Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Mixed Media Mosaics

This was my very favourite project of the year so far.  I would like to credit Laurie Mika and her wonderful book on Mixed Media Mosaics for the inspiration for the May workshop. Check out her website here   Although I have read, stroked and loved this book for a while (am I weird or does anyone else do this with a favourite book?), it was great to actually use her ideas for a project. 

I must say it was the most preparation I have ever had to do for a workshop, but the results were so worth it.  Fourteen ladies arrived and it was full steam ahead.

My mixed media mosaic sample board

9mm MDF boards were provided, (cut up by a nice chap at B&Q) I had prepainted them with gesso then top two coats of gold or silver paint, to enable everyone to get started on the more time consuming job of making the mosaic tiles.  A template was provided and glass tiles chosen and glued to form a border (they took an age to source, but pleased with them when they arrived).  Then the task of making the tiles from Fimo Light air dry clay, unfortunately it could not be polymer clay as it would have been impossible to have baked the tiles for so many on the day.  Not sure the hall would have approved our use of the kitchen oven either to cook our art pieces.


I then had to find out how I could provide rolling pins for the clay for so many without purchasing the expensive acrylic type.  I called into a local plumbing merchant, he suggested a 1" wide x 12ft length of plastic piping, nice and solid and perfect for the job.  A good few hours then spent cutting them to size and sanding/filing the ends.

Here are all the ladies busy preparing their tiles, lots of concentration required and decisions to be made as to their placement.  Another cuppa then?

Busy bees

Here are a few of the tiles cut, stamped and painted ready to place in the frame.  Sorry ladies I did not take a note of who the tiles belong to, so I hope I guess right with some. Let me know and I will amend!


 The clay was then rolled out (not too thin) and different size cutters used, or cut with a blade to various size tiles.  Rubber stamps used to impress design.  Some were painted with Viva metal paints.  Black acrylic paint was added to half of the clay to colour it. This gave a different finish when we used Rub n Buff on raised surface.  Everyone had been encouraged to bring along bits and pieces to add to the board along with the clay tiles to make it a mixed media project.  A few were provided as well.  I added a decorated domino to my sample board along with brass nuts, charms and stones.

Sample board

Domino added with tiles

When all the tiles were in place and there were of course slight gaps, (the air dry clay would take a while to dry and shrink very slightly) these were filled with accent (micro) or seed beads over PVA glue.   Bedazzled beads also used.

Here are a few of the frames while positions for the tiles are to be decided, not yet glued down and gaps to be filled in:-

It was the most enjoyable workshop and so good to see so many variations created by everyone. 
I will return with details of the Metal Embossed Tiled Frame at the June workshop. Til then...

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