Thanks to all of you who sent concerned messages relating to my absence here, I will personally DM you all when I can!
I have had 23 days over in NSW with my daughters and grandkids and, just to make sure I didn't go off the rails, I took Ade and Betts (the dog) along too.
Eldest daughter Sarah's partner (Lisa) is a pathologist with the Glebe Coroners Court and spends her days doing autopsies but, at home her pride and joy are her laying hens! She has a (chook pen) and named them all, and each day lavishes care on them and they in turn reward here with a basket full of eggs.
I told Sarah I would do a 'hen' mosaic for Lisa's birthday and this put me under a bit of pressure because you can't run a mosaic up in a few hours.....it took me 10 days! Here is a shortened timeline of my progress. It measures 1 metre by 500mm, (1 yard x 20 inches) and the only tools I had at my disposal were a hammer and a nibbling tool.....
We had a great time and Lisa got a bit teary with the end result!
it's also a bit sad when your family lives 1,400 Kms away but we make the pilgrimage 3 times a year....next trip is in August, I love the drive, the dog travels well....which is more than I can say for Ade, she finds it a struggle and has a suitcase full of grizzles but, to spend 10 days with the grand daughters and another 10 with our other daughter makes it all worthwhile.
I had a guest here for much of the time we were away and that was great, she looked after the garden and I am hopefull we can come to a similar arangement the next time we head east again in August.
It was nice to get away from the CC.....but it's nicer to be back!
@Robin the hens and I here at the Barn are jealous of that lovely mosaic!!!
Gives me an idea for another art project here.
Good on you for making the effort to see the kiddos, that's a blessing to them I'm sure.
@Sarah I am Sarah, more than 20% of my life I have a mosaic on the go. Last year one of the guests commissioned me to do one for them, and they were thrilled with it, but the problem is, it is not profitable! To cover just my time in doing that hen mosaic I would have to ask around $2,000 based on $20 per hour........ and nobody is going to pay that sort of money.
It was funny the way it started out though Sarah, it was desperation.
I bought just enough tiles to pave a certain outdoor area. I would like to have bought a few more but as luck would have it, I got the last of the production run and I had just enough tiles to complete my project. I was almost finished the paving when I broke one of my precious tiles, eeeeekk. My solution was to break it up even more and use it as a feature tile!
So began my mosaic hobby. I next moved on to an adjacent wall which looked even uglier before I did this........
and after that, anything that stood still for more than a week around here got some sort of mosaic treatment.
I just sort of get a bit better at fining down the gaps as I went from project to project and some of the stuff I am really proud of now.....but, it's not commercial!
@Robin That's exactly what happened to me on my outside terrace- bought what I figured were the correct ammount of tiles, then ran out with one section left to go, about 1 and a half mtrs sq. and those tiles no longer available. I spent 8 hours one day on my wet saw cutting all these pieces out of the scrap from the angle cuts I'd had to make for my non-right angle living room, then even on this mosaiced part, I ran out with about 5 sq.inches to go. I'd been throwing all the really crummy pieces out on the dirt road, then went hunting for them, going, "Oh well, this one's not too bad."
Hahahaha....you're bloody priceless, has anyone ever told you that?
Hey, but that is cheating Sarah, you had the advantages of not just modern equipment, but a dedicated ceramic cutting 'wet saw'!!! All I had was cave man tools! It did bring all the neighbours out though, they were intrigued by the persistent sounds of smashing ceramics.
It sounded like a prolonged Greek wedding!
My god that must have taken you some time, the amount of work in doing that and cutting each tile individually would be staggering. And I see what you mean about scrounging the roadfill, there is a heap of tiny pieces in there.
I salute you Sarah!
@Robin It took 4 days to lay all those pieces- the hard part was getting it level, as the concrete subfloor wasn't level, so I had to keep checking with the level and shoving more cement under some areas and mushing the tiles down where they were too high. The reason I have a wet saw is because I laid every tile in my house- all the floors, all the shower walls and bathroom and kitchen ounters- no way I could have done that without a wet saw. Best $100 I ever spent.
Thanks for video link- looking forward to sitting down and watching that this weekend.
I hope you can access this video Sarah, you would fall in love with this woman (Irene Pearce). she is the master of creating something out of nothing!
She is not exactly a neighbour of mine but we do live in the same town and every time she has a garden open day she has to physically restrict the number of people you can access the property at any time, it is so popular.
Hey @Robin, glad to hear you're doing well!
I am going to second Lizzie on this as this is a lovely piece of artwork you created here :-).
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@Robin was wondering WHERE is ROB????? getting ready to shoot off a flair and there you are.
So glad you are all OK and love seeing the mosaic - you are totally awesome - what all is in that mind of yours.??? I can imagine you digging in the rocks for the perfect shaped EGG -
glad all is Ok and you are BACK - you were missed.
Peace good man ....greetings to your Ade and your Betts too.
Clara in Pensacola
What a lovely community this is, a reflection on the sort of folk who would embark on the hosting venture in the first place! - grandkids are just the best, aren't they Robin? And necessity is the spur to some lovely artwork and great stories to go with the masterpieces. The moment the tile broke it seemed like pure misfortune and instead it was a lucky break ( pause for groan).
Above is the work of an absolute neophyte using massive pieces of plates and special rocks and bits and pieces collected over the years- it was Marie Kondo time in my studio and either I was going to do the Dragon or pass on all those bins of material. I really didn't have a clue but I had plenty of thin set, a rubber mallet and had tiled a few bathrooms in my time. It was late Fall - slow season and time to get plate cracking-
(Arghh, arghh ,arghh it's slipping, again! F*ck f*ck ouch!)
The wind, fog & rain came roaring up the stairs during most of the process and I made quite a mess but it was incredibly satisfying . I colored the mortar with red & black iron oxide, cobalt oxide and green chrome oxide- the latter didn't make a vivid tone & is hellish expensive & a bit more toxic ( I was very careful to mix it in safe circumstances.)
I am not the best at picture taking & she looks better in the evening - the plates I used for her wings are somewhat 3 D with mortar making a gentle slope behind each to avoid sharp edges and the shadow effect is kinda cool.
I love the expressive face on the Chook and the lovely meandering lines on Sarah's exquisite floor And the image of her crouched and muttering as she scrabbled around the road bed, at least I'd be muttering- artists often have cause to say stuff under their breath. Love & good wishes to you all! Sally
What a wonderful bit of creativity Sally.
You know, a sculpture, a painting, a wall hanging is a work of art but, people who look at it are not conscious of the effort that goes into it and just say...."I like that"...or, "Isn't that nice"...and move on, I know because there are a few facets to what I have done in my life.
Everyone who walks past that wall of yours Sally, would stop and study it, look at all the detail that went into it. Whether it is their 'style' or not is irelevant, they would all be amazed at your creativity.
As I am sure @Sarah would back me up, people who see a hand done mosaic work just keep looking at it and sense the dedication and effort that went into it.
A few years ago I thought I would try my hand at a portrait. Here was my subject shot of myself....
And here was the resultant work.....
It's not 'Archibald' material but, I was happy enough with the result.
I really do think too many of us are constrained by our minds! Of course there are avenues not open to us without specialist training but, not enough of us are prepared to say to ourselves.....'I am going to have a go at that'! We automatically think we can't do it.....but when we open our minds, we find out, we can!
And you @Sally have shown us that!
@Robin thanks for sharing those lovely joy filled pics............wonderful! The joys you can have with loved ones - nothing like it - hopefully healing moments for Ade especially.
peace good man, Clara