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. 

Cleaning up

Week 16 - The Swept Floor

Ah, if only I could make the time to do the Challenge these days. This is one workout I need to do several times over.  I have at least half a dozen little jars of random swept up bits and pieces that I don't think of or reach for when starting a new piece but cannot bring myself to toss... 


Artist:  Sherry E Wallis

Title:  Mirror Not

Time:  3 hr+

Materials:  Mirror glass tile, Glitter backed glass tile, buttons, glass gems, broken jewelry, on 6 x 6 artist board.  

Thoughts:  I usually cut glass as I go, so when I read the challenge, I thought I'd never find enough material.  Margo was so right--I have a heart-shaped bowl and a cache pot by my work surface that get all the "things-I-plan-to-use" or "things-that-don't-go-after-all."  And I have WAY more than I thought.  The real corker though was the mirror that I never made.  Cut all the stuff for it and even had it laid out and then just let it sit.  I'm embarrassed to admit that the red mirror tiles here were so dusty, I thought they were black at first.  The center stone had fallen out of the silver pin, so I scrapped it.  For this, I used one of the extra buttons which just fit.  Also found the starburst top of something I disassembled and used elsewhere.  I did have to cut to of the long bars a little, and a couple of the blue ones.  

Thoughts:  I like to let thinset cure and glue set before I grout, but my backlog is getting a little ridiculous.  Not to mention all my half-done pieces.  Guess I'll have a grout-fest when I get back in town next week.  


Title: “Glacial till" 

Size: 4.25″ x 4.25″

Materials: Stone, cinca, glass, quartz, shale, marble

How long did it take to complete? About 2 hours

Thoughts: Considering I got my start in mosaics using glass scrap and rarely cutting anything, this week was surprisingly challenging. I had been processing a bunch of material recently for my next non-challenge mosaic, so I saved all the offcuts to use for this piece. I just kind of threw myself into this without a game plan and ended up working in sections that were determined by material and the shape of the pieces. There are groups of tesserae that I really love in terms of how they play off of / relate to one another, but overall I'm not crazy about the piece. I'm finding that when I don't put any thought into the design beforehand, the results are a crapshoot, with me ending up unsatisfied more often than not. While I don't usually (ever?) make a detailed sketch, I do tend to mull things over for a good while before diving in. These challenges are definitely reinforcing the parts of my practice that are essential for me.


Artist: Cheryl Compton

Title:  Whimsical Family Portraits

Materials:  Pebbles from the Beach, Thinset (grey)

Time: 3 hours for both works

Comments:  I totally love these works.  Although the faces look a little cartoony, that is what gives it the whimsical feel.  The pics aren't great, but the pieces on my wall look really cool.  Used basics, designed the faces from a pile of rocks that I hadn't picked up for any particular reason (my version of a scrap pile).  Sat down with only one thing, the oval of the frame.  It naturally lent itself to faces and as I finished the first,  with its sort of whimsical looking, cartoony feel; the second sticking out its tongue at the first made the pair come to life.  The pictures don't really show the way they play off each other, much better in real life.  Fun project, not a fail for the first time in weeks  : )