Frog finds a new home (or the creation of the Lily Pond Mosaic)

Wonderful world! My friend and fellow mosaic artist Lynn Adamo and I applied for a large public art project in McMinnville, Oregon last year for a new bus station/rerouting center.

Well, we didn’t get that gig, but luckily for us, one of the folks who was present for that selection process saw and liked our work. They have hired us to do a different project for the McMinnville Library renovation that is happening now! We, of course, said “YES!”

frog3It all started with a bronze frog sculpture that was gifted to the library some years ago.

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This cute contemplative frog is being relocated because of the renovations. He needed a new home, and we were being hired to create it!

The client requested a mosaic “pond” to be sited in an existing planter bed close to the front doors.

Bed_angled corner1Now… Lynn and I live at opposite ends of the state. We weren’t really sure how we were going to do this, but this is what we decided.

I did the design, color lily pad v4

and she did the in person meetings (since she’s far closer to McMinnville) and got a full sized copy made of my design. We chose and ordered tiles with lots of back and forth, online and on the phone.

And then Lynn made the cutest maquette ever!

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 6.59.29 PMTo begin the hands on part, we met up in Bend, at our friend Rochelle’s awesome studio Wild Rose Artworks (thanks Rochelle), to split the materials and layout the full size cartoon onto mesh.

Next we tiled along the imaginary center line, then when it was set over night, we cut the mesh into two large halves and brought them back to our respective homes to work on them.

20150206_162511So far, this is how it’s going on my end.

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I am also on the search, via a rock hound friend, to find the perfect rock for the frog sculpture to sit on in the center of the pond.

Fingers crossed!

In addition to all this great work that’s finally going on, I was accepted into the Rogue Gallery 2015 Biennial! The show is a collection of works from artists of the Rogue Valley. Please check it out when you can, it opens Feb.20th (from 5-8 pm) and will run through April 10th 2015.

Hope to see you there!

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Creating Mosaic Town

Hey everyone-Happy 4th of July-or as I like to call it, Interdependence Day.
I’m working on another mosaic town and thought I’d share some progress photos with you today.

I start with a hunk of insulation foam board. Yep-the kind they use to insulate homes with. The color denotes the density. Pink and blue are most common here in the states. This is dense enough that you can stand on it and it won’t compress at all.

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I cut the board into shapes using various saws and rasps

And sitting on top of this foam is a roll of self adhesive fiberglass mesh tape. Most often used for creating seams in drywall, this makes a fabulous cement-tolerant wrap.

So- Cut the foam board to the desired shape, wrap with the fiberglass mesh, then coat with a layer or two of a special cement mix created by me using the guidance of a great book-Creating Concrete Garden Ornaments, by Sherri Warner Hunter (the mastermind of this art form). And after a little sanding and waiting for it to dry it looks like this:

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A few of the buildings for my mosaic town after their cement coat

I’ve drawn my suggested windows, doors, etc. to guide me during the mosaic process. I now begin covering all sides and the roof tops with a combination of handmade ceramic tile and commercial mosaic glass tile, adding little bits of different textures and colors to add interest. Here’s how it’s going…

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and after finishing up the next day…

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Once these are thoroughly dry and I’ve done a few more of the other buildings, I’ll grout them. That always brings it all together, smooths out the rough edges, and makes them feel finished. More to come, but now I’m off to the annual July 4th BBQ potluck at my friend’s home. After drinks and dinner, we’re watching the ultimate summer movie- JAWS. So in honor of that, here’s the cake I’m bringing for dessert…

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Hope you’re having a great day off, or just a great day wherever you are.