Welcome to 2017 and my first Blog of the year. I hope this year is HAPPY, HEALTHY, SUCCESSFUL and FUN for you all. Here are my pictorial highlights from 2016 – in no specific order. Let me know your favourite picture.
Tag Archives: Mosaic Art
July and August are such strange months, the roads are deserted but tube trains, museums and London parks are full to bursting with families and tourists enjoying the summer holidays. The mosaic world takes a holiday as well and I have managed to get away myself as it has been very quiet on the mosaic front. I have also taken the chance to have a sort out and tidy my studios ready for the autumn rush – she says hopefully!
I made this butterfly during summer for my sister’s newly born great niece. I had made her big sister a pink elephant when she was born 3 years ago so it seemed fair that another mosaic was in order. I have used quite a few ‘glitter’ tiles so it should really sparkle on her bedroom wall.
Following on from the fantastic response and reception we got from O’Grady Court on the OPEN Ealing mosaic project, I have volunteered to make them a mosaic to go onto another wall in their lovely rooftop garden. The last voluntary project I did was at the Log Cabin, a children’s charity, so I am more than happy to make a piece for the residents at this lovely sheltered housing organisation. I have had the initial meeting with them and we talked through ideas, where it would be placed etc. After lots of discussion we came up with the final choice of mosaic so it is now up to me to get sketching and decide on the size, colours etc. Hopefully I shall have some progress pictures for you soon.
I have just received a new commission for 2 stepping stones. I have made several stepping stones in the past, notably my sundials and the ammonite. They are great fun to do and lend themselves well to the mosaic medium. As they are so durable and robust they are ideal for a garden, flowerbed or patio. This client has asked if I am able to do 2 horoscope star signs – I think that is a brilliant idea and I am a bit disappointed I hadn’t thought of that idea before myself! Obviously I said ‘yes’ so I am now looking at sizes, colours, designs etc.
So after the lull of summer comes the storm of new projects – I am looking forward to getting back to work and mosaicing again.
LONDON ACTIVITY: So many of my Blogging Followers have been asking me how I am getting on with the CAPITAL RING walk so here is progress to date: We have now completed 7 stages of the Capital Ring and have crossed the river to north London. Combining stages 4 & 5 took us from Crystal Palace to Wimbledon Park via Streatham, Tooting and Wandsworth Commons. Stage 6 was probably one of our favourite routes starting at Wimbledon Park with its massive boating lake and overlooking the City skyline, passing the famous windmill on Wimbledon Common, lovely walking over Putney Heath which took us up into Richmond Park. Now we felt we were on ‘home territory’ but as we went through Richmond Park we crossed through lovely parts that we didn’t know existed. When we walked down past Pembroke Lodge, through Petersham Meadows and to completion at the river by Richmond Bridge, it was great to be able to hop on a bus to get home. Stage 7 was definately our local patch and the walk took us on a familiar route that we have cycled or walked many, many times. The end of the route was literally ’round the corner’ to home!
We are sure that the Capital Ring route used to come past the bottom of our road so I am wondering if anyone out there has a copy of the Capital Ring book pre the re-print in 2014. If you have, please do get in touch and let me know the old route.
When Maud from OPEN Ealing asked me if I would like to run a Mosaic Workshop for the local children during their half term art programme, I was delighted. I love working on community projects and I couldn’t resist the idea of introducing children to the wonderful art form of mosaic
OPEN Ealing is an arts centre that is the focus for creative excellence,inclusion and aspiration. Their aim is to introduce a refreshing cultural space and exciting arts programmes to the community by bringing artists, performers, art groups and residents together, promoting creativity and creating new opportunities.
The remit was that during the week children would carry out various art projects ‘Following in the Footsteps of’ a famous artist. To be honest, one of my favourite artists is Rembrandt who’s dark and m0ody self portraits do not lend themselves to a children’s bright mosaic project! No worries, I would decide on the mosaic first and then work in an artist.
It was agreed that rather than make individual pieces, we would make one large mosaic which we would donate to a local organisation. Maud identified O’Grady Court, a sheltered housing complex, who were delighted with our offer of a mosaic for their beautiful rooftop garden.
My biggest challenge was not knowing how many children would turn up, their ages and artistic ability. I didn’t want anything too simplistic that would not catch their imagination but I was also aware that if the piece was too large I would be doing a lot of mosaicing at home that night! Also, how do a group work on one piece while putting their personalised stamp on it. Eventually I took inspiration from the trees I made for the Log Cabin, lots of different sections with varied styles within the overall piece.
Luckily for me my nephew Steven, a maths teacher, was coming to stay for the weekend so as soon as he arrived he was given a cold beer and told to ‘design’ a tree made up of squares, rectangles and other mathematical shapes – all alien to a ‘creative’ like me!
On the day 10 children arrived and were immediately attracted to the beautiful glass tiles, shiny ceramic beads and glittery adornments. Working in pairs, they selected the sections they wanted to work on and then, armed with their handfuls of ‘coloured treasure’, started to design their section before placing and sticking them in the main piece. They were totally engrossed and were determined that the mosaic would be finished within the session, so all of them were working flat out. Each section is very individual – some of the children were incredibly neat, others were colour focused, many had an abstract slant. The end result is a fantastic ‘mix n match’ of different styles, all very distinctive but they all work in harmony as a whole.
I hope you will agree that our ‘Picasso Influenced Cubist Tree‘ is a great success.
Residents from a sheltered accommodation complex in West Ealing were presented with a very special mosaic for their garden from some of the young people who helped make it.
During OPEN Ealing’s May 2016 half term workshops, youngsters aged 8 to 14 followed in the steps of famous painters such as Klee, Klimt, Kandinsky and Van Gogh, using varied artistic treatments.
Led by local mosaic artist Rosanna Henderson, the children collaborated to create a cubist tree. When Rosanna suggested they made a large piece of art to be donated to a ‘good home’, the young people quickly agreed and the communal rooftop garden at O’Grady Court was the natural choice – being in the centre of West Ealing and providing sheltered and supported accommodation for retired people over the age of 55.
Birgit Huhn, Manager of O’Grady Court, on Melbourne Avenue, has been extremely supportive of the project from the outset and she and some enthusiastic residents came to OPEN Ealing during the workshop session to see the piece being created.
O’Grady Court and OPEN Ealing are practically neighbours and this project has reignited their collaboration and stimulated the residents into taking art classes themselves in the future. Perhaps they will return the favour and do a piece for a local school? Mandie Wilde of OPEN Ealing commented, “the piece created in a 2 hour session and finished by Rosanna to make it suitable for garden ornamentation, is amazing. Not only have the workshop participants grasped the technique of mosaic and the famous practitioners, they have added their own touches making it very personal. The standard is amazing and we are delighted that OPEN Ealing can facilitate workshops like this and encourage raw talent.”
OPEN Ealing wishes to particularly thank the children for their dedication in producing such a beautiful work of art, Rosanna for her skilful lead on the workshop and finishing touch on the piece, our volunteers Ruth Holmstock and Stephanie Sundle for their precious help during the workshop, Birgit Huhn and Catalyst’s O’Grady Court management and maintenance teams for their support of the project, and finally the residents for their enthusiasm.
This article appeared in the Ealing Today Newsletter this week. Thanks to OPEN Ealing and AnneMarie from Ealing Today for writing the article and initiating and supporting the project.
NEXT BLOG: The story behind the mosaic.
When I meet people and they learn I make mosaics they often ask ‘Do you take commissions’. The answer to this question is a resounding YES.
I have made several commissions over the years. Some large, some small, indoors and for outside. I have made company logos, door numbers, pieces for new borns, wedding presents. Panels to go into bathrooms, kitchens and pieces that have gone into gardens as well as several pieces that have gone abroad.
I really enjoy taking on an exciting, new piece of work. Liaising closely with my clients, I design and create both practical and decorative items to match their own style, colour scheme and personality. I always make sure I spend enough time with the client discussing their exact requirements, purpose of the piece and any special or quirky requests they may have. I can usually fit into their budgetary requirements as I try to keep my prices at a realistic level so anyone can afford an original piece of mosaic art.
If you are thinking of revamping your kitchen or bathroom and want something a bit different, a specially commissioned splash back or inset panel could be just the thing to give it your personal stamp. Or how about a mirror or wall hanging in a newly decorated room?
When you commission me you can be sure that you are buying a unique, original piece of mosaic art. Each piece is individual and all my own work. I do not mass produce and no one helps me at any stage with the mosaic.
Here are some nice stories about 2 previous commissions:
Here are some examples of previous commissions.
If you are interested, or know of someone who might be keen on commissioning a piece of work, please feel free to give me a call on 07961 134 033 so we can have an initial chat, there is no obligation and I am always happy to chat to people who want more info on my work.
When I was filming my TV appearance on ‘Crafty Beggars in the House’ the lovely Julie and Wendy asked me for my Top Mosaic Tips. As I started to write them down I realised it would make a nice little series of articles.
So, here are my TOP TIPS on getting started if you are new to mosaic making. I hope you enjoy them and I an happy to answer any questions you may have.
TOP TIPS: To get you started on mosaic making
THE TRADITIONAL ART OF MOSAIC MAKING
MOSAIC ART is one of the most ancient art forms used by the ancient Greeks, the Romans and several other cultures throughout the centuries. Like any great art, there has been ‘phases’ and periods’ throughout history from the traditional Roman style, the geometric Greek patterns, Byzantine and Gaudi to name a few. Mosaic art is still relevant today and again, takes many forms. The end result is totally unique and very different to any other art form.
Mosaics are incredibly versatile. They can be used in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Extremely durable and hardwearing they last for ages. They can be decorative, practical, tiny, huge, delicate and robust, 2D or 3D. They are sometimes very heavy! Traditional, contemporary, pictorial, abstract – they can be anything your imagination can think of.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
The first mosaic I ever made was a small coaster and it took me all afternoon. I still have it, my lucky mosaic that comes with me on exhibitions and demonstrations.
Whenever I give lessons I usually ask people to send me an idea of what they would like to mosaic. To be honest, most people over estimate what they will be able to achieve in a first lesson. One person bought along a picture of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. Another saw my ‘Robin’ mosaic and asked if they would be able to make that in an afternoon – I said ‘I hope not, it’s took me ages to make and I found it very challenging’!! So keep it simple, a coaster, mirror or trivet is a good starting point. You can then progress to pots, door numbers and small hanging plaques.
There are all sorts of surfaces that you can mosaic on. Obviously wood but also slate, stone, mirror, tiles – in fact anything that is fairly flat and non-flexible. I often mosaic on terracotta roof tiles, they are flat, weatherproof and durable, plus I am recycling so it’s a win-win situation all round.
INDOOR or OUTDOOR?
Mosaics are great for indoor or outdoor spaces and look lovely in a garden setting. I have a lovely sun/moon on my shed. Make sure you decide in advance where it is going to go as you may need to use different materials and adhesives for outside display. Mosaic pots overflowing with herbs look delightful and just imagine a lizard creeping through your rockery, or a sunshine stepping stone.
So there are some tips to get you thinking and ready to start. Next time we will look at INSPIRATION and MATERIALS
This year I intend to continue offering Mosaic Lessons to people who are interested in learning the basic, first stages of mosaic making.
I offer one day lessons on an ad-hoc, request led basis. These are usually for small groups of up to 4 people or on a one-to-one basis. They are held in my West London studio and I provide all the materials needed.
People know that I am a ‘hands-on’ type of person and that is how I run my lessons. I don’t spend much time on the theory and history of mosaic as you can read up on all of that in various books and the internet. I like you to get your sleeves rolled up and your hands dirty straight away. The aim is to make a small piece that hopefully can be completed and taken home that day. The sessions are informative, relaxed and fun and will give people a flavour of the very early stages of mosaic making.
I usually find that people are a bit over optimistic about their ‘first piece’ and they come along with all sorts of stunning, complex images from the internet. One person even asked if she could make an interpretation of Van Goughs ‘Sunflowers’ in her beginners class. I thought ‘I hope not’ otherwise I will have major competition in the mosaic field!! But joking apart, I do try to meet expectations once people realise that mosaic is its own art form. If you bring a water colour painting to mosaic, the completed piece will look like a mosaic, not a watercolour painting.
Whatever type of session you need, I can usually accommodate it.
Sometimes people have an idea of the piece they want to make and they may even have some special tiles they would like to use. In that case, I am happy to work with them to achieve that piece. Other times, people know the basics (they may have even had a previous lesson with me) but just need a bit of help maybe starting or finishing a piece. Again, I am happy to spend an odd hour here and there and would charge on an hourly basis. I have some people who just like to come for the odd half a day now and again and mosaic and chat, again, happy to accommodate.
So, if you think you would like to have a go at making your first mosaic, or if you think you would like to try and find your creative side, consider booking a mosaic lesson with me. They also make great gifts and you could have a joint session with a friend.
Here is a quote from Linda who made this lovely Beach Scene mosaic.
“If you are looking for a Basic Mosaic Course for Beginners, Rosanna is your person….she will lead you, very professionally, through everything you need to know to make your first mosaic…… it is a very “full on” day, but at the end of it, you will come away with your own magical personal mosaic” – Linda Edrich
Give me a call or drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more info on my Mosaic Lessons.
I’ve always known I’m artistic but had never found my medium. I can’t draw, paint or sew, I certainly can’t play a musical instrument or sing (well, not in public at any rate). Having a hectic job and a busy social lifestyle I was content to let my arty side manifest itself in my cooking and gardening. I love colour and had an office full of coloured pens, inks, pots of acyrilic paints – but what to do with them? I was content to look at them and add to the collection now and again. I did like ‘colouring in’ but there has never been any colouring potential for grown ups apart from ‘painting by numbers’ Hmmm, I certainly missed a gap in the market there didn’t I!!
That is why I will always be eternally grateful to Julia who introduced me to mosaics and BINGO, I’d found my medium.
I am now in my 8th year of mosaic making and having got a good grasp of the basics, I am ready to develop to the next level. However, being a very practical person, I am not very good at making a mosaic ‘just because I want to’. I tend to need a reason – e.g. its a commission, its going into the shop/gallery. That is partly why I have done exhibitions – not because I think my work is so marvelous the world and his wife ought to see it (although it is nice if people do like and appreciate my work), but because it gives me an outlet and reason for making pieces. It is necessary to have an outlet as there is a limit to how many mosaics you can have round the house and garden!
However, if I want to progress my work, I have to experiment and try new methods and techniques. So my artistic resolution for 2016 is to make a new piece ‘because I want to’, ‘because I want to learn a new technique/style’, ‘because I have a lovely tile I want to use’, ‘because I want to try a colourscheme’ or ‘just because’ without having an end home for the piece. I am hoping that once made, it will find a home for itself anyway.
This has been the case with Baboushka as I liked the idea of the silhouette with flowing hair. Where she will end up, goodness knows. My next venture will be glass on glass because I want to learn how that works.
Wish me luck with my resolution. As I often (jokingly) say ‘I am going to work really hard at being spontaneous’!
January and February are usually film fest time for me. So far: Bridge of Spies, The Danish Girl. To come: The Revenant, The Room, The Hateful Eight.
This is my first completed mosaic of 2016.
Last year I had in my mind that I wanted to mosaic a female silhouette with long flowing hair – very 60s and psychedelic. When I was at South Bank Mosaics last October for the BAMM Conference, I saw a beautiful mosaic on the wall that had a silhouette with birds flying from it that made the main mosaic. I asked David Toothill (Artistic Director of South Bank Mosaics and Chair of BAMM) if I could use the silhouette image in my own mosaic, and he kindly agreed.
She was going to be made in very muted colours using ceramic flat tiles. As I worked on her at Kitty’s weekly sessions, she became affectionately known as Abigail (from Abigail’s Party). As usual, I couldn’t resist using more colour than I originally planned and the flashes of gold and bronze were added. I then went to see Donovan in concert and promptly renamed her Jennifer Juniper. However, oldies like me will remember the lyrics to that song ‘lilacs in her hair…..hair of golden flax’ she was such a gentle soul that didn’t fit the ‘wild child’ that the mosaic was turning into. Once the piercing black eyes and the red lip slash were added, she became much more menacing – the type of women that would play a nasty trick on her husband ‘she wants to test her husband, she knew exactly what to do’ (from Lyrics by Kate Bush) so I then realised that she was a perfect BABOUSHKA!
I may still make a Jennifer Juniper. Sadly, I am now also thinking I may need to make another one and call her ‘Jean Genie’ in tribute to the great man, as that is one of my all time favourite songs.
A great start to the year with an exhibition by the brilliant and mind-bending MC Escher at The Dulwich Picture Gallery.
Lumiere London this weekend – the UK’s largest light festival with spectacular art works, interactive installations and 3D projections.
So here is my favourite picture of the year – The Marple Mosaic.
Several reasons: my biggest commission to date, my first geometric mosaic which turned out really well, a fantastic story, made great friendships with the clients Hilary and Pauline, moved me up to the next level of mosaic making.
My Sun and Moon because I really love this mosaic and see it every day on my shed. Rufus Reindeer because I didn’t want a ‘cartoon’ animal and think I have the right level with him.
A VERY HAPPY, HEALTHY AND FUN NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL.
THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING MY BLOG AND I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ALL AGAIN IN 2016 WITH MY HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS YEAR.