Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Disney Mosaics

I just returned from a family vacation in Disney World. I was amazed at how many cool mosaic piece could be found around the world. Here are a few that caught my eye.

Mosaic of Beauty and the Beast at Be Our Guest.

Inside the castle's archway, a series of five mosaic murals tells the story of Cinderella. Designed by Imagineer Dorothea Redmond and crafted and set in place by a team of six artists led by mosaicist Hanns-Joachim Scharff, the 15-by-10-foot (4.6 by 3.0 m) ornate panels are shaped in a Gothic arch. The murals took 22 months to complete and contain just over 300,000 pieces of Italian glass and rough smalti (glass made specifically for mosaics traditionally used by Italian craftsmen) in more than 500 colors. Many of the hand-cut tiles are fused with sterling silver and 14-karat (58 percent) gold, and some are as small as the head of a tack. Looking closely at these ornate murals, one will notice that each of Cinderella's wicked stepsisters appears with a little added color - one sister's face is clearly "red with anger", while the other is a little "green with envy" as they watch Cinderella try on the glass slipper

Monday, March 9, 2015

Fruit and Wine

One of the cool things about art is trying new and different things and getting outside of your comfort zone.  I'm now working with a client who is doing a remodel of her dining room.  She wants a new paint color and a custom mosaic as the centerpiece. That is where I come in. I'm the mosaic guy.

I asked my client what she had in mind for the mosaic.  She said that since the dining room is an eating place, she wants to have something with fruit and wine. To prepare for our first meeting, I printed out some reference drawings off of the internet of fruit and wine.  I then visited her home to get a feel for the space and to take some measurements.  With the permission of my client, I used some painters tape to outline my work area.  It is a pretty big area.  The mosaic will be 65 inches by 36 inches.  That is 2340 square inches for anyone trying to do the math.

Next I showed the client the reference drawings, just to get any idea of what she liked.  Out of the 20 paintings, she pointed at one called The Wine Cellar by Janet Kruskamp and said, "That is the one." I was ready to start sketching ideas and asked what elements she liked in the painting.  She said, "the whole thing."  Now I was perplexed.  I've never just mosaic'd someone else's art before.  But the customer is always right as they say.

After cutting the lumber, I then copied the drawing onto the frame.

And then I painted the frame to match the trim color that my client is using in her dining room.

Next I started selecting the tile colors to use.

And then I started cutting and gluing.  This is going to take a while, but they say that the longest journey begins with a single step.

Lot's of tile ready to be cut and glued.

Update March 24, 2015 - I just returned from a trip to Disney World with the family.  While there I was inspired by the many cool mosaics that I saw.  Now it is time to get back to my mosaic art.

The Artist Cutting and Gluing
Half Way Done
Update 10 Apr 2015 - I'm now 60% complete on the cutting and gluing.  I've completed approximately 10 square feet on cutting and gluing in 1 month including the week I took off for vacation. So that's about 3 square feet per week.  Not bad.  I have about six square feet remaining, so if I keep up the same pace, I should be done in about 2 weeks.

More Progress (10 Apr 2015)
Update 26 Apr 2015 - The project is complete and installed.

Final installation with Artist

Wine Cellar Final