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. 

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

Week 14 - What we made, what we learned...

Our second in the guest prompt series, this week was Laurel True's suggestion: Joy

As usual, I am up to my eyeballs in work and have had little time to get to my studio, much less make anything.  A specific project I have on my plate at the moment is actually a lot like mosaic: a big puzzle with lots of different options for solving, and time-intensive. Thankfully, I find it interesting, and ultimately think it will be worth the time and effort. That said, seeing the joyful pieces this week makes me long to mosaic! 


Artist: Sima Zeiger

Title: Adirondacks

Time: 1 hr

Materials: Stained glass, wood, rocks and shale

Thoughts: "Joy" is a perfect prompt this week as I'm attending a family reunion in upstate New York. The materials I used for this piece were collected on the shore of Lake Champlain, Burlington, Vermont, and from walks in the woods. My goal was to capture the scenery and pure joy and appreciation of the Adirondacks.


Artist: Nan Judson

Title: Possibility Begins with Imagination

Size: 6 “ x 6”

Time spent: 3 hours

Materials: Stained glass, beads, metal rabbit, millefiori, and glass tiles on wood substrate

Thoughts: Spontaneous, playful piece that expresses some of the joy I feel when creating mosaics.


Artist: Julie Sperling

Title: “Break through”

Size: 6″ x 4.25″

Materials: Smalti, ceramic tile, vitreous tile, and skateboard

How long did it take to complete? About four hours

Thoughts: When I read the prompt for this week, I immediately thought of bright colours and upward movement. I chose the skateboard pieces for their angles and because I liked the playful, energetic jumble they created. The rest of it looked a bit different in my head, but I backed myself into some corners, design wise, by trying to use up materials that had been kicking around my shelf for far too long and others that I already had cut. I also didn't have a lot of each material cut, and I really noticed what an impact it had on my lines---they really are better when I have a big selection of tesserae to choose from. This week, for me, was also a lesson in just letting go and recognizing that sometimes it's perfectly OK to allow a piece to be what it's going to be once it starts diverging from the vision I have in my head (and other times it is worth fighting to get a project back on track and more aligned with what is in my head). It's all about picking my battles. (PS This piece actually hangs vertically, but I liked this photo because it really shows the angles of the skateboard pieces.)


Artist:  Sherry E Wallis

Title:  "My Joy"

Size:  4 x 4 "  

Materials:  Polymer clay, millefiori, microbeads, faux pearls

How long to complete:  4 hours

Thoughts: For me, this challenge was much easier.  What brings me joy--my family and my dogs.  I'm not up to doing people in 3 hrs., but an Akita--no problem.  I love bring, colors and flowers so my dog is surrounded by millefiori of all colors.  Grouting doesn't bring me joy, so I filled the interstices with Mac glue and poured in some microbeads which gives it more texture--and I do like me some texture. I took this challenge literally and figuratively, so I've used material I like to work with in colors that are cheerful and shiny.  Enjoyed doing it, and I definitely enjoy the way it turned out.

What I learned--After I'd done it, I thought it might also be neat to do the dog in darker clay and outline it with pearls alone so it stood out and then radiate the colors of the millefiori  outwards in rainbow-like fashion.  Would be a very different look, but something to try.