IMA's Weekly Mosaic Workout Challenge

Institute of Mosaic Art's Weekly Mosaic Workout Challenge. We are challenging ourselves, and whoever wants to join us, to make a mosaic every week from June 6th to November 6th, 2014. 

Critical elements

Week 17 - Which element(s) did you choose?

I'm back from a lovely weekend at the CMA Summit in Ashland, Oregon.  There was a mosaic invitational gallery show and a salon at a local winery (where 25% of the pieces sold) over the weekend. The variety of mosaics shown was impressive, in materials, subjects, and styles.   I'm taking a class with Emma Biggs this coming weekend which I'm excited about (if a little worried that I'm too much of a beginner for it, and that I should be working instead) and I hope that I'll at least get a mosaic started then.

Well done to Sherry Wallis and Julie Sperling for continuing to make time for the workout each week,  and welcome to Ginny Sher who is just getting started!


Artist:  Ginny Sher

Title: Paradise Deep

Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Hate/Love:  I love this topic because I am a scuba diver and very involved with the ocean.  It was easy for me to decide which element to work with and also to design the mosaic for this week.

Happy?  Overall, yes.  I rushed to finish as close to the 3 hour time constraint and as a result, there are some technical areas I would do over if I could. 

What I learned: “Perfect is the enemy of done”. I am very, very slow when I work and I realized that I can move faster than I thought.  Letting go of not having the perfect tessera for each part of the mosaic was painful, but ultimately allowed me to move along. I can (and usually do) agonize for a long while before I select (or shape) a tessera and that can be paralyzing as well. For that reason, it was a little scary committing to these weekly challenges, but I’m so pleased that I did.  It is exactly what I need. I hope there will be more in the future.

Artist: Julie Sperling

Title: “Core temperature” 

Size: 6″ x 4.25″

Materials: Stone, terracotta, smalti

How long did it take to complete? About 3.5 hours

Thoughts: I really enjoyed this challenge. Looking at the materials on my shelf, earth and fire were easy picks. I used a bunch of terracotta, smalti, and rock that I had already cut, which saved me a bunch of time. I had actually cut most of this about a year ago, and boy, can I ever notice the difference in my cutting skills! Just seeing that difference and the progress I’ve made was a valuable lesson in and of itself. And working with colours is always a good exercise for me, as it’s definitely not my natural inclination. I actually had doubts about the colours right up until I stepped back and looked at the finished piece. A lesson in trusting your gut instinct and not over-thinking, I suppose.

Artist:  Sherry E Wallis

Title:  Black gold

Time:  2 hr+

Materials:  Pebbles, fine gravel, Van Gogh glass on 4 x 6 artist board.  

Thoughts:  Was out of town all week, but I had this idea mid week and tried to translate it into reality last night.  I think I fell a little short.  Probably should have made the center out of polymer clay and it would have been more what I was going for.  Obviously, my element is earth, and the black gold is the oil sandwiched in the pockets of rock.  This is a good study for a future work, though.