Mosaic Projects

Longtime readers of this blog will remember that last year I posted photos of a tile floor I was working on in our home. I managed to finish the floor late last year and, due to some interest in my mosaic work, I am now trying to do some tile work paying clients and for sale in galleries and shops.

The fish bones (above) is currently serving as a ‘backsplash’ for our kitchen sink (maybe I should photograph it on the sink, but then I would have to clean the kitchen). It is made from recycled tile in white, blue and cobalt and measures about 3.5′ long x 12 inches high. My S.O. really likes this one and swears that it looks much better in person.

These are flower pots and saucers. A friend has a small shop in a “cottage town” in Northern Michigan where they sell all sorts of items that people use to make their cottages and vacation homes more comfortable and pleasing. I’m hoping that fancier flower pots will appeal to the buyers. I plan on offering these in different colors.

This is a bird bath (obviously). I would have preferred to shoot it outside but the light is terrible and there is a foot of snow on the ground, so here you go. The pedestal and bowl are covered in various recycled tiles and mosaic tiles. Combining the two types of tile is tricky since they are different thicknesses. I have to build up layers of thin glass tile underneath the thinner mosaic tiles.

Here is a close-up of the bowl of the bird bath. The design was inspired by photographs I saw of tile work in a medieval mosque in Spain.

I had the idea of covering round ‘river rocks’ in tile and allowing gardeners to place them in the garden as colorful sculptures and plan to offer them in different sizes, shapes and colors. This one is covered in recycled cobalt blue tile but I’d like to offer them in other colors; red, yellow, etc. Again; I’d prefer to shoot it out in the garden but will have to wait till spring. You could also use this as a doorstop, paperweight or catapult ammunition. The rock is a fair sized one; about 7×5″ and weighs 5-6 lbs. I think the appeal of the object will become more obvious when I get a few of them in different colors and can photograph them in the garden.

This, of course, is the tile floor that started it all. It measures about 12′ x 6′ and is made of recycled tile and glass mosaic tile. Since the tiles are different thicknesses, I had to build up layers of tile and Masonite beneath the octopus so it would end up level witht he much thicker marble and ceramic tile around it (the marble and ceramic is almost 1/2 inch thick whereas the glass mosaic is ~1/8th inch thick; quite a difference!).
Right now I am discussing a commission involving a tile floor in another location.

4 Comments on “Mosaic Projects”

  1. ClawCarver says:

    I really like Fishbones. For a skeletal motherfucker, he has a lot of attitude.

    I admire your artistry and appreciate your remarks about the time and trouble involved in getting the different thicknesses of tile to match. I'm reminded of some Buck 65 lyrics:

    “It ain't about the dollar, or trying to go fast.
    Unless you take pride in what you're doing, you won't last.
    Craftsmanship is a quality that some lack.
    You gotta give people a reason for them to come back.”

    You, sir, are a craftsman. Hats off to you!

  2. Melan says:

    Love that fish, too.

  3. Stefan, just awesome work. I've really been wanting to do some mosaic since visiting Ravenna, Italy as a teen. I went back a couple of years ago and it really reinforced the desire. I guess since I'm living in Italy, I need to get off my ass and take advantage of the fact that there are folks that do mosaic and fresco for a living all around me and see if I can learn something from them.

  4. limpey says:

    Italy has to be the most fantastic place on earth. Some of the ancient mosaics I saw in Rome years ago were, save for a few cracks and chips, as vibrant as if they had been made the day before. And I loved how people lived side-by-side with history and antiquity. I'm sure living there would get quite exhausting simply because there was always something wonderful around the next corner.

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