Fabrication of Astoria Mosaic Complete!

Session three had finally arrived for me. After a busy start to my week, during which we held the first Talent Art Forum for the Talent Public Arts Committee, I arrived in Hillsboro two weekends ago at 10 pm to find an almost completed mosaic.P1000413

These were the last 3 sections that remained to be done.P1000420

The first morning I was there, Sandy and I quickly knocked out the first section, with Lynn’s  help.

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Lynn is here, with the first section, and the second, prior to fitting into the mosaic.P1000421

With only one more section to go we are feeling pretty good, as we still have 2 days of my visit left.

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The mosaic after sections one and two are added. The excitement is building for the final bit.

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The final section well on it’s way while Lynn and Bob celebrate their anniversary out on the town in Portland.

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And finally the last piece goes in.

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Next morning, we fitted the final piece, and here is the mosaic with all the main work done!

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Lynn does some finessing in joint spaces to make sure everything looks good and fits well.

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Me adding the last of the outside edge to the medallion.

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Here’s a closeup of one of the sturgeon’s whiskers.P1000438

Lynn with the completed mosaic, ready for installation after her return from Italy.lynnadamo-rickpaulsonphoto-sep-2013-8504

The whole team who helped create this masterpiece.

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Celebrating completion with a bottle of wine on one of the prettiest days of the weekend-a last hurrah before fall sets in.

The mosaic is scheduled to be installed in late October. Can’t wait to see the park completed! If you visit Astoria don’t miss it, the Garden of Surging Waves, and be sure to let us know what you think.

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Mosaic sturgeon will be brightening up Astoria- Part 2

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.P1000376

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.

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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”.

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“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,

P1000384  Added a few darker tiles,…

P1000401 …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.

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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.

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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!)

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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!

Mosaic sturgeon will be brightening up Astoria- Part 1

Hello good peoples of the internet! I would like to introduce you all to a wonderful mosaic artist, a fabulous pie baker, and an all around awesome human being- and they all exist in the person that is Lynn Adamo of Hillsboro, Oregon.

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Lynn enjoying her pie and ice cream

It’s hard to believe, but Lynn is all that and more.

She recently won a commission from the City of Astoria to do a 10 foot diameter mosaic to be placed in a new park in the heart of Astoria.
The premise of the park is to honor the immigrants who helped build our great Northwest as well as honor a bit of the natural history of Astoria to boot.
The sturgeons depicted in Lynn’s mosaic are representing the fish canning industry that helped make Astoria prosperous.

Mexican smalti “tortillas” (thick, richly colored slabs of glass) were created specifically for this project and are being laid by many hands under the direction of Lynn.
She has created a veritable hive (or swarm?!) of worker bees from which to draw on when the projects get large, and/or the time window for completion is short.

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Janie prepping smalti “B” cuts for installation

I am lucky enough to be one of the happy drones working on this gorgeous endevour.

I first went up to Hillsboro (home of Intel) around the 3rd or 4th week into the project. When I arrived things were well underway with one fish completed and another begun.

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I  worked with Sandy Arbogast, Jan, and Scott over three full days-and we made some respectable progress, finishing the second sturgeon

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The meals were fantastic during my first visit too. P1000353Bob grilled us a fabulous flank steak one night and some delicious pork the next. Served with his home-brewed beer- what could be better!

And as if that weren’t enough- Lynn topped it off with one of her amazing berry pies with berries fresh from their own yard.

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I was absolutely spoiled. And I loved every minute of it.

Mosaics are time intensive- and even with the 5 of us working we weren’t able to finish the last fish before I made my way back down the trail to Talent.

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Luckily she had some more great workers with her the next week-Richard Davis and Jennifer Kuhns. Both experienced mosaic artists in their own rights, they whipped through the last of the fish and moved onto the water before their three days were up.

In addition, Richard whipped up some fabulous gourmet meals using his culinary background as a chef. The photos I saw on Lynn’s blog looked good enough to eat!

Now I am geared up for my next mosaic session with Lynn. It’s round two and I’m determined to just “knock it out of the park”-as Lynn might say. You who know her know she is a HUGE baseball fan. It warms my heart just thinking about her checking the scores throughout the days-keeping tabs on her Giants on the laptop as she toils away 🙂