Saturday, December 27, 2014

Wrapping Up 2014

2014 is almost over.  I think these will be the last three mosaics that I finish this year unless I get really ambitious.  Thanks to everyone who supported my art this year.

I had a lot of fun making mosaics this year.

I started the year with a fish.

Then I did an Iguana.

Then I did two frogs and two beaches.

Then I did two butterflies.

Then I did two moon trees.

Then I did an artsy thing called Mary's Baubles.

Then I did a sail boat.

In October I donated a few pieces for a Church fundraiser.

Then I did a sign for myself.

And finally, I finished off the year with another sailboat, another moon tree and a rose.

By my count, that makes 16 mosaics this year.  Or 1.3 mosaics per month.

My goal for 2015 is to increase my production to about 2 mosaics per month.  Just enough to keep me busy without making me too crazy.  :)

If I don't see you in the next few days, have a happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Guerrilla Artist Fills Chicago Potholes With Flower Mosaics

So usually, I use this website to tell you about the mosaic projects that I am working on.  I saw this project though and had to share.

It seems that the artistic community has reached a consensus – potholes suck. By creating colorful tiled mosaics in the potholes riddling the streets of Chicago, Jim Bachor has become the latest artist to offer his take on this public nuisance.

Thanks to his efforts, some of Chicago’s potholes are now filled with pretty flowers or sardonic labels. On his website, Bachor keeps a list of addresses and photos of his guerrilla “street” art pieces, so if you’re in Chicago, you can try to find some of them! There’s no guaranteeing they’re still there, however.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

What have you done for me lately?

A few folks have asked what I have been working on.  First, let me say thanks for asking. I really do enjoy that folks are interested in my art.

I donated a few pieces to a fund raiser at Messiah Lutheran Church in Madison, Alabama.  Messiah holds a fund raiser every year called the Handmade Market. This event is used to raise money for the Lunches for Learning Charity. Lunches for Learning provides a lunch every day for elementary school students in Honduras. Before the Lunches for Learning program, children would drop out of elementary school to look for/beg for food.  That sucks.  Lunches for Learning keeps the kids in school by providing a meal.  And kids in Honduras who graduate from the sixth grade are much less likely to live in poverty.  I like the idea of giving kids a meal and a better chance at a successful life at the same time.  $15 bucks feeds a kid for a month.  I figure that the pieces I donated will keep a few kids fed for the entire year.

Jack Mast Mosaics at Handmade Market
I have also been working on my frame stock.  This weekend I cut down 64 feet of lumber into frame pieces and began gluing them together.  Check out the full process to prepare a frame here.

Jack cutting Frame Sections

Mosaic Frame Sections

Frames being glued
I have also been working on a few duplicates of previous mosaics.  Never fear, I have a few new pieces planned in the near future.

Gluing some mosaics in the studio

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Jack Mast Mosaics

After making a bunch of mosaics for other people, I decided to make one for my Gallery.

I'm very happy with the way it turned out.  I used a few elements that have used in other mosaics like the palm trees, sunset and water. The biggest new thing for me on this piece was the lettering.  I selected a cool funky font.  The lettering took a lot of time, but I like the way it looks.  Here are some time lapse photos of the cutting and gluing.

Starting the Cutting and Gluing

I ran out of white tiles during this project and had to order some more.  The place I buy them from is in Portland, OR.  It takes 8 days to receive the shipment so that set me back a little bit on this project.

Cutting and Gluing Complete
After completing the cutting and gluing, it was time to apply the grout.  For this project, I used black grout which really makes the sunset colors pop out.

Here is the sign hanging in my gallery.

Here is the final of "Jack Mast Mosaics".

Jack Mast Mosaics

Monday, September 29, 2014

Red Sky At Night

Red sky at night, sailor's delight.
Red sky in the morning, sailor's warning

As it so often happens, I get inspired by some little thing and have to get it out of my head and onto a mosaic piece where it belongs.  In this case,  Mary and I recently made a trip to the Gulf of Mexico and saw a number of sailing ships and sunsets.  I started to sketch some of these and came up with this drawing.
Red Sky At Night Sketch

Weather systems typically move from west to east, and red clouds result when the sun shines on their undersides at either sunrise or sunset. At these two times of day, the sun's light is passing at a very low angle through a great thickness of atmosphere commonly known as The Belt of Venus. The result of which is the scattering out of most of the shorter wavelengths — the greens, blues, and violets — of the visible spectrum, and so sunlight is heavy at the red end of the spectrum. If the morning skies are red, it is because clear skies to the east permit the sun to light the undersides of moisture-bearing clouds coming in from the west. Conversely, in order to see red clouds in the evening, sunlight must have a clear path from the west in order to illuminate moisture-bearing clouds moving off to the east. There are many variations on this piece of lore, but they all carry the same message.

After the sketch, I transferred the drawing to an already prepared frame and began cutting and gluing the glass tiles.

Red Sky At Night Transferred to Frame

From Shakespeare's poem "Venus and Adonis"
Like a red morn, that ever yet betoken'd
Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field,
Sorrow to shepherds, woe unto the birds,
Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.
Half Way Home
And here is what the piece looks like after the cutting and gluing is complete.

The Colors I used are as follows:

- China White (A20) Hakatai
- Teak (B32) Hakatai

- Tomato, Mosaic Mercantile
- Poppy, Mosaic Mercantile
- Canary, Mosaic Mercantile
- Pumpkin, Mosaic Mercantile

- Lilac (C12) Hakatai
- Deep Blue (C81) Deep Blue

Cutting and Gluing Complete
Next we do a little grouting using black grout.

And here is the final product of "Red Sky at Night".

Red Sky At Night Final

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Butterfly Effect

Ok, I was hanging out in the backyard and saw a bunch of cool looking butterflies. "Hey", I said to myself, a butterfly would make a cool mosaic.

Backyard Butterfly Model
 So after a bit of doodling, this is the drawing I came up with.
Butterfly Sketch

Next I transferred the drawing to an already prepared frame.

Butterfly on Frame
And then I started cutting and gluing the glass tiles.  The colors I used are:

Butterfly - D93 Mandarin (Hakatai)
Butterfly - D41 Lava (Hakatai)
Butterfly - A20 China (Hakatai)
Butterfly - C39 Night Black (Hakatai)
Leaves - B82 Ficus (Hakatai)
Background - A59 Meadow (Hakatai)

Here are some time lapse photographs of the cutting and gluing process.

Time Lapse #1

Time Lapse #2

Time Lapse #3

Time Lapse #4

And here is what the project looks like after all of the cutting and gluing is complete.

Butterfly Cutting and Gluing Complete
And if one butterfly is good, two butterflies must be even better.

Making another Butterfly

And here is the artist with the final product.

Artist with Butterfly
And here is the final of the "Butterfly Effect".
The Butterfly Effect

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Moon Tree

Today's project is another that I have done previously. I last visited this subject about a year ago. This one has a simple but a powerful theme: A tree standing alone in the darkness, back lit by a full moon.  After completing this project, I can tell you that my technique has really improved in the last year.  I started with the same sketch that I used for the original but the end result is very different.  I should do the same piece a year from now and see if I am still improving.

Moon Tree Sketch
In keeping with my recent practice, I decided to build two moon trees at the same time.

The next step is a bunch of cutting and gluing.

Here are the colors that I am using for this project.

Tree - C39 Night Black (Hakatai)
Moon - A20 China (Hakatai)
Sky - A17 Grape (Hakatai)
Ground - B32 Teak (Hakatai)
Shadow - B39 Basalt (Hakatai)

On down and one to go.

After the cutting and gluing, it is time to grout.

And here is the artist with the final product.

And here is the final product of "Moon Tree" the next generation.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mary's Baubles

I just never know what is going to inspire me to create a mosaic.  This week as I was rooting around in my wife's craft cabinet, I discovered some wonderful glass baubles.  I instantly knew that I wanted to used them in a mosaic.

The Baubles
So I just started sketching on some blank paper and this is the design that I came up with.

The Sketch
And then I transferred the sketch to an already prepared frame.

The frame with transferred sketch and baubles
And then I filled in some tile around the baubles.  It is a lot of work cutting straight lines to fit around circles.

And finally I finished cutting and gluing.  This was actually a fairly challenging piece considering it is a picture of nothing.  And it is time to grout.  For this piece, I am using a black grout to make the lines really pop out.

And finally the piece is done.

The artist with "Mary's Baubles"
And a closeup of the final "Mary's Baubles".

Mary's Baubles

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Frog Bog

For today's project, I decided to make a couple more frogs.  This is the first time that I've tried to reproduce one of my previous creations.  I kind of had mixed emotions about doing this, but I've had several people request frogs.  So, if it is frogs they want, it is frogs they will get.  Luckily I keep a file with my previous art work and renderings. It really does make it easier to do the same piece again.

Frog Bog Grid Drawing
After transferring the drawing to my already prepared frame, I then began gluing.  I usually start with the central subject of the piece and then move to the background.  That way if I mess something up, I haven't wasted a lot of time.

Gluing the Frog
And after I completed frog number one I started immediately on frog number two.

Starting frog number two
And after gluing the glass tiles, I prepared the project for grouting using masking tape.

Preparing to Grout
And here we have the artist holding both frogs.

Two frog in hand are worth more than one in the pond
And here is the final of "Frog Bog"

Frog Bog Final