Tag Archives: BAMM

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!

P1050885

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights from 2015

Best wishes and a huge ‘Thank You‘  to all my ‘Blog Followers‘ for 2016.  I hope the year is healthy, happy, fun and successful for us all.

2015 was another very successful year for me both mosaic-wise and personally.  Here are some of the mosaic highlights:

 

British Assoc. Mosaic Makers

British Assoc. Mosaic Makers

Uploaded my work onto the BAMM website (British Association for Modern Mosaics) having joined at their AGM the previous October.

Approached to make a large outdoor commission from a client who found me on BAMM website  – a week after I uploaded my work  What timing!

Got my work accepted in the prestigious ‘North East Art Collective Gallery‘ in Newcastle. 12 rooms of art, 150 artists – I am in great company.

Invited to join ‘Wonder Street‘ an invite-only platform where designers and artists showcase and sell their work.

 

Ivy Mirror

Ivy Mirror

Richmond Open Studios – exhibited in Harris & Hoole Coffee Shop in St. Margarets after meeting the lovely Steph.

Had some Coaching with Monica of Live a Life You Love and re-assessed where I want to go with my mosaics – definatley up a few notches

Left All Original after 2 years 3 months – the last piece I sold in the shop went to Greece

Harris & Hoole invited me to continue displaying my work – a fantastic platform for me in a lovely part of Twickenham

 

French Cross

French Cross

Was approached to make a ‘French Cross’ commission for a piece that will be going to live in France. The client saw a mosaic commissioned by their neighbours a few years ago

Finished and delivered The Marple Mosaic

Got my special birthday shed that will be used as a studio

Been making mosaics for 8 years

Met Lesley and displayed my work in her new South Street Gallery in Isleworth, West London

The Marple Collection Exhibition at South Street Gallery

My Meadow House Butterfly

My Meadow House Butterfly

Christmas event at Harris & Hoole

With Kitty and her ‘team’ help make 15 mosaic butterflies for Meadow House Hospice in Ealing

450 Facebook Followers

 

Rosanna’s Mosaic CV

I am always being asked ‘how did you get into mosaics – have you exhibited – where can I see your work?’  I recently put my mosaic CV up onto the BAMM website so thought it would be a goo idea to show it here as well.

The finished result

The Marple Mosaic

COMING UP IN OCTOBER: ‘The Marple Collection’ – an exhibition of exciting new work at South Street Gallery

2015 – August: Invited to join the co-operative of artists at the new ‘South Street Gallery’ in Isleworth.

2015 – July: Harris + Hoole Coffee Shop invited me to display my work on a permanent basis.

2015 – June/July:  Richmond Open Studiosexhibited at Harris + Hoole Coffee Shop, St. Margarets.

2015 – March: Got my work into North East Art Collective’ Gallery’ in Northumberland.

2015 – March: 3rd year in ‘All Original’ shop.

2014 – October: Went to their AGM and joined BAMM.

I think my our work here is done. Thank you LOG CABIN for a great opportunity and fantastic experience.

I think my work here is done. Thank you LOG CABIN for a great opportunity and fantastic experience.

2014 – August: Completed The Log Cabin community project.

2014 – June/July: Took part in ARThouse – Richmond Open Studios with photographer Peter Oliver and 4 other artists, based at The Beany Boo Cafe in Whitton.

2014 – March: 2nd year in All Original’ shop.

2014 – January / February: Exhibited at Court Farm Gallery.

Why not make yet another, even bigger mosaic to raffle?? Souldn't take too long!

‘Hollyhocks’ raised £1,250 for the Log Cabin children’s charity.

2013 – December: Made and raffled a large outdoor mosaic, raised £1,250 for The Log Cabin.

2013 – December: Art and Craft Sale at Pitshanger Methodist Hall.

2013 – March: Started selling my work in the new designer/maker shop ‘All Original’ in Ealing.

2012 – December: Art and Craft Sale at Pitshanger Methodist Hall.

2012 – October: Started selling my work in a designer/maker shop in Whitley Bay, Northumberland.

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

2012 – October: Demonstration evenings at Hobbycraft in Greenford.

2012 – August: Started on a voluntary community project, making several large outdoor mosaics for The Log Cabin children’s charity in West London. 90% materials were donated by small local businesses and individuals.

2012 – July: I was invited to demonstrate at the Traditional Crafts Weekend at The Wetlands Centre in Barnes

Paperweight Stones

Paperweight Stones

2011 – December: My friend Sally who introduced me to Osterley and makes beautiful textile work, suggested we organise an Art and Craft  Sale locally at Pitshanger Methodist Hall, inviting local artists we knew to take part.

2011 – July/August: 2nd Exhibition at The Garden Gallery, Osterley House.

Norweigan Moonlight

Norweigan Moonlight

2011 – April: Exhibition at Runnymede Gallery, Old Windsor.

2010 – December: Christmas Craft Fair at Osterley House.

2010 – April / May: First exhibition at The Garden Gallery, Osterley House, a National Trust Property. My friend Sally sent me an application form and I filled it in! I loved the whole experience and was amazed at the amount I sold.

2009 – October: Got a few pieces of my work into local Ealing shops; Stems flower shop and Barbara Tobias dressmaking studio.

2009 –  March: Julia had originally been taught mosaic by her friend Aimee Harman – an amazing mosaic artist who’s website had really inspired me after that first introduction. Julia and I did a weekend course with Aimee in her fantastic studio – a day of fused glass and then a day of mosaic, incorporating our glass pieces.

Large Terracotta Pot

Large Terracotta Pot

2008 – September: Following the Ros Waites course I did the odd mirror and pot but didn’t really have a mosaic focus. During a weekend trip to Bath I stumbled across the Mosaic Shop on Poultney Bridge and it was like stepping into an Aladins Cave! A riot of beautiful mosaics tiles in different materials and wonderful colours. They also had templates so I bought a ‘zebra design’ and that gave me my focus. This was the point where I got ‘hooked’ on mosaics, I was off!

2008 – April: My friend Anne had also got interested in mosaics and she suggested we did a course. Did a beginners weekend course with Ros Waites, where I was taught how to cut and place, learnt aout the different materials, techniques and basics of mosaic.

My First Mosaic

My First Mosaic

 2007 – 29th July:  Met Julia for the first time and she encouraged me to make my first mosaic, a small coaster.

 

 

 

COMING SOON: Rosanna’s Mosaics and Social Media

 

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

British Association for Modern Mosaic

BAMMFor mosaic makers our ‘representative body’ is BAMM – British Association for Modern Mosaic. It was founded in 1999 and exists to promote, encourage and support excellence in contemporary mosaic art.

Yesturday I went to their AGM and Forum at Kings College on the South Bank, London. Leaving the house at  7am I was in central London bright and extremely early, grabbing a coffee and croissant at Prets before registration.

Although at bit apprehensive as I had not been before, everyone was very welcoming, friendly and helpful.  I met a couple of people I know, Sue and Kitty, and also met some new people, Sally, Karen and Viv – newcomers like myself.

It was a fantastic day, very inspiring and informative with some amazing speakers. Among them were Luciana Notturni from Italy who founded the Mosaic Art School in Ravenna which is recognised as a centre of mosaic excellence. Norma Vondee (President of BAMM) talked about creativity and expression showing some lovely examples of her work.

Laurel True was over from New Orleans to talk about her ‘Global Mosaic Project’. A truly inspirational and enthusiastic speaker who has done an amazing range of community mosaics over a 25 year period including working with people in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and in Haiti after the earthquakes. Through her projects she has worked with hundreds of people and helped to provide job training and arts education  to underserved communities in urban environments and developing areas. Her range of work and projects was amazing and very humbling. Having dipped my toe into community projects when I worked with The Log Cabin, it made me keen to get involved in more so if anyone out there wants to talk about a project, do send me an email and we can talk.

The last speaker was Karen Ami who founded and is the Executive Director of the Chicago Mosaic School, the first school for mosaic arts in the Americas. A very enthusiastic and lively speaker, her subject was ‘Practice and Process in the Mosaic Studio’ which we could all identify with. As well as giving us all great tips, ideas and encouragement, it made me realise how lucky I am to have a dedicated work space to make my mosaics.

BAMMThe ‘full on’ day wound up with a raffle, awards for ‘best mosaic’ and best ‘mega mosaic’. There was a ‘market place’ where I made some modest purchases and a ‘Working Wall’ where people could showcase their work.  By the end of the day myself and my new found mosaic friends felt like part of the BAMM Family. I signed up as a ‘Professional Member’ before I came away  because having had such a great day, I definitely want to be part of this inspiring, and supportive group.