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

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sunset Beach

I'm working on a new mosaic design.  This one I am calling Sunset Beach.  This has some similar elements to a large mosaic that I made last year called "Some Beach".  This one is much smaller and fits on a one foot square frame.

As always, I start with a rough sketch of my mosaic on a grid.

Sunset Beach Sketch

Next, I transfer the drawing to a already prepared frame.

And then I start gluing on the tiles.

In addition to the glass tiles, I also added a few sea shells from the Gulf of Mexico.

I didn't realize how many different colors I used on this project until I started writing them down at the end.
  • Sea Shells from Panama City Beach, Florida
  • Sand - Sand A15 (Hakatai) 3/4
  • Tree - Ficus B82 (Hakatai) 3/4
  • Tree - Night Black C39 (Hakatai) 3/4
  • Tree - Tan A42 (Maryland Mosaics) 3/8
  • Tree - Terra Cota C57 (Maryland Mosaics) 3/8
  • Water - Deep Blue C81 (Hakatai) 3/4
  • Sun - Canary D2205 (Maryland Mosaics) 3/8
  • Sun - Chili Pepper D111 (Maryland Mosaics) 3/8
  • Sky - Lake Blue A01 (Hakatai) 3/4
  • Sky - Iris A31 (Maryland Mosaics) 3/4
  • Sky - Fig (Mosaic Mercantile) 3/4
And if one mosaic beach is good, two must be better.

Two Beaches

And here is the final "Sunset Beach" after grouting.

Final Sunset Beach

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Crazy Tile Shipment

So, I'm trying out a new mosaic tile vendor this week.  I put in an order for 12 pounds of tiles from a company called Hakatai. The price of the tiles is very reasonable, so I am willing to wait a week for the ground shipment via UPS.  Just for giggles, I looked up the shipment tracking information on the UPS site today.  I was amazed at all of the stops these tiles have taken since they left the vendor in Oregon on Monday, 7 July.  So far these tiles have stopped in 13 different cities.  I couldn't even put all of the cities into Google Maps since they limit you to 10 stops on a single route.

I received the shipment one week after I placed the order.  The tiles were packaged in 1 pound plastic bags and the bags were placed in a large box with lots of packing peanuts.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Stuff I Use

The whole purpose of this blog post is just to keep a consolidated list of all the things I use to make mosaics. These things are listed here in order to make my reorders easier.  You are welcome to ask questions or make suggestions.

Frames - For more details checkout my frames post.

Frame Lumber
  • 2x2 - Lowes
  • 1/4 inch birch plywood - Lowes
  • Wood Glue - various 
Mosaic Tiles - This is probably the single biggest expense for each mosaic project other than the labor.  I generally make either 1'x1' mosaics or 2'x1' mosaics.  Mosaic of this size require approximately 1.5 lbs or 3 lbs of tiles respectively.  I use the chart below to determine how many tiles to order.

Tile Quantity Cheat Sheet
Note: There are about 140 3/4" tiles in 1 pound.  There are about 600 3/8" tiles in 1 pound.

Tile Vendors

6 Jul 2014 - I am trying out a Hakatai as a new vendor since Opus Mosaics apparently went out of business. I purchased 12 lbs of Venetian tile at cost of $31.32 + $25.08 shipping via UPS.  The total cost was $56.40 or $4.70 per lbs.  That works out to approximately $0.034 per tile including shipping.

Jennifer Mosaics - Nice tiles, but Jennifer does not distribute directly. I've purchased tiles from Jennifer Mosaics from Amazon.  The price is about $10 per pound.  Luckily shipping is free if you have amazon prime.  That works out to $0.071 per tile.

Maryland Mosaics - Only sells vitreous tiles on sheets. (No loose tiles).  Current price is between $7.50 and $14.95 per sheet of 225 tiles.  That works out to $0.033 to $0.064 per tile not including shipping.

Monster Mosaics - I haven't tried them.  2 lbs (280 Tiles) would cost $11.50 + $13.59 (UPS ground) shipping for a total of $25.09.  This works out to $0.09 per tile.

Mosaic Mercantile - I've purchased several order of tiles from them.  Lately, they always seem to be out of the tile colors that I need.  Shipping is a flat $9.00. Buying two pounds would cost 17.00 + 9.00 = $26.00. This works out to $0.09 per tile including shipping. The cost would go down slightly on bulk orders.

Tessera Glass - I haven't tried them.  The also sell tiles on sheets of 225.  2 lb of tile is $7.00 + $12.35 flat rate shipping for total of $19.25.  This works out to $0.043 per tile including shipping.

Other various supplies

Mosaic Tile Glue - I mostly use Weldbond.

Friday, July 4, 2014

More Frames Please

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Today I am making more mosaic frames.  I've got to ramp up production for the Holiday Shopping Season! So while everyone else is thinking picnics, fireworks and BBQ, I'm working like one of Santa's Elves!  I don't mind because I am having fun doing my thing.