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: Rosanna Mosaic Artist
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.
You may have noticed it has been a bit quiet on the Blog front recently. That is because I have been away on a Cross Country ski-ing holiday in Austria. We had a fantastic time and I am pleased to report that all my limbs are in tact and where they should be – which has not been the case on the past 2 ski holidays! (email me for gory details!!).
Its lovely being away from it all in the mountains with the clear air, silence, stunning views, snow and sunshine. The scenery is breathtaking and I certainly get inspired in that environment. I hope to be able to translate some of my photos into mosaics over the next few months. The first time I went cross country to Norway I was inspired to make this piece, entitled ‘Norwegian Moonlight’.
I will have lots of exciting news to report over the next few months but I thought this would be a good opportunity to ask you, my Blog Followers, what you like to hear about in my Blogs. Since starting the Blog in 2014 I have mostly written about events, commissions and my mosaic journey. I have a lovely loyal following which seems to increase every month – so thank you everyone.
What was it that attracted you to my Blog?
Which of my Blogs do you like best – stories, pictures, inspiration, events, commissions?
Is there anything I don’t mention that you would like to hear about?
How can I make sure I keep your interest and you find my Blogs informative, fun, readable?
Do let me know, after all, you are the ones I am writing for so please help me to keep you reading.
Mishaps happen in all walks of life: personal, professional, domestic and artistic. The common link is that they often happen at the worse time usually when you are rushing about. Also, they cause disproportionate mayhem based on the actual mishap.
During my brief time as a Mosaic Artist I have had my fair share of mosaic miseries and mishaps. A common one is choosing the wrong colour grout – which will totally change the end result, look and feel of a mosaic. Once grouted, there is not really much you can do except to learn by your mistake. Another common mishap is cuts and gashes (squeamish people, look away now). I always use my hands to grout and don’t wear gloves therefore I often cut my fingers on the odd sharp, sticky out bit – which I then know has to be filed down to make smooth. If the grout turns pink – then it is time to stop and reach for the sticking plasters!!
Earlier in the week I was wide awake very early so thought I would get in some mosaic time. Creeping around the house so as not to disturb and wake Alan, I went into my studio and got working on the poppy mosaic for Remembrance weekend. For the centerpiece I needed some of my bright, black shiny beads – top shelf of the cupboard.
I climbed silently but precariously onto the stool and as I was reaching up I lent on the middle shelf to get some leverage. Bad idea – the shelf bracket was loose and the shelf slipped, causing a dozen of my large glass jars, all containing glass beads, marbles etc. to fall smashing to the ground! I literally saw them crashing down in slow motion and as they hit the floor and smashed I saw them scatter and dance all over the studio. By now, Alan was awake!
No actual harm was done except most of my jars were broken and it took me all morning to gather up the slithers of broken glass and catch all the beads, marbles, etc. I am sure I will be finding them for months to come in all sorts of nook and crannies.
REQUEST: Let me know one of your mishaps – the stranger the better!
COMING SOON: Review of 2015
I spend so much time making mosaics as commissions, for galleries or exhibitions that I very rarely make a piece for myself. However, when I got my birthday garden shed, I knew I would be making a mosaic to go onto it. Initially I was going to make a ‘welcome’ sign with the shed name but as I couldn’t decide on the final name, that piece remains on hold.
As I was planting the new garden beds around the shed I suddenly spotted the perfect place for a mosaic, a long triangular inset just above the door. I knew instantly the style of mosaic I wanted and could picture it in my mind. The problem was transposing that complicated idea into such an odd shape, keeping my original concept of the image but making it suitable as a mosaic.
Alan was in charge of cutting the exact size board, it would be wedged into the inset so no room for any error whatsoever – no pressure then! We used Wedi Tilebacker Board (the lightweight cousin of Hardie Bakker Board) which is a very flexible compound that can be cut with a Stanley knife but is meant to be robust enough to go outdoors and is weatherproof. It is the first time I have used it so we shall see, best to experiment on myself rather than a clients commission!
Once I got going I really enjoyed making the piece. It was done in two sections initially and then we used wooden kebab sticks inside to join the pieces together, plus lots of glue and then gaffer tape. The whole structure was very precarious but I needed to mosaic continuous lines and not have an obvious join.
Here is the finished piece in situ – I am delighted with it and am looking forward to having the winter sun shine on it as there is a lot of ‘sparkle’ potential.
REQUEST: Let me know what you think – could ‘shed art’ catch on?
COMING SOON: Mosaic Mishaps!
Please put this date in your diary and come along if you can, it would be great to meet you.
REQUEST: please circulate this post so we get lots of visitors.
COMING SOON: BAMM Annual Conference
I recently published my Mosaic CV so thought it would be a good idea to show my key mosaic pieces.
This is the first piece I made with Julia, a small coaster. No cutting involved but it still took me all afternoon!
This ‘Herd of Zebra’ was made from the template I got from the mosaic shop in Bath. It’s the mosaic that got me hooked on this art form. I am still impressed that I was able to make such a complex early piece.
Once I started going to Kitty’s weekly workshop, with her help and guidance, my work really started to develop and I tried lots of new styles and different ideas.
This was the first time I tried to interpret a photo into a mosaic. It was also my first mosaic showing a real life picture. I still find it hard to interpret scenes into mosaics but I think I am getting there.
‘Hollyhocks’ was my first mosaic using large bathroom tiles. I usually use small mosaic tiles so it was a totally different technique which produced a different style of mosaic. It was raffled for £1 per ticket and raised £1,250 for the Log Cabin children’s charity.
I worked on a voluntary project with the Log Cabin producing 11 large, outdoor mosaics. As well as butterflies, dragonflies and a smily sunshine face, I decided it would be great to finish with a spring and an autumn tree. I had never made anything on this scale before and this is still one of my favourite pictures. I am really proud of the work I did with them and pleased with the mosaics that I made for them.
‘The Marple Mosaic‘ is my largest commission to data . This was a big challenge for me as I don’t usually do ‘geometric’ pieces. However, I really enjoyed the discipline of working with the sharp angles and defined spaces. I am delighted with the finished piece, as are my clients Hillary and Pauline.
These are not ‘key’ as such, but I like them.
REQUEST: Which is your favourite and why?
COMING SOON: A date for your diary.