Category Archives: BAMM

The Marple Mosaic – Happy Birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the MARPLE MOSAIC – 2 years old. I thought I would show you the original blog I published about the piece.  Since then we have remained in regular contact with Hilary and Pauline with Skype calls and visits. I have developed a talk on the mosaic entitled ‘From Inspiration to Installation‘ and I have had an article about the mosaic published in the BAMM magazine ‘Grout‘. The Marple Mosaic continues to receive visitors and praise.

It all started back in February 2015 when I got an email from Hilary and Pauline asking if I would be interested in being commissioned to make a large outdoor mosaic to go into an inset in their walled, courtyard garden.  We then talked on the phone and got on so well that I instantly agreed even though we were not sure what the piece was going to be. Over the next couple of weeks ideas and sketches were discussed and emailed and we very quickly agreed on a piece that we all liked. I could then go shopping for supplies!P1040916

Once I started work we began to Skype so they could see the progress, although I tried to only show snippets rather than  the overall piece, to keep them guessing!  I have kept a pictorial diary of the whole process for them. We have become firm friends during the process and found we are all straight talkers, have similar interests and enjoy a good laugh.

P1040930sOnce it was ready, Alan and I were happy to deliver it and take the opportunity to have a few days in Buxton en route which coincided with our wedding anniversary (Alan honestly said he didn’t mind). On arrival we had a grand unveiling with a bottle of champagne to ‘toast’ the new addition! The WOW factor was incredible and obviously very rewarding for me as I really enjoyed making the mosaic and was delighted they were so happy with it.

Hilary and Pauline had the mosaic installed the next day and we had a trip over to see it in situ and get some photos before we came back to London. I love making commissions and although they can be a bit stressful and worrying, it is all worthwhile when you get the reward of seeing the reaction and praise that shows how happy Hilary and Pauline are with their piece of mosaic art.

P1050254

Adhesives and Grouts

Getting the right tools for the trade is essential for all artists and craftspeople. You should always buy the best materials that you can afford as the quality shines through in the final artwork.

When people see a completed mosaic, hopefully they see a beautiful design, skilled artistry, lots of patience, love and care built into the piece. However, the ‘back room boys’ are also very important – the adhesives and the grouts. In fact they are literally the cement that binds the piece and if you use poor quality materials, no matter how good the mosaic is, the end result will be poor and may not stand up to the test of time.

Fellow BAMM member and mosaic artist Jane Bracey arranged for a small group of us to go on a training day with BAL – Building Adhesives Ltd. Based in Stoke on Trent, they are the market leaders for tiling, delivering innovative products and service solutions for over 50 years. Although their main trade is to tilers and floorers, the mosaic world also form a key part of their business so they were delighted to offer us a day of training in the use of their products.

11 of us arrived to be welcomed by David Rowley who has been with the company for 27 years and was to be our trainer for the day. After a short presentation on their history and  key products we were dispatched to Research and Development. Here we were shown how they put together the various components that make up the adhesives and grouts and innovative ideas for future products. This whole area was fascinating and it was great talking to real scientists. Did you know that they can use rubber, sand or glass in adhesives?  There are a whole range of varying strengths, flexibility and durability to take into account when selecting your adhesives.

We then went to visit Quality Control where it was explained to us how they are able to identify an exact batch of product from a tiny sample using advanced techniques. So although their products are of the highest quality, if there were any problems, they would be able to break down all the component parts in order to resolve the problem.

An excellent buffet lunch – with a huge range of cream cakes – was followed by an afternoon of practical, hands-on demonstrations from David. He said it was quite a novelty training us as obviously their key clients are tilers, floorers, etc. By running this course BAL was able to appreciate the obstacles and challenges us mosaic artists have to overcome and how they may be able to specifically adapt various products to meet  our unique needs. There are a lot of us out there so we do form a huge potential market for them.

As David has been in the business for so long he knew all aspects and was an expert in anything tile related – including grouting. When he wanted to demonstrate various grout techniques I just happened to have my Green Man mosaic which David used as the ‘one I prepared earlier‘. So my Green Man has now been professionally grouted by the Grout Guru.

After a factory tour and collecting our Goodie Bags (which included enough grouts and adhesives to mosaic a football pitch) we all made our way home. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and we all learnt so much. David was happy to answer our numerous questions and queries, some of which even challenged him but he always came up with a solution. Additionally, it was lovely to meet so many other BAMM colleagues. We have all been in touch since and visited each others’ websites and Facebook pages. All our work is so different and seeing their beautiful range of mosaic work emphasised to me yet again how many different styles of mosaics there are and how there is room for us all in this exciting art world.

 

October Update

October is a great month. Although chilly early morning and evening, the days are usually lovely and bright with a hazy autumnal sunshine. I have seen some spectacular sun rises as I do my early morning walks. The trees are turning beautiful colours and its lovely to be out walking in the crisp air kicking leaves. Its also a great excuse for me to start making lovely autumn casseroles to come home to tuck into after a days activities.

This has been a busy month for me mosaic wise, having started it off with an excellent and inspiring BAMM AGM and Conference.  Following on from the workshop I did with Jane Visick, I have been experimenting a lot with glass-on-glass mosaics. This is the one I started at the course with Jane and finished at home. p1060334Although I know it is a very basic version of what Jane was trying to teach us, it has given me a good start and has enabled me to grasp the basics of cutting and shaping the glass. It seems to be a very, very messy process and no matter how neat you try to be, you get tiny shards of glass everywhere so I am forever tidying up after myself. The ‘rule’ of never going into my studio barefoot is even more relevant with glass bits hiding everywhere.  I really enjoy making these glass pieces, I love the long ‘slashes’ of glass and the dramatic effect they create.  I will now need to perfect cutting the smaller pieces and shapes to make up the pictures.

Whilst at the BAMM Conference I got some great news – the new  Tower House Gallery in Northumberland  has taken 6 pieces of my work to display.

Triptych on Slate

Triptych on Slate

I am absolutely delighted as it is a lovely gallery and the quality of work on display is very high indeed. I will be proud to have my work hanging alongside the other artists.  I aim to make them a range of  glass-on-glass pieces and I will also be making another new range of tile and glass mosaic on slate, similar to this triptych.

So its going to be a busy autumn for me with 2 new ranges waiting to be made. We also aim to do the last leg of the Capital Ring  next week, which will just about be within a year of starting it!

 

 

 

A Weekend of Art

It was a full on weekend of art. It all started when my friend Janet came over. Janet and I met in 1976 when we both worked at a telex agency in Little Britain – yes there is such a place just behind St. Pauls. Janet and I share a love of all things craft, cooking and curry.

On the Friday we went to Handmade at Kew.  A four-day contemporary craft event giving visitors the opportunity to meet and buy art from over 200 extraordinary designer-makers including: ceramics, jewellery, fashion and textiles, glass, paper, furniture, metalwork, sculpture and interior accessories. The standard and quality of craftsmanship was outstanding. We spoke to several exhibitors and I have to say, I am tempted to submit my work for consideration next year. It would be quite an expensive outlay but great to be part of such a prestigious event.

British Assoc. Mosaic Makers

On Saturday I went to the BAMM AGM and Forum. As always, the range of speakers was fantastic and although it is only my 2nd year as a member, I felt very at home and quite honoured to be part of this amazing mosaic family.

Rosanna-Henderson

Wendy and Julie

 

Unfortunately I had to leave early as I had been invited to appear on the Christmas edition of Crafty Beggars in the House and they were filming that day.  Although I had to miss 2 BAMM speakers, I couldn’t resist the chance of being back with the Crafty Beggars team. It was lovely to see everyone and apart from the delightful Julie and Wendy, the Crew were the same and I met some of the Crafters that I knew from the previous shows. We ate mince pies, drank Prosecco and shared some truly dreadful Christmas jokes and stories.

P1040824Normally at Crafty Beggars I would have been demonstrating but as I was at the Conference I decided in true Blue Peter style to ‘take something I had made earlier’. So there I was at 7.30am going into Waterloo on the London Underground for the BAMM Conference with Rufus Reindeer. Despite a lot of stares, not one person on the train said anything – talk about the elephant / reindeer in the room! It was the same going on the overground  to film later on. However, at BAMM he received lots of compliments and pats on the head!

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Here’s one I made earlier in glass

Sunday was just as hectic. I was back at BAMM (minus Rufus) to do a Glass Mosaic Workshop with Jane Visick.  It was an excellent day and Jane is a great teacher. She taught us the intricacies of cutting glass into detailed, specific shapes and how to build up a picture.  I have used glass in my mosaics before but now I feel much more confident in using it to much better effect. We also picked up lots of tips and good ideas throughout the day – including ‘when did you last ‘turn’ your wheeled cutters’,  and the best glue to use for glass-on-glass.

By the end of the weekend I was ‘art-ed’ out, exhausted but very happy with everything I had done, plus I had learnt a new skill. The only possible way to relax was with a glass of wine watching Strictly.

 

 

March Update

Off Kilter Marple

Off Kilter Marple

Goodness I can hardly believe that it is now officially ‘spring’ and we are quickly heading towards the end of March.  It must be time for a quick update.

My aim for this year is to get into some more Galleries as I like to think this is where my work should be heading with some larger, stunning pieces of mosaic art. Next week I  have been invited to visit a Gallery with a view to them taking some of my pieces to display. I shall keep you posted but in the meantime, please keep your fingers crossed for me.

Crafty Beggars in the House, series one, is currently being shown so if you have cbithmissed any episodes you can catch up by going to the Community Channel website and going to ‘On Demand’.  I shall be in series 2 which will be shown sometime in April. I will let you know dates when I know.

The lovely presenters Julie Peasgood and Wendy Turner Webster  have recently asked me what my top mosaics tips are. It was good to take time away from actual mosacing to consider the things I think are important and relevant that  I would say to someone who is thinking of having a go at mosaics. With the technical magic of their web designer Mark Saltmarsh, my Top Tips are now on their website. Do go and have a look and let me know what you think: www.craftybeggarsTV.com. I am now considering doing a little series of Top Tips to put on the Blog,  covering other aspects of mosacing – what areas would you like to hear tips about? Do email and let me know: rosannasmosaics@gmail.com

I am delighted to say that I have had an article published in the ‘Grout Magazine’ about my Marple Mosaic commission. Grout is the newsletter for BAMM – British Association for Modern Mosaics, which is sent to all their members.

Butterfly Makers

Butterfly Makers

And finally, you will remember that Kitty organised and led a group of us to make 15 mosaic butterflies for Meadow House Hospice.  I am delighted to report that they now adorn the bedroom doors at the hospice. They look fantastic and everyone is really pleased with them.

Have a great Easter everyone and see you all in April.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hat-Trick – The Commission

 

Things have been really busy in my mosaicing life and there are lots of exciting activities going on.

I was delighted to receive a commission from a new client. It is for a large outdoor piece to go into a recess in the wall of their lovely courtyard garden. Pictures of the space and garden were sent and telephone conversations have taken place. Its been great discussing ideas and colour schemes and over the course of several calls and emails, we have found we are very similar and are kindred spirits.

Dolphin

Dolphin

I do love having commissions although they are quite stressful as well. In effect you have to get inside the clients mind to visualise what they want. Some people are very clear and precise, while others leave it totally up to you.

This client had a few initial ideas that we discussed and I sketched up. They have developed and evolved and  now we have a design agreed that we are all happy with and will suit the space and environment perfectly.  It is quite a geometric design and will have bold, strong colours. I will use a range of glass tesserae along with quite a few iridescent tiles. I will be keeping a picture diary so the client can see all the different stages and processes involved. I can’t wait to start!

Door Numbers on Roof Tiles

Door Numbers on Roof Tiles

The client found me through the BAMM website. BAMM is the representative body for mosaic makers and although I felt I ought to join them, I didn’t feel I was ready to until I went to their AGM late last year  and signed up on the day. Funnily enough with Christmas and being unwell, I had not had a chance to get my profile onto the BAMM site until this February – about a week before my client starting looking for a mosaic artist!  Timing is everything.

Carol's Mirror

Carol’s Mirror

 

I have now got my profile on BAMM well underway and have put up my mosaic CV. I am amazed at how much I have done.  Please do go and have a look. I am shown under ‘Artists’ as Henderson, Rosanna.

 

THE REQUEST: If you are interested in commissioning apiece of mosaic art (indoors or outside, large or small) please do give me a call and we can have an initial chat. All pictures on this blog are commissioned pieces.

Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing

 COMING SOON: The other parts of the Hat-Trick