Monday, May 15, 2006

Mosaic in the Garden

Coffee in the Jupiter Coffee go cup--ex lg house blend with an extra shot of espresso. No music because the iMac is dead and iTunes on the laptop can't find all the music files. *sigh* Yep the Mac is really dead. It thinks it doesn't have a hard drive. I hope the Mac Tech support people at the Apple Store can convince it otherwise or at least get all my data back. In the meantime I am back on the pc laptop--and have lost my firing schedule for this, the week before I go to Chicago.

On other fronts, yesterday was Mother's Day and I was feted to the max. I received wonderful presents--Jessie made me a photo-cup at school and (through Dave) got me an orchid and a book on mosaic projects for the garden--and they made me a French toast, bacon and fresh fruit breakfast. After breakfast we dropped the Mac off at the Apple Store and headed out to the Botanical Gardens. At the Botanical Garden we saw all the incredible mostly mosaic sculpture of Niki de St. Phalle. This is a perfectly timed exhibition for me as I have been planning to do a freeform concrete mosaic wall-bench around half the pond. Dave, knowing this, enabled me with the gift of the book. Now he has neither excuse nor recourse. Construction is imminent.

I have long been fascinated with large-scale mosaic. My favorite building anywhere is the Casa Batllo in Barcelona created by Antonio Gaudi. Sadly I took all my pictures of it before I had a digital camera and have not scanned them yet so I will have to fall back on someone else's photo of it and the colors just do not come through. Both it and the benches in Parc Guell (also Gaudi, also Barcelona) have the undulating curves and abstract colors which are driving my design of the pond. And the materials I plan to use? All the old stained glass I been collecting for over 20 years, all the blobs and jewels, shells and agates. We will finally have a piece of my work in our house/garden and it is going to be massive.

And it is going to be done at the same time as I am writing the book, doing another Buyer's Market of American Craft Show in Philadelphia (July), and getting out 75 pieces for the Art Institute of Chicago. The cool thing about mosaic is that there is no rush. The big part will be getting the concrete part poured, but then adding the mosaic to it can be done in stages. I am doing a model in clay to start, then the big technical piece I need to master is the steel-reinforced concrete form. But that's ok, if the how-to isn't in the book Dave gave me, it will be in another one!

I love Mondays. I feel like I can do anything on Monday. There is no project to big, no commitment too scary, no deadline too close. Too bad it won't last. Now off to Ikebana. It is my last day in the advanced class and I have to do a symmetrical form. I hate symmetrical.

And what about fused glass? This afternoon a full fuse load for the Prairie Arts Festival in Chicago (and I have to get the postcards ordered!).


Bill Paley said...

Work, work, work.

I could watch you do it all day long...

Barbara Muth said...

Yeah!!! I love her sculptures and can't wait to come see them. I remember my first encounter with a Nana like it was yesterday and it was more like 35 years ago! Did you love the color????

Brenda Griffith said...

Oh yes, her work is so vibrant and so beautifully detailed. I was really impressed with her use of materials: everything from mirror to shells, turquoise, tiger eye, pebbbles and glass blobs to fused murrini glass sections. I am definitely going to use some fused pieces in my wall bench.