I've already been teased by friends wondering when I would announce my 2014 "summer craft obsession". If you recall last summer I colorfully painted a zillion chairs while the summer before that we covered the mountainside with upcycled glass plate flowers. I even recall the summer I built anything and everything one could craft out of river stone. All fun, all productive and all in the past. I never intentionally set out to choose something, it seems rather that it has a way of choosing me. Of course I continue to paint seriously but something about having a "doesn't have to be perfect" outlet makes the summer a lot of fun.
So what has chosen me this year?
It may be mosaics!
The mosaic world keeps nipping at my heels enticing me to try more and more projects under the expansive craft of glueing and grouting. You know it spoke to us in Rome, Italy when master mind Megan Mahan (see her website) completed a gorgeous micro piece of handmade glass for my husband. And then again I spent many chatting afternoons cracking and glueing with the creative goddess Cheri Glover (meet her again here) as she worked and I played making stepping stones.
I got inspired to venture forth and try some side projects (altho with the careful supervision of Cheri) and was pleased with the results.
And this is a little porch table I picked up at a garage sale and covered in tiles.
Which all goes to prove that I have "dabbled" enough to be incredibly dangerous at this point!
So when a friend dangled this photo in front of me:
and when my husband (after how much beer) suggested I mosaic the fireplace mantel, I just jumped at both opportunities.
I'll be explaining in another blog how I intend to create my own version of the couch above (can you say: Yard ART!) and, more importantly, how I will be asking for YOUR help. A community build of sorts.
But for this little project here:
I'm headed for a consultation with a pro: the extraordinary Pam Brewer of Newland, NC. Check out Pam's work with mosaics (which actually began as a sideline of her creative pottery art). Most of what Pam creates with are "tiles" that she crafts herself. Boy, does that up the bar! And take a look at the slides of her work with installations...you will drool. I don't see the entire surround covered but I intend to bounce some ideas off Pam and see what she thinks. And then I am a'hopin' and a'prayin' that she has a summer class that I can join to make this happen.
Someone asked me why I seem to veer off in wild and crazy directions if I aspire to be a serious (?!) artist. Well, I am not really sure. But I do know that every time I head off into the unknown I have an excuse for meeting the most incredible people, and they enrich me far beyond expectation. And I have also found that when I learn something new out of field, my art overall benefits in unexplainable ways. My crafts obsession has led me to teach, to share, and to decorate my home and the homes of others with fun art that in no way attempts to take itself too, too seriously. It calls to me....that's all I can say.
So stay tuned....keep your eye out for interesting ways others have approached mosaics and if you stumble upon an interesting tile, piece of ceramic, broken pottery or busted trinket: pick it up! I'll tell you why soon.
Craft Fully yours,
I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!