Monday, 6 January 2020

Happy new year, blogger friends!

These Kandinsky inspired mosaics are particularly versatile, as I can make any size or colour combo, for any spac.

Every year over Christmas, like most people, I take a break from my work of snipping and making mosaics, and I always wonder whether this will be the year that I don't miss it.  But as I wave my two sons off to uni, and my daughter starts the school term again, I find myself itching to get back in the studio and to start creating again!  This always comes as a relief as what I do really has to be something I WANT to do.  The odd mosaic I have made when my heart isn't in it, still remain in a box under my studio table!


A selection of my flower mosaics 


The lovely thing about the media of mosaics, is that I never know what I will be asked to make next, as it is so versatile - from floors to wall art to signs to furniture to doorsteps, for inside and out - there is never a dull moment, and I feel very grateful for that.  I like to think I can turn my hand to most things now, and I really enjoy being presented with a challenge.  Over the years I have collected all sorts of tiles - colours, textures, depths - and I really enjoy trying to use them in as many inventive ways as I can.  My snipping skills have improved over the years (with a lot of practice), and I can now create most shapes I want to, to create a specific effect or atmosphere.


My original mosaics can come in all shapes and sizes and can be used for all sorts of things!


The colour of the grout I use also makes a big difference to the overall look of the final mosaic - different shades bring out different colours.  I always do a test piece first before grouting the whole piece just to be on the safe side - it is almost impossible to ungrout a mosaic!


See how different coloured grouts bring out different coloured tiles!


So with all these options and possibilities, I look forward to the variety of mosaics I hope to create in 2020, and hopefully provide some joy with their originality and vibrancy.  I will share them with you as the year progresses, so do keep a look out for my posts.  Maybe one day, a mosaic I create for you will feature here ... www.felicityballmosaics.com


A collection of mosaic bistro table designs - practical and a work of art!



Many thanks for reading, and do get in touch if there is a mosaic you would like me to make for you.
felicityball@justmosaics.co.uk

Felicity x


Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Mosaic commission for OMD telephone box - part 2

Dear blogger friends,

I thought you might like to know how the mosaic floor panel for the Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark telephone box turned out.

In my last blog post here, https://justmosaics.blogspot.com/2019/05/hello-blogger-friends-sorry-not-to-have.html -  I reached telling you about the commissioning of the mosaic floor panel in the style of the 'Red Frame White Light' record cover.
So, firstly I drew the design on a 80cm x 80cm square of cement board - getting the stripes in the right place was tricky!


 But once drawn, I could get on with cutting the white stripes - hand cutting a straight line in very hard porcelain tiles is difficult, but I got there in the end.

I wanted the three colours of the mosaic panel to be at different angles to each other, so I cut the red tiles first, sticking them one way, and the slightly bigger dark grey tiles in another direction.

With all the snipping done, we grouted the mosaic in dark grey exterior grout.  This was easier than with some mosaics, as all the tiles were the same width, as they had to be flat for the floor to be level.

I sent a photo of the finished mosaic to my OMD superfan client and she loved it.

Part of the commission agreement was for us to install the mosaic in the telephone box, so, bright and early one morning, we drove to Liverpool (4 hours away) and met my client at the phone box.

We cleared the floor of any debris etc, mixed some cement, covered the floor with it and placed the mosaic floor panel on top - thankfully it was a perfect fit!


We finished off the installation by smoothing cement round the edge and wiping it clean - job done!

It would take 24 hours or so to dry so the door was locked, just to be on the safe side!
So ended a really fun and unusual commission which I loved being part of.  I hope the OMD fans like it too!

What next, I wonder?!

Thanks for reading,
Felicity

Monday, 27 May 2019

Mosaic commission for OMD telephone box

Hello Blogger friends,

Sorry not to have written for a while, but I like to choose carefully the subject of my posts, and try and only write about mosaic projects I think you might be interested in.

So, how about this one?

I received an email and then a follow up call recently, from a lady in North West England who had an interesting project she wanted help with.
She is a super fan of the band, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD omd.uk.com), and a group of fans had acquired the telephone box in The Wirral which the band used in the eighties as their office, before the arrival of mobile phones.
They were in the process of renovating it.  They had had had art work commissioned for the windows, a new telephone installed with messages from the band and so on.- brilliant!



She asked me if I would quote for a mosaic floor for the telephone box, in the style of one of their album covers.  Never a dull moment in my job!


So we agreed on the size 80cm x 80cm, design, colours and price, and I am very much looking forward to start making it very soon.  It will be on cement board, using porcelain tiles, exterior grout and glue, and then we will seal it.

Keep a look out for updates!
Thanks for reading,
Felicity x

Thursday, 13 December 2018

The making of a bespoke dog mosaic

One thing I love about my job is the variety of commissions I am asked to make.  Now, to be honest, in the past, I have steered away from doing mosaics of people and pets.  It is very hard to get a true likeness, which I have found disappointing, which leads to me worrying about disappointing my client.
But when I received an enquiry a few months ago to make a mosaic of a dog, Vinnie, who had sadly recently passed away, I just wanted to do it.  Vinnie spent a lot of time in the garden with his owners and they wanted an exterior mosaic to hang on the wall, so that he would somehow be with them still - pet owners will know what I mean ...
So my client sent me three or four photos of Vinnie and I chose one to base the mosaic on - see below.


As the mosaic was for outside, I used cement board as my backing and porcelain tiles.  I am lucky enough to have found a supplier with a wide selection of colours to choose from (www.mosaictrader.co.uk)
Now came the tricky bit ... I started with drawing a design of Vinnie and checked with my clients that I had captured the essence of Vinnie well enough.






I started with the dark brown defining tiles first, and then, as you can see above, started to build up the other shades of his fur, using the colour and shapes of the tiles to show his front legs, undercarriage etc.

I always leave the face until last, as it is the most difficult part to get right. It takes a lot of trial and error, but finally I was happy it was as good as it could be, as close to Vinnie as possible.


As Vinnie was quite long and thin in the mosaic, I decided to put a frame around it to finish it off, before doing the background.


I made the tile pieces quite big for the background, to have as much colour as possible and not detract from the detail of Vinnie.  Then finally the grouting, and here is the finished article!


It was a tricky commission, but I am very pleased with the result and thankfully so are my clients - here is what they said - 
'Just to let you know I received the package today and it arrived safely it is amazing thank you so much for doing the mosaic 
Our Vinnie is back home and we have something lovely to look at every day
Thank you'

Until next time, and thank you for reading,
Felicity x

Monday, 27 August 2018

An astronomical doorstep mosaic commission

Hello blogger friends,

I just thought I would share with you a recent mosaic commission of mine.  As I often think with my work, there is never a dull moment, and this particular job certainly shows that!

Following a telephone enquiry, my client asked for a mosaic doorstep for her house in the UK reflecting its name - Observatory House. By making it on cement board, using porcelain tiles, exterior grout and sealing it, this was something I could make for her, ensuring it was as enduring as it could possibly be.  We offered two options - two pieces or a triptych design, including two alcoves - she went for latter - see below.


The installation was being done by her own builders - all we asked for were accurate measurements  for the doorstep and a flat surface for it to be laid on.
My client was also celebrating her Ruby wedding anniversary, so she asked us to look into the possibility of showing constellations in the approx place they would have been on their wedding day forty years ago.  An interesting challenge...  But the internet can be a wonderful thing, and we came up with the below constellation map for her. www.posterhaste.com (Excuse the creases - a lot of work, thought and rubbing out went into it!)


Once we had agreed that the constellations were as accurate as possible, we decided on the font for the text.  As you can see, my client wanted Observatory House in Latin and we chose Alegreya SC Regular. 


With the design agreed, I could then get on with the making, to be ready in time for my client's ruby wedding party - no pressure then!  Below is the design drawn on the cement board.  With the tiles having arrived, I was ready to go - let the snipping begin!


 Here are a series of progress pictures ....








And there you have it!
My client also requested a display she could put up in her house with details of the constellations, how I made it etc ....


I hope you enjoyed hearing about this, my latest commission - I am so lucky to have such varied work, and I also know a lot more about the constellations now!
If you have a mosaic project in mind, do get in touch and we can discuss the possibilities - felicityball@justmosaics.co.uk

Until the next time,
Felicity x

PS I have just received the photos of the doorstep in situ - I'm really pleased with it.




www.felicityballmosaics.com

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

How I made a large fish mosaic - part 3

Hello blogger friends,

Sorry for the gap between part 2 and part 3, but I was waiting for a photo of the marlin mosaic in situ to show you - I hope it is worth the wait!

After I had finished snipping all the tiles for the mosaic, I left it for a few days and gave it a good coat of looking.  If a tile keeps catching my eye, it is not right and it comes out, however tricky that might be!

When I was finally happy with it all, I grouted the mosaic a section at a time with pre-mixed grey grout, which not only brings out all the colours, but adds an atmosphere of its own.


Then when it was cleaned and there were no spaces in the grout, I painted the sides and the back with weather proof paint to seal it, and with a final polish it was ready for packing and the courier.



My clients were kind enough to send me some photos of it in situ in their new kitchen.
What do you think?



I look forward to hearing from you,
Until the next time,
Felicity x

Saturday, 3 February 2018

How I made a large fish mosaic - part 2

Hello blogger friends,

I am making good progress with my latest large mosaic commission - it really is a pleasure to make.  I love choosing all the different coloured tiles from my large collection, and then cutting out the shapes, thinking of the atmosphere and movement I want to create.
First I finished cutting out and sticking the tiles for the marlin - I am really pleased with how he turned out.



In order to give the mosaic a 3D feel, I made the marlin separately and will then stick it onto the background board, when it comes to grouting the whole piece.

Moving on, I then chose the tiles for the sea, and prepared them by cutting them all into wave like shapes.



When I create a sea mosaic, I measure the area into three approximate sections and allocate three shades to each one. I blend each section into each other so they are not obvious. I start with darker smaller tiles at the top and finish with lighter larger tiles at the front, to give a distance perspective.



I also made some mirror tiles to give the effect of splashes of water. 



... and here is the sea finished, with the marlin laid in place, to give you an idea of what it is going to look like, and the effect I want to create.

I would love to hear from you about what you think of it so far - and would be really grateful if you could share my blog with your friends and followers.

Until the next time ...
Felicity