Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Underwater Staircase - mosaic commission

I am running with an artistic theme lately - fish, sea life and the element of water. I even started swimming again not too long ago. Well, water is a powerful force. It represents the emotional realm and, to me, imparts a feeling of moving gracefully through life.
 In July I was inspired to create some 3 dimensional mosaic fish. And then a commission came up to create a mosaic for a front staircase at a private residence in Oakland, CA. 
These clients, with only an outline of an idea, allowed me the freedom to create whatever I wanted. And the vision that came into my mind was "underwater." So I began by designing a simple sketch on the computer and had it printed out full size.
 Then I cut it out and traced it onto the Wedi board that I will mosaic onto. Each finished board will then be screwed onto the front of the stairs.
 I cut out of Wedi Board several small and one large fish, and a large turtle.  I used cement on several of these elements to round their surfaces to create a little bit of a 3 dimensional look. I mosaicked all the small elements and then laid them out on the stair cut-outs to start to get an idea of what this would look like.

 Then I began to mosaic the rest of the piece with tiles. Greens for the seaweed, dark blues for the deep water and lighter blues for the swirl in the middle.
 Each day I made significant progress and would lay out the finished pieces on my studio floor to see how it was going. It was going pretty well!
So now this part of the project is finished. I am creating two more stairs on mesh as I write this. They will complete the bottom of the stair case where the stairs are curved.
Underwater Staircase
*work in progress*
14 stairs, each 50" long