Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Lion

This is going to be a 12" x 14" mosaic of a lion. I went to Kinko's & had them blow up a pic I liked. For some reason the person made it more orange than the original pic but I took it anyway. I tape the pic behind the glass & am attempting to make it look like the lion. Now these are some really small pieces. I had to use tweezers to put the pieces on.

I just about finished with the face. I changed around the eyes a bit & tried to get the shadows of his face. This was a real challenge.

Now for the fun part. The mane! So far I've only used wheeled nippers. The ears I had to cut & use the grinder on. I have a tutorial on how I made the cuts for the mane in another tutorial on the blog under wheeled nippers. Very easy to do & fast! You just make your cuts & start tilting the pieces the direction you want the hair to to. You lay them down kind of alternating laying one piece down & the piece next to it you lay not directly beside it but halfway from where the first piece starts. Before you know it it looks like hair & it's finished.

Mane is finished & put in the background. I had in mind a more red sky but didn't have the glass. I wanted the gray part to look like a rock. But I'm not happy with it & will pull it off & just put the sky in.

I made some minor adjustments I wasn't happy with. Here is the king of the jungle in all his glory grouted & framed.

This is a special lion & is a gift for a very dear friend that is a missionary in South Africa. It was just hand delivered this week & they absolutely loved the lion.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tempered Glass & Polymer Clay Mirror

This project once underway gets done in one sitting. I am playing with the placement of the polymer clay tiles and laying out the background paper.

I painted the mirror edge and frame edge prior to gluing the pc (polymer clay) tiles down with Mac glue.

Begin by applying the background paper using a two part epoxy. I spread the epoxy evenly and thoroughly before placing the paper, then smooth it out to ensure contact.

Work your way around the now papered background with the tempered glass. I brushed the epoxy on top of the paper. It did darken the red to a deeper shade but it still worked.

All the tempered glass is in place and let it dry overnight.

The mirror is now grouted. Prepare a mixture of gel medium, acrylic paints and mica powders to apply to the grey grout. Gel medium is available in art stores and Michael's, etc. I am using Liquitex Acrylic Gel Medium. I believe gel medium is normally used to extend the life of your paint so it doesn't dry as quickly. In this instance it makes a more even application of the paint and mica powders and is more workable.

I am using two colors, cardinal and gold as this is a USC mirror, to treat the grout and give it some bling. I just paint it on the grout lines, then rub it off. Sometimes it needs a damp paper towel to get it off the glass.

All cleaned up and just waiting to be sealed. This project was made with tempered glass, Ikea mirror, polymer clay tiles with metal embellishments, and red foil leaf.

The epoxy resin gives this piece real depth under the tempered glass. You can also use glitter, ribbon, etc. under the glass too. Here is another piece using glitter & ribbon under the tempered glass. I painted the background in different colors instead of a background paper.

You can follow Donna's work on Flickr by clicking here.

And our favorite forum to meet other mosaic friends is Mosaic And Stained Glass

A word from the author, Donna Post

I have always been the "crafty" one in the family-I started out with tole painting, then progressed into quilting and knitting. i have always admired mosaics, especially used in the garden, but never thought much about trying it until December 2007. I found a couple on the internet, "Passiflora Mosaics", that offered various classes. It was near a favorite getaway spot my husband and I love to visit, so I thought I'd combine the two! Hubby got to beach comb during the day, I was introduced to mosaics. My first project was a birdbath using ceramic tiles. I was hooked! I returned in early 2008 and used stained glass for the first time and made a mushroom. At this point, I went from hooked to obsessed!!

I had been following a couple of forums and was amazed at the freely shared information from really fantastic artists. I had been following the saga of a trade between Susan Crocenzi and Kim Grant. Susan had posted little snippets of a piece she was making for Kim in exchange for her website Kim had developed. The piece was like nothing I'd ever seen before and I knew I HAD to learn to do it. That was my introduction to tempered glass and polymer clay tiles! I found out that Susan lived in California, like me, and that she held classes so sign me up!! I was blessed to be able to go to her cabin in the beautiful woods and learned her method of tempered glass and polymer clay. (and get to hang with Kim, who as luck would have it, was visiting Susan too)

Since then, I have loved experimenting with tempered glass and pc. I love the flexibility mixing these mediums provides. I've also moved forward and have been working with creating Styrofoam and concrete substrates. Such fun to be had!!

I was so thrilled to be able to attend SAMA this year and the exposure to so many wonderfully creative and sharing artists! I'm filled with ideas and projects and can't wait to get busy.

Some of Donna's work

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mosaic Portraiture

The making of Christopher

Gather your supplies:
1. Photograph that you want to use for your subject
(at least 8x10)

2. 11x14 art board (use an art board as opposed to
stretched canvas, as stretched canvas will move
and possibly detach tesserae from surface).

3. Tracing paper

4. Transfer paper

5. Weldbond glue

6. Stained glass, nippers, tweezers, glass cutter,
whatever tools you prefer to nip and cut...

Step 1 - Choose your photograph

Step 2- Trace outline of photograph onto tracing paper. (this tracing is from another mosaic...I couldn't find the one from “Christopher”)‏

Step 3- Transfer outline onto art board using transfer paper. Tape transfer paper and tracing paper to art board to prevent shifting. Be sure to shade any and all shadows and variations in tones, or value changes. These subtleties are what gives your portrait life!

Begin with the eyes, then the nose, then work outward.

Don't be afraid to use color! A color wheel is a very useful tool to find out how colors relate to each other, which ones might work together and which ones probably won't.

I like to use Van Gogh glass for the background. It is available in a variety of color variations that will complement your portrait.

This picture was taken just after grouting.

About The Author

Ramona Hovey started working with stained glass about 10 years ago, working in both copper foil and lead came techniques.

About 3 years ago I discovered mosaics and it seemed to fit right in with what I wanted to convey to women who are trapped in the horrible cycle of domestic violence and abuse. As I work with broken pieces of pottery, shards of stained glass, or discarded trinkets, I envision the broken lives of people struggling with violence and abuse at the hand of one who claims to love them. As I see these broken, discarded pieces come together to form something beautiful or pleasing to the senses I am reminded of the hope and the promise that is available for those women, children and families, if we will but work to reach them.

My hope, is that through my outreach ministry with the S.O.S. Mission at St. Paul's Church in Asheville, NC, I will reach these families and help equip them with the tools necessary to put the pieces of their lives back together to make something beautiful.

Here is some of her work.