Back up in Hillboro this past week for more work on the Astoria project with Lynn Adamo and her faithful minions.
When I arrived the fish were all completed except for a little eye surgery (later) and the watery background was begun.
Lynn’s order of blue smalti from Mexico had been delayed by U.S. Customs and had just arrived in the middle of last week when artists’ Richard Davis and Jennifer Kuhns were just leaving. So Lynn was anxious to get going with the background and cover some ground (literally).
However, we had a limited amount of certain blue colors we were using as accents. The only way we could figure out to evenly distribute them throughout the piece was to scatter them loosely across the template, then bag them up and label them according to the sections they would end up in. The system may look weird, but it was fairly quick and effective.
Layout of fish with accent colors evenly distributed.
Notice the eyes of the fish in the photo above…somewhat ghostlike…
As I lay more of the blue field, Lynn began her “eye surgery”.
“Eye-ectomy” being perfomed on the first fish.
We decided the eyes needed more of a true pupil to make them a bit more animated and alive, so we trimmed out the existing center,
Added a few darker tiles,…
…and voile! A much more lively fish.
In addition to these minute tasks, we also decided to make a new template that was fully laminated and protected from the weather, as our previous one was getting a bit soggy in the rain, and shrinking as a result (!) making it difficult to get an accurate measure and fit for our MANY sections of mosaic on mesh.
That took up some of my evening and half of the next day to do- working on the kitchen floor and in the front room in sections until I got it all done. We then moved it out onto the back porch and transferred all the completed mosaic sections to it and taped them down so they wouldn’t shift – ensuring a better fit later when it’s installed.
Taping the sections together to avoid shift during fitting.
Lynn was very meticulous with keeping things organized and clean during the whole process- and you have to! One little sliver of misplaced smalti can throw off the whole thing.
Cleaning up the shards of glass, bits of dirt (no shoes here!), and other detritus blown in from the yard.
By the time I left Friday morning we had fitted all the mesh for the next sections, gotten a little further on the blue field, and had the planning behind us so Lynn could move forward more quickly and easily to completion. (Or so I like to think!)
Slowly but surely…and looking beautiful!
I’ll be going back up at the end of next week for the final push…and will keep updating as we progress…
But be sure to keep up with the progress of this project for the Garden of Surging Waves in Astoria, Oregon on Lynn’s blog at www.lynnadamo.com/blog/ too!