Eartha Steps Out – great new pics and video

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received_10154058277619783.jpegThanks to everyone who came to the launch event of the new Mosaic in Willesden Green ! We are still organising the plaque (as hoping some sponsorship might be forthcoming) so as yet it is remaining nameless , keeping important names information an ongoing mystery for the shoppers and passersby !

However, just wanted to share these lovely photos of the day by my good friend and artist, Giuseppe Milazzo who took some quality images that really captured the spirit of the entertainment and fun we had that day… There were some really fantastic musicians who came (even jammed together) Carlton Headley (sax), Russel Lambert (drums) Shanks ( who gave me a free copy of his excellent cd Silence Interrupted, The Rubber Banned ) and of course the face painters and stilt walkers…(we were only really missing the juggler !)

The day moved so fast, that after the Mayoress cutting the ribbon, we forgot to say our speeches (which sadly id spent half hour preparing at Pedros cafe in Cricklewood ) and to thank everyone involved… so here it is in a blog i suppose. The launch was a joint effort with Willesden Green Town Team‘s Abraham Ryan who prepared over 50 self popping balloons in gorgeous lime and forest green, and a big thx to Ursula for her super cat biscuits (not edible for cats really but us humans), Deborah Mahs for her organisation of fire brigade (adding some uniformed men appeal to the occasion??) , Nick the painter (and part time tattoo artist) , Hannah Milsom for checking on the kids mask making and bringing the step ladder for the Mayoress, Leslie Jones and …..

theres also a great video by Paul who captured the real life moments and energy of the preparation of the event…










This gallery contains 12 photos

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Spring Into Still Life – Mosaic This!

I’m attending a Meetup with Meltdown and Mosaic

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Feline Antics

Just want to welcome two new cats into my life : Eartha, who has taken 6 months to grow to completion, and JB, who arrived in my home a few weeks ago, already 1 years old, still growing and not stopping for the foreseeable future…

Jelly Bean aka JB

Newcomer JB


Eartha, however, is a mosaic artwork and the second in the ‘Catwalk’ Series that I have been working on inspired by the strange and wonderful anthropomorphic illustrations of Louis Wain. This one is based on a ‘Norwegian Forest’ breed I was reliably informed with a big sideways mysterious grin.

I combined the subject matter of said cat walking through an evergreen and leafy landscape …
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20151203_170411…with topical ceramic pieces made by Gladstone Park Primary School pupils.  As the mosaic was going to be installed in a public space in Willesden Green, I suggested the children made things you’d see in the town – there is the corner shop, traffic lights,  litter bins, local mosque, and named tube station roundels, amongst other icons!

They also made flora and fauna, bees, butterflies and local birds.

I also included various patterned roundels made by elderly day centre members, so I can safely say all ages were involved in making this piece!


Not only has the conception of Eartha, the mosaic, grown but she now has a ‘mighty tale’ made of ceramic paraphenalia!

As mosaic making is often a slow and painstaking business , I really appreciated the help of kind friends who volunteered their time and effort as well as offering creative input and cheery encouragement.

Eyes looking at you

The cat head & body went through many manifestations, ear shapes and whisker directions. Its anthropormphic human size features tested my patience and cat commitment.

My instinct on creating this piece, mixed as it was with lots of different types of tiles, and textures, and with only a modicum of preconception where it was all going….was  inspired by  Ilana Shafir, an Israeli mosaicist who combined various materials together telling stories as the work progresses.

Mosaic by Ilana Shafir

Meanwhile, the real character of cats continue to amaze me…JB is a constant now, and i thank Eartha for bringing him into my life.

JB at home



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COME ALONG TO A  MOSAIC WORKSHOP held on the last weekend of each month, held in a bright and airy studio in Islington, North London.

POP UP PAINTING & EVENTS  are supporting these new sessions – they welcome the opportunity for people to unleash their creativity, have fun in an enjoyable environment and be supported by great tutors!

The next MOSAIC workshop is on 28 & 29th November from 10 – 5pm.

Learn new skills and complete a project in a weekend ! All basic processes are covered with lots of useful information to take away and complete your own future projects.  Or make a unique present! 

*(General & Christmas/festive templates are available)

A weekend course costs £120 including all materials, from 10 – 5pm.  Refreshments are provided. (One day class is also possible @£70).

The venue is at

Unit 4c, Leroy House
436 Essex Rd
N1 3QP

Suggested projects

Materials used

Students work from previous workshops

To book your place :

  • Please contact Debra directly via email for more information and any questions.
  • You can reserve your place with a 50% deposit.
  • Maximum places 6 so early booking is advised.

Eartha (the Cat) is about to step out !

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20151001_152411(1)The second mosaic in the CATWALK series commissioned by Willesden Green Town Team, is nearly completed.

Hoping she will make it in time for Christmas, where it will be installed on Poplars Avenue, near Sainsburys on Willesden Green High Street.

Work began on it back in June, but now the end is in sight!  This is thanks to all the volunteers who have been helping Debra (aka. mosaic therapeee) and who have contributed so much time, support, creativity and incredible patience.

Inpsired and loosely based on one of Louis Wain’s famous cat illustrations from the 1900’s, it is intended to capture the anthropomorphic ( human-like) quality of the grinning cat.

In addition to the cat motif, specially made ceramics  (made by Year 4&5 pupils from Gladstone Park Primary School) have been included which illustrate the local area – such as birds, local landmarks, butterflies, tube signs etc… And if you look closely in the whiskers, you may also find a few handmade mummies!


Just a few more tiles to go, grouting, and then installation!

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Making mosaic helps mind, body and soul whatever your age


Winston’s heart 🙂

Participants at Pepper Pot Day Centre in Ladbroke Grove …

got started this week on their first communal mosaic.  After learning some basic techniques by making small coasters with a ‘heart’, they then got straight in to the communal project and added their own touch to the mosaic mural.

This 10 week project, where I am working with Beatrice from Notre Art and open to Over 50s,  has begun to attract the older members at the Day Centre.  Many who have mobility, movement and sight issues and with early to mid stages of dementia have started to feel the benefits of this creative and social activity. The daily dose of domino games and daytime TV has to wait till tomorrow !

Rose, who had suffered a stroke some years ago, calmly worked on the palm tree in broken tiles picking out various shades of green; Ernest, who assisted with the tile cutting, also made headway on the figure of the dancer and claimed the rest of the motif for his handywork!

Keeping hands and eyes busy proved to be popular – many showed an industrious energy, passion and IMG_20150130_163420445_HDRfeeling for the medium that i did not predict. Others who initially showed unsteady hands, catarracts and concentration difficulties made significant progress to the figures’ clothing, carribean fruit motifs and jamaican flowers!

Just hoping next week there is another full house to keep the mosaic going.  Thanks to Ruth Morrison, the Director, and Russell for their unflinching support so far!
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