Monday, January 16, 2012

Mosaics: the beginning!

Not much to report; I've been busy and lazy, alternately.  Still, last night I sorted out the mixed bucket of tesserae that I bought the other day.  I bought these cheap little tiles so that I could experiment and find out if I liked making mosaics without getting heavily financially committed to making them by buying the much more expensive glass/ceramic tesserae and the proper tools to work with them.  You can cut these little guys with just ordinary scissors!
There turned out to be 12 colors, including black(ish) and white.  I decided I'm going to do just a very simple geometric pattern this time, since I don't want to put in a lot of work on something I might screw up.  I bought a little wooden box to cover...after all, we all know I'm addicted to little boxes!  It's a little frustrating because the box only fits 10x7 tesserae, so my design options are limited.  After messing about a bit, I gave up and decided to do this pattern:
Edit:  Here's a pic of the tesserae all glued down.  I messed up early on, so had to adjust the pattern slightly, and I had to use half tiles at the bottom edge to fill in, but it was either that or make the grout gaps uneven horizontal to vertical.  Anyway, so far, so good!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Update and new craft?

Christmas brought the usual mad dash to get stuff done before the yearly "deadline," but I'm proud to announce that I got all my crafty gifts made with time to spare!  I was, however, a total dork and forgot to get pictures of almost everything.  Aaaargh!  So, I shall post a picture of the one item I actually remembered to photograph; meet Genova, a Zibitty I made for my niece, Lisa:

Zibitties are always a challenge to make since they're so tiny!  They're just a fraction of the size of a Zibaby.  It's hard to get everything smooth and blended properly when my tools barely fit into the areas needing to be smoothed.  Still, I really like making Zibitties because they are just so stinkin' cute when they're done!

Next subject: Mosaics!
Due to an Amazon gift certificate from my wonderful sister Valerie and a night filled with insomnia, I am now the proud owner of three books on making mosaics!  I've always loved the pictures I've seen of Roman and other ancient mosaics and I've wanted for years to try my hand at making them.  Each book I ordered focuses on different styles of mosaics: one is on traditional techniques, one discusses using polymer clay, and the other is on making "micro" mosaics.  I'm probably the most curious about that last one.  Here's a 13th century micro mosaic.  Look at the incredible detail!  Can you believe this mosaic is only about 17" high?  Amazing!
It wasn't until the 1800s that micro mosaics became popular in jewelry, but I'm definitely going to try mixing my love of jewelry with this new artform...I'll let you all know how it goes!