Commissioned Wall Hanging

This piece was commissioned by a good friend of mine as a wedding gift for Jamie and Dan. The design is based on the Camp Tawonga logo which, I was told, is how the couple met. The piece is 21’x18′ made with glass on 3/4″ backer board. 

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Mosaic Sphere for Holly and Sam

I made this garden sphere for my friend Holly. It is about 5″ diameter. It was fun to personalize this piece with the little “h” charm as the center of one of the flowers. There is also an “s” on the other side for her husband Sam.

Heath Ceramics: A Visit

Yesterday I went to the Heath Ceramic factory/studio in Sausalito. I was there scoping out the overstock collections for a future project and I happened to be right in time for a tour! I love factory tours and getting a peak behind the scenes.

I decided if I were to ever work at Heath Ceramics, I would want to be in the glazing department. All the colors are earthy and have natural hues.

Heath Ceramics started with one woman throwing individual pieces and getting recognized by bay area museums and later large department stores. The company has new owners and moved to Sausalito for more space to set up a factory. All the pieces are made with molds. These vases start out as a milkshake-like consistency. 

This is the biggest kiln I have ever seen! I did ceramics in college and the kiln we used was no bigger than a whiskey barrel. This is only one of their several kilns around the factory.

Walnut Creek Fountain: Samples

These samples are for a project in Walnut Creek. Ene Constable and I will be covering an existing fountain with mosaic in a geological theme.

This is a scaled down version of the sphere that will go in the center of the fountain.

This design will cover the outside of the fountain, circling the geode.

Spark: Next Steps

Once we finished placing the glass pieces to the fiberglass mesh, we put the sections together and confirm we were happy with the design.
Next we ordered, measured and cut sections of cement-based backer-board. We transferred the sheets of glass on to the boards and trimmed the glass to fit the correct shape. The top is curved, the same as the walls along the planetarium.

Once the pieces were trimmed and fit the backer-board, we mixed thin-set and troweled on a layer before bringing over the entire sheet of glass. The wood skewers mark the holes for screws. Each 5’x3′ panel has 6 holes for screws.

Walnut Creek Fountain

The next project I am starting to work on with Wowhaus is for a fountain in Walnut Creek. We in the early stages of planning and prepping. Today I have been working on taking large sheets of glass and cutting them down to pieces smaller than a penny.First I start with a large sheet of glass.Then I cut them into strips.And lastly use nippers to cut them into squares and rectangles.

I am not too concerned with making them perfect. I actually need a variety of sizes and widths to create the effect we are going for. These pieces are going to act as “veins” weaving through a pattern of earthly blues, browns and greens. The end look with be geographical and geode-like.

Spark Update

I am continuing to work with Wowhaus on the series of 4 glass murals that will go around a planetarium at Chabot College in Hayward. After tacking down each mural to fiberglass mesh, we are now ready for the next step! We will be adhering the panels to backer-board which will then be bolted around the building in Hayward. We are working in sections (5′ x 3′) to make installation manageable. Once the panels are in place and secured around the building, we will fill in holes, minimize seams and grout.This is a detail of one of the panels. I still have a few holes to fill but otherwise we are ready to move on!We are also discussing grout colors. We want each glass mural to have multiple colors to create a painterly effect. This allows certain colors pop and others recede where we want.
Here are some of the colors we are experimenting with. These can be bought at most tile stores or Home Depot. We have a lot of work ahead of us but it is exciting to be moving on to a new phase of the project.

Spark Murals Continued

I am continuing to work on the Spark Murals, designed by Wowhaus, and spend time each week at their studio (near Bodega bay). We are about 1/3 of the way done and started mural number 3 (out of 4) yesterday. I cannot wait until we get to grout these pieces and see them in their final places.

Here I am working on filling in the center pieces. We are purposely leaving holes and unfinished edges because later, when we piece all the panels together, we don’t want to see any seams. The rest of the pieces will be filled in and finished once the sheets are adhered to backer-board, which will then be mounted on the planetarium walls in Hayward.

SPARK Murals

I have had my hands full the last few months! I am working with artist Ene Osteres-Constable of Wowhaus on a series of “Spark” murals that will live around a planetarium at a community college in Hayward. I have been able to work in my own art studio  (also known as my kitchen) as well as spend time at Ene’s home/studio near Bodega Bay.This photo gives you an idea of the scale of this project. Each panel is 5′ x 3′ and there are 8 panels per spark (4 in total). One panel fits in my kitchen at one time. It’s great waking up and making art all day. It’s also fun and visually easier to work spread out like this. I love hanging out with Ene and her family while we work! I have never worked on such a large scale before and cannot wait to see them installed.

The process we use is to glue on mesh first. Once we are happy with the final mosaic as a whole and all of the panels are complete, we can install large sections onto the planetarium. Once the adhesive is set and the murals are pieced back together, we will grout the pieces on-stie.

Mosaic Class

I taught a mosaic class in early June. It was a birthday present for Dale (middle) and they made stepping stones. Bonnie made a flower for her garden outside. Dale made the face of a sheep, and Patty created two baby foot prints with room to write the name and birthdate of her granddaughter. The class was a great success and everyone left with a beautiful mosaic stepping stone.

All of the materials came from the Institute of Mosaic Art (IMA) in Oakland and Snapshot Mosaics in Montclair.