New mosaic dedicated to bread-making!

I’m currently working on an exciting new commission for a Bread Maker in France @ La Ferme d’Herteloup. The mosaic has been made off site on wedi boards in UK and will be installed later this month!

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Ive been collaborating with Paul Bassingthwaighte, who made the ceramics of wheat, birds, butterflies, a Christ figure (head with flowers of thorns), fools (modern gargolyles), and hands. He’s a talented painter and film maker and making ceramics pieces has been a new direction for him too.

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We’ve had a very creative few months interpretting Nick ‘s ideas (who owns the farm and makes the bread amonst other things) and hope that it represents some of his passions, as well as a few of our own.

Materials included stained glass to create a bursting light-filled sun in the centre of the mosaic artwork , gold mirror on the arch of wheat and included colourful shards of Paul’s broken ceramic plates around the white filled background, (It’s all useful stuff and popular in French mosaic style Pique Assiette).

The final addition to the menagerie of creatures scattered around the mosaic was the gecko as something tactile hopefully in reach for Nick’s young son to touch as he grows up.

wheat and gecko

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The mosaic itself will be installed around the chimney of a traditional bread making oven.

On the lower part of the wall will be the ceramic hands within the larger hand to represent all the people who are receiving the bread and who have ‘had a hand’ in making it.

Very excited as about to set off for France to install it.  Will post pictures in situ soon… A bientot!

Eartha Steps Out – some new pics & video

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Thanks to everyone who came to the launch event of the new Mosaic in Willesden Green .

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 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… http://vimeo.com/159765245

Feline Antics

Welcome two new cats in 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.
Eartha, however, is a mosaic artwork and the second in the ‘Catwalk’ Series inspired by the strange and wonderful anthropomorphic illustrations of Louis Wain. This one is based on a ‘Norwegian Forest’ breed with a big sideways mysterious grin.

Gladstone Park Primary School pupils held a ceramucs workshop and 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.

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

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

Classes starting from November 2015 at a new venue!

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.

To book your place : contact@createmosaic.com

Making mosaic helps mind, body and soul whatever your age

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Heart Coasters were put together to make a mirror frame
This week I’ve been running the Mosaic Mural Projects with participants at The Pepper Pot Centre in Ladbroke Grove …

After giving them confidence 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.

Dancers, musical instruments etc! The mosaic is based on 1950s record covers of Calypso music, such as this one below.  There are some really fascinating record covers out there!

Beatrice from Notre Art has been working hard to get word out and attract new members at the Day Centre.

Many of the particiipants 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 !

Keeping hands and eyes busy proved to be popular – many showed an industrious energy, passion and feeling 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, 20150130_120514 (1)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!

‘SPELLBOUND’- an Alfred Hitchcock mosaic-inspired exclusive!

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Entering the tube station – ‘To Catch a Thief’

Wondered around Leytonstone Tube station yesterday, (actually, on purpose) to visit the Alfred Hitchcock film Mosaic Series. This was made by the Greenwich Mural Workshops in 2001  to mark the centenary of his birth…

Memorable scenes or ‘stills’ have been picked from specific films and used as the motifs for the mosaic series.  These scenes showed examples of lead dramatic moments in the film, such as an action fight on a merry-go-round, or strong shadows highlighting the tension in the scene.  I was captivated! (or on the edge of my seat were I in the cinema, of course.)

The mosaic itself is incredibly powerful; bright colours in vitreous glass tessarae are used to set off the designs, acid pink, electric blue or spine-chilling citrus yellow. Repetitive shapes/andamento next to details such as faces or hands are contrasted against each other which give the mosaic real impact, just as impressive as the lighting of the films themselves. There’s much more to say, but here are my first impressions – backgrounds of cirles and swirls, outlining, sharp highlights, tonal gradation etc etc – bold shapes and designs.

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Detail from ‘Strangers on a Train’

Different scenes from films such as North by NorthWest (a plane chasing a lone man in the background), Number 17 (two men leaning out of a train) and The Birds are represented (terrifyingly!).  But the mosaic work also celebrates his life and times – the fact he grew up in the area (portrayed outside his father’s greengrocers shop) and images of him at work with different actors/actresses.  Reminds me of the recent film about him…

There’s also a Hitchcock hotel down the road in Leytonstone – though you’d be a bit Psycho to stay there…)

Baby, its cold outside!

Despite the winter chill approaching, had a great day with Willesden Green Town Team‘s Elayne, Deborah et al with a sumptious smattering of Transport For London colour co-ordinated cakes for sale (made by Daniel & Mashud of TFL). A few mosaic stars, and Louis, the cat mosaic, souvenir postcards were also available!  Donations were sought for the WGTT and they raised quite a bit for future cakes (oops, I meant upcoming projects) for the local area!

Oh, and there was this band Parralox too, not your average Xmas carolling, but kick started our party nonetheless! (with mulled wine – provided by MAPRA) and not forgetting the Wood burner stove that Pat brought from his garden so we wouldn’t catch our death of cold.

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