Friday, August 29, 2008

Another Mosaic for Jingletown

There is a new mosaic outside 2908 Glascock Street (at Peterson) in Oakland's Jingletown District. Saundra Warren, a tile-making artist, is the owner of the business there called In Saundra's Garden. Her specialty is making ceramic tiles out of the leaves she finds in her environment all around her. Sometimes other people will bring her interesting and beautiful leaves they have found too. In her artwork she either uses the leaf tiles as they are for mosaics or turns them into the most wonderful plates, wall hangings, bowls, fountains, etc. Her work is beautiful! Outside her front door is a large, ugly, bare, cement planter box. Each face is 41" x 27". She lives next door to Bill Silveira who, if you have been reading this blog at all, you know has a building covered with art. For years he has been shaming, cajoling and goading Saundra into making her planter into something beautiful. She finally capitulated and contacted me to make her a glass mosaic frog and hummingbird with the idea that she would use them as part of a mosaic on her planter. So we decided to collaborate. Well it only took us a few days and, voila, two sides are done.Here is Saundra's side, during (above) and finished (below). We each have a different mosaic style: Saundra's uses regular cut shapes and is more serene and Zenlike. I use broken tiles which create a more energetic look. Here is my side during (above) and finished (below). In the above picture you can get a good look at the leaf tiles that Saundra creates. And the shine and sparkle from the glass frog and hummingbird give it that added unexpected element of surprise. Jingletown has long been becoming an art destination and this is just one more reason among many great ones to come on down and take a look.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Rock Frog, the First

Okay enough vacationing! Back to mosaics. I've been using mirror and stained glass in my mosaics from the beginning - which hasn't been very long really. But recently I have been getting sick of the man-made look of it - the shininess and the colors that aren't found in nature. And it's been getting a little too easy to do too. I've started wanting to use more earthy materials. So on vacation I gathered pebbles and rocks from the Cape Cod beaches I visited and brought them home to the West Coast.
My first attempt with them is this Rock Frog.
My vision was to juxtapose the rough, raw natural material with the refined and shiny glass. And I wanted to make it look like the frog was materializing out of the wall so I used a grout color that matched the cement color. It didn't turn out perfectly but this is an experiment for me and I will keep working on this "look". I have to admit I love working on these outdoor mosaics! I want this style of frog to be more of a surprise when the viewer comes upon it - not to be just this shiny decoration stuck to the wall but to be more of a challenge to see and understand what it is. Rock Frog 1
Mirror, glass and pebbles
22" tall approximately