The Bird and Flower Commission

Commissions are sometimes like buses – nothing for a while then 2 arrive at once!

The 2 new arrivals are both very different to what I normally do and to each other so I was very excited about the new challenges.

My friend Sarah, who lives locally and follows me on Facebook, called to say she wanted to commission me for a very specific piece so we arranged for her to come round to discuss the details. She arrived with a beautiful piece of material from her new curtains.  As always I had a lot of questions: size, matt or shiny, framed or not, indoor/outside, budget etc. Once we sorted out the detail we could then move onto the exciting part – selecting the tiles.

Sarah wanted me to re-create the picture from her curtains – a humming bird among flowers. This was a big challenge for me as I don’t often do pictures – I am usually an abstract girl, interpreting something rather than copying it. Also as we were reproducing the picture we needed a perfect colour match.

I got some lovely Mexican tiles which are rich in colour and texture and are very nice to cut and shape. I also decided to use glass to get the length in the bird tail and flower leaves. The background would be matt ceramic tiles which would bring out the vibrancy of the Mexican tiles and glass.

I traced the bird from the material, scaled it up and got to work on that first as it was the main part of the picture. I then worked on the flowers, buds and stems. As always the background went in last.


I am really pleased with the completed piece and so is Sarah. The mosaic is hanging up and looks great on a white brick wall, complimenting (and matching) the curtains. It was a very different style and colour palette to what I would normally do but I really enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone to make the piece and I learnt a lot along the way.

p.s. we both agreed to change the beak – it wasn’t me using artistic licence!

Sarah bought the material from John Lewis, it is called Menagerie by Blendworth Furnishing Ltd,

The curtains were made by Sarah’s friend  Zandra Russell who runs her own business




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