Mosaic Town is growing

Mosaic town has been growing steadily over the past week, and is almost complete. I have added three new buildings and created several montage photos so you can see the process as well as the various views of the new buildings.

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This is the 2 Story House made of handmade ceramic tile with a glass mosaic tile roof.

I created the texture on the red tile by rolling the wet clay onto a sheet of deeply textured fabric, then lifting and repositioning the fabric and rolling it again. The glaze catches in the different depths of the texture, causing some areas to have deeper colors than others.

The little yellow swirls are left over sun-centers from my History Underfoot mosaic. They make me happy, and I wanted a happy home- so there they are!

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The next building to be created was the Mod Building. Not sure where this came from in my head, though the Price Tower by Frank Lloyd Wright, in my hometown in Oklahoma, has always been a big influence. It might be a residence, it might be an office, it’s up to your imagination.

This one is covered in three colors of handmade tile, sea foam and clear with a touch of green for the walls, and forest green for the roof areas. The windows are made of a painted glass that adds great depth, as well as suggesting an interior light source.

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The final building I see as a Theatre of some sort. Cinema probably, though could be a regular theatre too.

It is covered in a huge array of colors and textures I have had sitting in my studio for a couple of years now. The front and sides are in a bright cheerful yellow, with the back being made of a combination of red and textured red handmade tiles.

The decorative tiles around the doors and windows are bits from tiles that warped or cracked in the kiln, but I didn’t want to throw away. The roof is made of orange tile and orange/brown tile from a failed attempt at a platter. I used the platter edges to edge the front of the roof. Oh, and the gingko leaf on the back is cut from the same failed platter. Happy it found a home here.

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So the town is now complete. I grouted them today, and as soon as I can find the appropriate garden setting I’ll photograph them to post here, and they’ll be up for grabs by some lucky new owner. Of course they need to live indoors in the winter to prolong their lifespan, but what a fun way to decorate your home!

TOWN FOR SALE

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Progress on Mosaic Town

Just a brief update on my little town project.

Today I completed another building I think of as the Office Building-with a striated copper tiled roof of glass and seafoam green handmade ceramic tile for the walls.

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Again-this is ungrouted to date.

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I am starting on the 2 Story House tomorrow, but have already deviated from my original drawn ideas.

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I loved these little yellow spirals I had left from a previous project, so decided to use them here.
The doors/windows will be of glass tile, while the main house siding will be a textured red ceramic tile I made a year or more ago.
I’ll keep you all updated on the progress.

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.

Making ceramic plaques

I finally finished Pete and Carol’s tiles last week and they picked them up Tuesday (yeah!).

Now it’s time to make some work for the June “Art for the Garden and Home” show.

Save the dates- June 7-9th up at the top of Wimer St. in Ashland, OR. 
447 Pape St. And 421 Prim St. Both just off Wimer. There will be tons of signs!

Times are from 10-5 Friday and Saturday, and 10-3 on Sunday.

Mary Dee’s garden is also on the Ashland Garden Tour-so plan ahead Sunday so you have time to see both the art and the plants.

I’m beginning this week by making my ceramic plaques.

I roll out my clay the ol’ fashioned way with a big rolling pin, just like making biscuits!
Next, I roll handmade stamps across the slabs to create texture

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After the clay sets up for half a day or so, I cut it into the basic sizes I’ll use for the individual plaques.

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Then I wait several more hours, or overnight to add carved details like wording, or individual designs.

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Once the tiles are completely dry, they get their first firing, or bisque (1830°F).
It takes about 12 hours for the kiln to come up to temperature, and 12 hours to cool.

After that, I either glaze them using handpainting of glazes or underglazes for color-and spray with a clear glaze if needed.
Then a high firing up to cone 5 (2185°F) for another 12 hours.

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After the tiles have cooled for about 12 hours, I can touch them without burning myself.

I add hanging wires and beads to some, others have built in wires on the backs. And little felt dots so your wall won’t scratch!

And that’s why it takes so long to make these little guys and why they aren’t $2 each! Lots of love and attention is taken with each piece, and no two are exactly the same.

I also make these to order-so keep me in mind for addresses, special messages, new homes, etc. But give me at least two weeks to a month to get it done!

Here’s the address tile I made for my house.

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I can do most any color, but I can’t really color match-as that’s a crazy process I prefer not to get too into if possible. But try me 😉

This is just one of the ways I make these tiles.

I’ll save the other subtractive  method for a future post.

Hope you enjoyed your mini tutorial!