Mosaic Marathon

16HighFiveMosaic Marathon at the Society Of American Mosaic Artists 2013 Conference

I was lucky enough to be a little helper bee under the tutelage of Lynn Adamo on this fun yearly event, creating mosaic art for a lucky non-profit in whatever community we hold our conference in that year. This year it was Tacoma, WA, and the recipient was the Boys and Girls Club of South Tacoma. Click on the above title for more info. and photos. We’d estimate that around 100 folks volunteered- and we had a blast doing it. Please share if you like!

Penelope’s plaque

My friend Penelope Dews has graciously been trading me for half the cost of clay classes with her over the past several months.
I am finally learning to throw on the wheel thanks to the wondrous “technology” of –
you guessed it –


More on throwing in another post. Back to this one.
I am finally holding up to my end of our bargain by creating a vertical mosaic address plaque to hang beside her front door. Here are some in process photos.



Making a bit of progress… Starting to feel the sun and moonness coming through…

Decided to extend some of the “rays” to give it a sunnier feel. Now for the background. Black? for contrast? I’m undecided. Then there’s the address portion I haven’t even shown…earth colors I think- or white…need to play with it some more.

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Working on tiles for Pete and Carol

I’ve spent a good part of the day trying to glaze 3 color handmade tiles for an exterior application (stair risers). So far it’s gone slowly, as each color has to be applied using a sprayer and hand shielded with templates image

so there’s reduced overspray.  Tricky as hell, and time consuming, but the test came out well-so I’m hopeful this works!
This is the first of 34 pairs….!

Several days have passed. Much cursing has ensued. I’ve been struggling with the glazes a bit.

I primarily have been using a line of Laguna glazes called “Versa 5”. These are cone 5 (high fire) glazes that are mixable with all other colors in the line. Just like paint- which is awesome because you usually can’t do that with high fire glazes. I can make endless combinations of colors. Perfect for what I’m doing, which is trying to color match some commercially made solid body porcelain tile by Winklemans, out of France.
I created a mosaic for Pete and Carol’s porch using the Winklemans, and the ceramic tiles are designed as stair risers to “match”.

I’ve been spraying the glaze and capturing and recycling the overspray. Unfortunately, this recycled glaze refuses to stay in suspention. This means all the silica in the glaze falls right to the bottom of my sprayer, clogging it immediately.
I’ve resorted to hand brushing parts- they’re now in the kiln, we’ll see what happens…

missmosaicgirl takes on

Welcome to my first blog post EVER. Well, not exactly ever, but I keep rewriting this one as I’m working on what to say in this new venture.Karen_Rycheck_MissMosaicGirl

My goal here is to introduce myself as a visual artist to those of you who don’t know me, as well as show those of you who do know me what the heck is going on out in my studio and in my tiny world of art making. I create mosaics, ceramics, sculpture, murals, and on occasion ridiculously elaborate cakes. I hope you’ll check back with me on a regular basis to see what’s new, what’s influencing my work, and where I’ll be showing and selling so you can become proud owners of some of my pieces! Have a great rest of your day!