Saturday, October 1, 2016

Mountain Reflections

Today's mosaic is called mountain reflections. I was inspired to make this mosaic based on the following photograph. The contrast of the blue sky, gray snow covered mountains and green pine trees just grabbed me.

My usual mosaic size is 1 foot by 1 foot. There was so much going on in this picture though that I decided to do a 2 foot by 2 foot mosaic. After sketching the drawing on the frame I started the cutting and gluing.

The most challenging aspect of this piece was creating a credible mirror reflection of the top half of the mosaic. It turned out to be harder than I was expecting.

The effort was worth it in the end.

And here is a photo of me with the final product to give you a perspective of the size of this piece.

Mountain Fun Facts (Source:

Mountains make up about one-fifth of the world's landscape, and provide homes to at least one-tenth of the world's people.

Heights of mountains are generally given as heights above sea level.

The world's highest peak on land is Mount Everest in the Himalayas. It is 8,850.1728 m (29,036 ft) tall.

Ben Nevis is also the highest mountain in Great Britain.

The tallest known mountain in the solar system is Olympus Mons, located on Mars.

There are mountains under the surface of the sea!

Mountains occur more often in oceans than on land; some islands are the peaks of mountains coming out of the water.

About 80 per cent of our planet's fresh water originates in the mountains.

All mountain ecosystems have one major characteristic in common - rapid changes in altitude, climate, soil, and vegetation over very short distances.

Plants that may be found on mountains include conifers, oak, chestnut, maple, junipers, stonecrops, campions, mosses, ferns and climbers.

The highest 14 mountains in the world are all found in the Himalayas

In some mountainous areas the rivers are permanently frozen.
These are called glaciers.

Sunday, July 31, 2016


Today's mosaic is a parrot. He started as a sketch.

And then he received a little color.
And then he was moved to a frame. And then I started cutting and gluing glass tiles.

Once the parrot was complete, he let me know that he wanted a nice little tropical rain forest to live in.

As I was grouting this piece, a nice little rain storm rolled in. I used rain water to mix the grout and clean up my tools. I thought is appropriate that a rain forest animal should be made with actual rain.

Before long the parrot was complete.

And here is a photo from the side.

And here is a photo of Mr. Parrot in the Jack Mast Mosaics Studio.

Parrot Fun Facts (Source:

  • There are around 372 different parrot species.
  • Most parrots live in tropical areas.
  • Parrots have curved bills (beaks), strong legs and clawed feet.
  • Parrots are often brightly coloured.
  • Parrots are believed to be one of the most intelligent bird species.
  • Some species are known for imitating human voices.
  • Most parrot species rely on seeds as food. Others may eat fruit, nectar, flowers or small insects.
  • Parrots such as the budgerigar (budgie) and cockatiel are popular as pets.
  • Some parrot species can live for over 80 years.
  • There are 21 different species of cockatoo.
  • Cockatoos usually have black, grey or white plumage (feathers).
  • New Zealand is home to some very unique parrots including the kea, kaka and kakapo.
  • Keas are large, intelligent parrots that live in alpine areas of New Zealand’s South Island. They are the world’s only alpine parrot and are known for their curious and sometimes cheeky behaviour near ski fields where they like to investigate bags, steal small items and damage cars.
  • Kakapos are critically endangered flightless parrots, as of 2010 only around 130 are known to exist. They are active at night (nocturnal) and feed on a range of seeds, fruit, plants and pollen. Kakapos are also the world’s heaviest parrot.
  • The flag of Dominica features the sisserou parrot.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

My Studio Space

Here is my new and improved work space. Take a quick look while it is clean, because it likely won't stay that way for long. Art is messy.

I painted the walls with Sherwin Williams "Sporty Blue" (SW6522).

I also added a grid 2' x 6' grid wall panel to display the projects that I am working on. I use these same grid wall panels at art shows floor tower configuration. This time I used a wall mount. These panels are really handy when you rotate a lot of stock in different sizes and shapes. They are very flexible. You can find them at multiple stores online including Amazon.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Yes I Am Still Working

Howdy friends. I had a couple of loyal readers ask if I was still making mosaics. The answer is yes. I have been busily cutting pieces of glass into smaller pieces of glass and gluing them onto wood. I typically only post when I make something new. For the last month, I have been making copies of previous pieces. It is not glamorous, but it pays the rent. So, no worries, I'll try to post occasionally just to let you know that everything is OK.  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sunset Beach

Today's mosaic is called Sunset Beach. I made it mostly because I would love to be taking a walk on a sunset beach right now with my darling wife. Since we are nowhere near the beach at the moment, I decided to do the next best thing and make a mosaic.

My design started with a simple silhouette of a man and woman holding hands. That is me and Mary in case anyone is wondering.

Next I scattered some mosaic tile around to get a feel for some color combinations. I don't always go with plan A. In this case, I really thought I was going to do purple water but decided to go with a cobalt blue instead.

Next I started cutting and gluing the background in place. I decide to cut the 3/4 inch tiles in rough quarters and run them in rows.

Here is the Sunset Beach after I finished the cutting and gluing. I speckled some sunlight reflections on the water.

And now it is time to do the grouting. Where did my pretty mosaic go?

And here is the final of Sunset Beach.

Sunset Beach Final
Sunset Beach Final from Side

Sunset Fun Facts (Source:

The Colors of the Sun

As the sun sets, the light must travel through more of the atmosphere before the rays get to you. By more atmosphere, that means more molecules which scatter the blue and violet light. (Think of it like a glass of water - at mid-day, the light is refracting through the center of the glass of water. With a sunset, the sun is refracting across the surface of the glass of water). If the path is long enough, the blue and violet lights go further than our eye can see. This leaves the pink, orange and red colors for us to look at. So that's why sunsets are usually pink, orange and red.

Sunsets and Pollution

The most beautiful sunsets happen when the air has small particles of dust or water, like after a volcanic eruption. These particles reflect light in all directions, resulting in more reds and yellows, and less pinks. The more particles in the air, the more the light is scattered. Cities with high pollution have great sunsets cuz more light bounces around. If the air is very dry and clean, like in the Arctic, the sky near the horizon will stay blue and the sun will be bright orange.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Snowy Owl

Today's mosaic is a snowy owl. I just happened across a snowy owl when I was surfing the internet one day and thought he was a cool looking bird. I started sketching and came up with the drawing that you see here.
Snowy Owl Sketch
Next I transferred the drawing to a frame.

Snowy Owl Sketch on Frame
I will happily admit that this was a challenging piece. I can only cut the glass tiles to a certain size. I tried to give the piece a level of detail while still maintaining a minimal tile size.

Snowy Owl Cut and Glue Partial
After completing the owl, I began working with the background. I went with a stony field and a blue sky. Lots of shiny bits.

Snowy Owl Cut and Glue Complete
Here is the final piece. The owl is roughly 1 foot by 1 foot.

Snowy Owl Final
The tiles wrap around the side of the piece.

Snowy Owl Side

Here are some Snowy Owl Fun Facts (Source: National Wildlife Federation)

  • Brrr! Snowy owls live farther north than any other kind of owl in North America!
  • Fine Feathers! A dense coat of feathers keeps a snowy owl warm during frigid winters. Even the owl’s toes and claws are thickly feathered!
  • Early Risers. Most owls sleep during the day and are active at night. But not snowies! They are out and about during the day, especially at dawn and dusk.
  • Lemmings for Lunch. A snowy’s favorite food is a small, hamster-like rodent called a lemming. In years when there are lots of lemmings in an area, you’ll find plenty of snowy owls there, too. But when lemming numbers fall, so does the snowy owl population.
  • Shhh! A snowy spends much of the day silently perched on a high lookout, keeping an eye--and ear--out for prey. When it spots a meal, it swoops down, making a short, low flight, and nabs it with its sharp talons.
  • Coming Near You? If you live in the northern plains, New York, or New England, chances are good you’ll see snowy owls in the winter. The birds are “regulars” here at that time of year.
  • Down the Hatch! Snow owls often swallow their prey whole in one big, gulp.
  • Don’t Mess with a Snowy! A snowy will attack any predators, including wolves, that threaten its ground nest.
  • Whatchamacallits. Snowy owls have lots of names: Ghost Owls, Tundra Ghosts, Arctic Owls, and Great White Owls.
  • Keeping Their Cool. During hot weather, snowy owls stay cool by panting and spreading out their wings.