic window art by Linda Pieroth Smith
Fire side of "Fire and Rain" 9 7/8" x 14 3/8"
The flowers on this side are all made up of individually mosaiced flower petals.

First I cut up a clear glass jar that previously had been used to hold spaghetti sauce. The wide mouth made it easy to use wheeled nippers to get in there to break the glass. Look at the jars in your pantry and you may also see some with interesting curves to the jar glass, especially those with non-vertical sides.  This one had a nice wide curved shoulder area that then sloped down to a highly curved sort of foot area.

Shows five glass shaped flower petals to be used in hibiscus flower mosaic.
Each of those five flower petals above is one large piece of shaped clear glass.
  • Once I had my jar broken into large chunks, I played with their orientation so the curves resembled flower petals.  
  • Then I marked them with a sharpie marker and nipped them into their final shape with my wheeled nippers. 
  • I finished the shaping with my grinder to ensure no sharp edges and to give the edges a 'frost' look.
  • When I was happy with their shape, I used GE Silicone II glue to attach them to a sheet of clear glass as well as to each other.

Next step was to prepare the colored glass for the mini mosaics for the flower petals.

Glass bits being prepared for glass on glass mosaic.

I nipped narrow, about 1/8",  bits from colored glass. My plan was to use these bits cut side up on top of the petals. Then the natural curve they have from the wheeled nippers could be used to follow the curve of the clear glass petals. BUT, people touch mosaics! So, to smooth the sharp edges of all those little bits, I placed them all in a small glass jar, added water 3/4 of the way up and a bit of dish soap and then shook them.  And shook them.  And shook them some more. At least 10 minutes of shaking and they still had a semigloss sheen but no sharp edges.

Work in progress picture of glass on glass hibiscus flower for "Fire and Rain" mosaic by Linda Pieroth Smith
Finally, I could begin mosaicing!

Again, GE Silicone II glue was used to attach the prepared bits to the clear glass petals.

That yellow 'blob' in the center is a cool castoff from a glass blowing shop. It did not make the final mosaic but a similar one was used instead.

Lipstick red grout then completed the flower.  The flower buds on this 'Fire' side of the mosaic were completed the same way.  The green 3D pieces are also glass blowing castoffs.

Mixed media glass on glass mosaic titled "Fire and Rain" by Linda Pieroth Smith
"Fire and Rain"
Next post will be about the 'Rain' side of the mosaic.
Image at left shows both sides of the completed mosaic as it looks against a white background.

Part 2 of discussion of this mosaic can be viewed here:

"Fire and Rain" has sold.
All my available mosaic art:

I make sterling silver jewelry too!:


Art Classes at Burke Mountain Academy said...

A lovely piece and a very clever idea for the petals. Thanks for sharing your interesting work — I enjoy reading about the process.

Sonia said...

Yes, fantastic work and thanks for sharing the processes involved in getting those effects. Sonia

The Fortunate Gardner said...

I love following your blog - I've been saving broken bottle bits for a few years (they aren't allowed to be recycled in my area) mostly because it's glass and I knew that I could use it somehow. This is fantastic and I can't wait to try my had on all the curves. Keep up the great work!