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. 

All is Animated

Week 13 - What we made, what we learned...

I'm back from vacation but technology is apparently trying to take a break from me. My phone is restarting by itself every 10 minutes or so and my computer is slow as molasses! Luckily, my first priority is posting last week's works and that is always a happy project so will get me through the other difficulties.  So, thank you!


Artist:  Sherry E. Wallis

Titles:  flow

Materials:  Smalti,, glitter tiles, special tiles--"Earth" and "Moon" from Wits End

Dimensions:  3 x 3 ATC 

Time:  3 hours 

Comments:  This is supposed to be magma coming up from a pool through cracks in the earth and getting more fiery as it moves upward.  That's the idea, anyway.  In my mind this would have movement, but I think there's something missing between my concept and the reality, since this looks more like some kind of weird tree.  I do think the background looks like rock, sort of.  

What I learned:  I can do a decent-looking mosaic in 3 hours even if it's not exactly what I planned and fails to meet the goals of the challenge.  Once again, it's to be grouted.  Next week, I have some time, and I think I'm going to spend it grouting all my ungrouted pieces.  At least none of it will go to waste.

And on another note, since no one seems to realize that the dog from the previous challenge got scorched and wasn't actually intentionally ecru, I'm working on rehabbing the tile he's on with paint. Maybe that should be part of the lemon challenge which I'm still trying to finish as well. 


Artist: Cheryl Compton

Title:  Slow Motion

Time: about 2 hours (not including collecting materials)

Materials:  Grey, white and brown pebbles, white thinset

Comments:  This was an interesting challenge.  I loved looking at the pieces that were done by our guest contributor and thought how fun and playful her work looks. With that in my head, I attempted to find an inspiration. To try and get something to look like it is in motion seemed like an easy thing until I tried it.  After discounting a few ideas that were not working out, I went with the obvious...a running animal.  As I was at the beach with my great husband, he picked up the rock for the head and said, "Why this looks like an elephant" and the animal became the object of my piece.  I have learned that putting the motion in wasn't as easy as it first sounded.  Also, I originally was only going to use the animal and the thinset, but as I started to put the elephant on, it needed more.  So, I quickly added the background which really helps the elephant to POP out.  I am pretty pleased with this.  Not something that I think anyone would put on their wall, but it was a fun and whimsical challenge from our guest contributor.  Thanks to Delaine for the inspiration.


Artist: Julie Sperling

Title: “Tendril”

Size: 5″ x 6″

Materials: Smalti and, uhh, a lot of thinset

How long did it take to complete? About three hours

Thoughts: After doing these challenges for 11 weeks straight, it felt weird to skip last week. But I did have a good excuse: I was taking a class with Verdiano Marzi (so he, not the dog, ate my homework). Anyway, it's good to be back! I made some strategic decisions this week because I was short on time and energy, and yet still wound up needing 3 hours even with all that negative space. Sigh. It took me quite a while to land on how I was going to tackle this challenge. When I started thinking about movement and life and energy, for some reason I was drawn to the idea of working with a simple line that increasingly gets more and more animated / lively. I wish I had had a longer substrate, as that would’ve given me more room to progress from calm to crazy (the transition seems a bit abrupt to me in this piece, especially when compared to the vision I had in my head). I also took the opportunity to push myself to cut smaller pieces, which I struggle with, especially when using smalti (verdict: still struggling) and to work in a thicker bed of thinset (verdict: still feels weird and needs work). Anyway, I kind of like how the finished product is also kind of reminiscent of roots or veins or lungs – adds a whole other layer to “animate”.


Artist:  Janice Oravec

Title: J. O.

Size: 6"x 6" substrates

Time:  Ongoing, longer than 3 hours

Materials: Vitreous Glass

JaniceO_Week13_grouted.jpeg

Thoughts: Good challenge.  Used the reverse method with too much mastic, digging it out before I can grout. I am going to grout it with black grout, think it will be fun.


Artist: Sima Zeiger

Title: Self Portrait

Materials: Stained glass and found objects

Time: 1 hr (no adhesive)

Thoughts: I'm on vacation and attending a family reunion. A bit challenging being away from my home mosaic workshop. I found these objects at a garage sale in upstate NY and the stained glass scraps from Burlington, Vt.

Many of my previous pieces took forever to make so creating a layered piece under an hour ( w/o adhesive) was fun.