Powered By Blogger

Saturday 29 December 2012

Happy New Year from Just Mosaics!

Hello everyone!

Not quite the New Year, but I feel brimming over with excitement for plans and mosaic commissions and possibilities.
Starting next week (Thurs Jan 3rd 2013), I am starting a weekly event - Artist of the Week - on my lovely Facebook page - facebook.com/justmosaics.co.uk
It's a great chance for me to discover all sorts of artists and to share their work on a regular basis on my page.
I would really appreciate if you all would spread the word, and encourage artists to contact me via my Facebook page.
All art media from anywhere in the world are welcome - whether you sell your art or just dabble - I would need a few images and some contact details, and who knows ... ?! - the miracle of the world wide web!
Two of these lovely mosaic design drops are going to be given away on my Facebook page in January 2013 - facebook.com/justmosaics.co.uk - colour combo of your choice - wall art or table ware, it's up to you! Just like and share my page to enter :-)
If it's something you are interested in, please get in touch - a bit of free exposure is always welcome!  I know how hard it is for artists to get their work out there - whether people like it or not is up to them - the subjectivity of art! - but for it to be seen, is the first step!
I cant do it without you, so let's make this something great for the start of 2013!

Tuesday 18 December 2012

My Facebook experience - part 2

Forgive me!  But I have to admit to being a bit disappointed with my Facebook experience so far...

After my false start (long story!) with Facebook, then having to set up my own page, I began to realise the potential of Facebook for connecting with other artists and interested people, sharing work, interacting, reaching a greater audience, and generally have a buzzing Facebook page- how exciting!  One billion users!

It hasn't quite worked out like that for me yet, and yes, I am impatient, but I love to connect with people and to be busy in my studio so, as I said before, forgive me.

So, as I hope and look forward to a bit more Facebook action, I have tried to make my page an even more fun and interesting place to be! I have added apps all for FREE to enhance your visiting experience!

A spot of mosaic colour!
It wasn't difficult - really - it did take a while, but I really quite enjoyed it.  Maybe you would like to do something similar on your Facebook page?  Here's a quick sharing of what I did, so you don't have to go through all I went through!

I added my Pinterest and Twitter apps from www.woobox.com, and made my  reviews app myself by using the html option and copying and pasting the reviews clients had kindly sent me.
I set up my own little store app with www.bigcartel.com which allows payment to be taken by Paypal, which is reassuring.
Finally, I created my own art gallery using www.artweb.com which was, once again, easy and fun to set up.  All done!

Please take a look at all my efforts and show me how friendly and outreaching Facebook can be!

If I can help at all with you setting up apps on your page, with my limited experience, I would be delighted to!


Sunday 9 December 2012

Colourful, crazy, spotty mosaics!

A little blog-ette about my new mosaic work ...

I have been thinking about making abstract mosaics like these for a while, and I've loved making them!  I hope you think it has been worth the wait.
It was a bit alarming when I started using such a dark grout, but am really pleased with the effect.
I love their versatility - I can make any size, shape and colour combo for both inside and out.
Ungrouted ...

Grouting the crazy paving..

A mosaic spot of colour grouted..

Mosaic crazy paving grouted..
Those gorgeous nuggets of colour just uplift the soul!


Saturday 8 December 2012

The Just Mosaics social media strategy!

Hello everyone,
This time last year my small original mosaic art business was promoted through my lovely website and word of mouth - I knew nothing about Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, blog..!
A year on, I am a little wiser and have a plan - my very own social media strategy!  Allow me the catharsis of sharing it with you. Bear with..!
Firstly, I can see how great and enjoyable social media is for getting work out there and for connecting with other people, and discovering and sharing work.  But I found myself becoming too distracted by it all, feeding my desire to check the computer just once more before I got on in the studio...etc etc! Not good!
And, having gone up a few false avenues (as you do!), read some articles, spoken to friends, I am now much clearer about the place I want it to have in my business life and marketing. It has to be practical, effective and fun, but it is only a means to an end, and not an end in itself.
So, there are four elements I use - Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and this blog.
I have taken the honest advice on board from people who follow and 'like' me, and understand that less can be more, but, at the same time, not forgetting that it is my business.

The plan
I will write a couple of posts on Facebook a week, and enjoy the 'crack' with  likers who are kind enough to leave a comment or message - and share work from other artists etc. www.facebook.com/justmosaics.co.uk
I will tweet as and when things come up (not all business!), RT selectively, and take part in a couple of Twitter networking events a week. @justmosaics
On Pinterest, I will aim to create a couple of boards a week, sharing others' pictures, and sometimes including my own. http://pinterest.com/justmosaics/
Finally, I will write a blog every fortnight or so, about topics that I hope you will find interesting.

I love to receive comments, and answer any mosaic questions (if I can) -  so please keep them coming!
Excuse this clarifying of my thoughts - I have been diverted from what I really love to do (making mosaics) over the past few months, and it time to make a plan about social media and stick to it!

I'll let you know how it goes...
What works for you?!


Thursday 29 November 2012

Tiles - the palette for my mosaics!

Hello everyone,

Increasingly, I am being asked what kind of tiles I use for my original mosaic art, and where I get them.
I wish I could say that I source them from some backstreet Moroccan supplier I came across in my worldwide hunt for just the right tile for just the effect...

The truth is, I haunt DIY shops, tile shops , skips, warehouses (my particular favourite), wherever - oh, the glamour!  I especially like the 'on offer' tiles because no-one wants them - too few and often chipped - no problem!
Making a sunflower - petal-shaped tiles at the ready!
I sometimes come home to find a pile of tiles on our doorstep from friends who know I will always give them a home! No tile gets thrown away because it might just be the colour, texture, depth I'm looking for...!
The finished sunflower
So, I have your common wall tile (floor tiles are generally too thick).  The first thing I do is to snip the manufactured straight edge away - its against all my principles! 
Then depending on what I am making, I start to snip the tile into shapes, and it all starts to come together.  Often the shapes that just happen with this snipping process suggest ways of using the tile, which I haven't previously thought of, but work!
See the tiles above I have snipped for my sunflowers? - crescent shaped, loads of different colours, shades and thicknesses.  I then lay them on the wood with the design already drawn on it, and fit them together, snipping along the way, to fit as I want.

The great thing about cutting all my own tiles is that I can create the movement and texture I want, like strokes from a paintbrush - petal shapes, or middle seeds for example, in the sunflower.  My tiles are my palette.
I then start sticking - the glue takes about an hour to set properly, so I have time to make sure they are giving the effect I want.  The space I leave in between the tiles is vital - the grout and colour tint I use brings out the colours and mood of the piece.

So the tiles are very ordinary, many recycled, but with the way I put them together, I can create vibrant, original enduring art and continually strive to create impressionistic realism.
Leaping salmon - can you see the glints in the water?  I made those!
Some days of course 'the cutting gods are not with me' (as my children say) and I have learnt to stop, make a coffee, give it all a good coat of looking, and come back later.  Some tiles, especially the thin ones, can be very temperamental!
The effects I can create with tiles are limitless, giving perspective, texture,vibrancy and dimension.
If I can't find the tiles I'm looking for, I've started to make them.  For example, on the leaping salmon mosaic above, the glints of light in the water are proud from the other tiles as they are two tiles thick - a basic white tile with a mirror tile on top - loved making them!
Once I am happy with the tiles, where they are and how it all feels, then comes the grouting.. but that's a whole different blog..

My ever growing palette of tiles - all welcome here!

Please do ask any questions you might have - why not give it a go?!


Tuesday 13 November 2012

Antonio Gaudi - 'God's architect"

Some of my work is influenced by the amazing and eccentric Antonio Gaudi.

He lived in Spain in the late 19th century and early 20th century, and most of his distinctive work can be seen in Barcelona.  His passions were architecture, nature and religion, which can all be seen reflected in his work.

He delighted in integrating ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork and wood in his original designs, and organic style.

He didn't plan his work, he just let it emerge and lead him, at times.

This mosaic is on the ceiling of a courtyard within the wonderful Park Guell
My mosaic sun bowl is inspired by it!
A building in Barcelona designed by Gaudi

A section of the Sagrada Familia - plus cranes!

An example of this is the Sagrada Familia - which is one of the most visited monuments in Spain.  It is still a work in progress, but reflects Gaudi's religious devotion.  He was nicknamed "God's architect".

His work is breath taking and unforgettable.

See some more of his work on my Pinterest board - http://pinterest.com/justmosaics/antonio-gaudi-god-s-architect/


Friday 2 November 2012

Mosaic spring colour

It's a bit grim outside here in Bristol today  - squally, cold, wet, muddy and dark at 4pm!  So, I thought I would share a bit of spring colour!

As you can see, I love sunflowers!  Always uplifting and cheering, and surprisingly easy to grow!

When I'm in tile shops - of all shapes and sizes - I am always on the look out for different shades and textures of tile - so that my mosaics really come to life with a 3D effect - hard to see in photos but lovely to feel and see in real life!

I have been particularly lucky with yellows. oranges, reds, golds etc for my ever growing collection of sunflower mosaics - different sizes to accommodate all tastes and budgets.

Nothing like a bit of spring colour all year round!


My sunbowl was inspired by a trip to Barcelona, and witnessing the eccentricity of Gaudi first hand.
This sunflower, I guess, is my best seller - I never tire from making it, as each one is different, using all the tiles I've collected in a unique way.

This garden mosaic was commissioned by a keen gardener for her 50th birthday - "Flowers all year round", she says!

Sunday 21 October 2012

Amazing mosaics for Christmas!

Hello everyone,

Forgive me - but I am going to mention Christmas!

I know it feels a long away - well, two months - but in original mosaic world, that is not long!  I'm not going to make the same mistake I made last year, and not give people long enough to order - some were left disappointed, so I was too!

So allow me to suggest a few ideas .. I am particularly useful for those people who have everything, or for those who are just simply difficult to buy for. or for yourself..!

Mosaic Christmas stars - £25 each - 2 for £45 - 3 for £60 - FREE p&p - size 20cm

My small mosaic decorations - not suitable for trees, (unless you are having a Redwood this year!) - but suitable and fab for hanging anywhere else.  They are becoming a firm seasonal favourite.

Mosaic Christmas trees - £25 each - 2 for £45 - 3 for £60 - FREE p&p - size  20cm

Mosaic house number - 1 number - £35 - 2 numbers £50 - 3 numbers - £60 FREE p&p size - 30cm x 20cm
These mosaic house numbers and names are really popular for gifts for others and, for yourself.  I can make them in any colour combinations - they are thoroughly weatherproof, and thief proof as they have holes provided to screw to the wall!  They are classy, vibrant and original.
Mosaic house number - prices above

My mosaic sunflower makes a great present - especially in the depths of winter - sunshine all year round!

Mosaic sunflower hanging - £95 - FREE p&p - size 30cm x 20cm
I love making these beach hut mosaics - reminding of me great days, and holidays!

Mosaic beach huts - £95 - FREE p&p - size 15cm x 25cm
Mosaic bistro table - diameter 60cm - from £450 plus p&p
Mosaic table/seat - 1m x 1m - £425 plus p&p

I have to mention my mosaic furniture, which is just the best of both worlds - useful, and a bespoke work of art!

I wont bombard you with all that I make - these can be seen on my lovely, newly updated website, and given enough warning, anything is possible!

Mosaic bench - from £650 - size 1m x 1.8m - plus p&p
If my mosaics are something that you really want, why not get your friends and family to club together for your present this year?

Customers can now use Paypal on my site - do have a look - www.justmosaics.co.uk - or check out my new buzzing Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Mosaics/228064977321824 

Thanks for reading my undisguised plugging of Christmas ideas from Just Mosaics!  They really do make stunning, unique gifts. 

If you have an idea about something you would like me to make for you, that you cant see on my website, do give me a call and I'll see what I can do to help!

I look forward to hearing from you.


Wednesday 10 October 2012

The sparkling new Just Mosaics Facebook page!

Hello everyone!

Having just got my head around Twitter for my mosaic art business, I read now that Facebook has got over one billion users!  WOW!  That's a lot of potential people who might like my work, isn't it?!

I love the Facebook format of easy, daily updating, what's happening, new things I have made, offers, Christmas pieces at the moment and so on.  It's like a daily newspaper for Just Mosaics!  It is particularly good for my business as I am always creating new designs, and colour combos, as the commissions come in!

Don't get me wrong - I still love my website, created by Judith Ogden (www.judithogden.co.uk) - it says all I want to about me and what I do,and is regularly updated -  but the Facebook page is like having a chatty younger brother, full of new information about my business hot off the press - fab! The link is - www.facebook.com/justmosaics.co.- please take a look, like and share!

People have left lovely messages and also given my mosaics the all important thumbs up (like!), which shares my work with all their Facebook friends - amazing!  What a great way to get my work out there, and create the buzz about it that I feel!

I suppose that, like a lot of artists, selling my work is not one of my strengths - it all feels too personal, if that makes sense.. What I really love to do is be in my studio creating a stunning original mosaic for someone to enjoy for years to come!

So, with all this social media around - which is not as scarey as I first thought! - and with the help of Judith and John - I am able to show so many more people what I do, and if they like, they can order - simples!

It would be great if my Facebook page could be liked and shared within an inch of its life! - and that's where I need your help.

The link to the Just Mosaics Facebook page is -  www.facebook.com/justmosaics.co.uk 

Let me know what you think and I look forward to seeing you there!

Many thanks,


Tuesday 2 October 2012

The glory of smalti!

I first came across smalti in Venice on my honeymoon.  Exploring the less busy streets, we found a dark shop of vats, filled with coloured glass from Murano - the neighbouring island, famous for its glass making.  The depth and vibrancy of the colours were breathtaking - a heavenly pick and mix! - and I have been smitten ever since.
With the proceeds from my first ever commission, I bought some authentic smalti, which are more rectangular pieces of this glass mosaic tile.  When the parcel came, it really was exciting, and to open it, exhilarating!  The colours!  The nuggets of loveliness!  And yes, I marked the moment with a photo!
To put smalti in a historical perspective, they were originally used in mosaics created during the time of the Byzantine Empire - 330 -1415. They were made by mixing molten glass with metal oxides for colour; the result was a cloudy mixture that was poured into flat slabs and then cooled, and finally broken into individual pieces. The molten mixture could also be topped with gold leaf - very expensive! During the Byzantine era, Constantinople became the centre of the mosaic craft. 

These days they are made by pouring molten liquid poured and cooled in trays, resulting in the pieces, like the ones you can see in the photos.

Working with smalti can be quite challenging. They do snip easily in straight lines, but are all different depths and heights, which makes it very interesting - like making your own jigsaw puzzle! 

In my work with smalti so far, I haven't used grout, so emphasising the vividness of the colour mix.  It is a real treat and privilege to work with them, and I look forward to creating some big stunning pieces in the future.
 Like them..?!



Wednesday 12 September 2012

An update on my abstract mosaic Mediterranean table

Nothing gives me greater joy than being commissioned to make a piece using scrumptious colours!

My Mediterranean inspired table is coming on, and I thought I would just give you a quick update.

A section of the sky and the bush colours (ungrouted)

A section of the bushes, flowers, stone and tiled roofs colours (ungrouted).
It is uplifting to work with such lovely colours, and I love all the different shapes of tile.

It is a six foot by two foot table, so as with all good things, it takes time!  I think the effect of the whole table will be stunning.

I am lucky enough to able to make this table between other commissions and summer holidays - hopefully it will be ready for next spring!

All the best


Sunday 26 August 2012

Norfolk - room to breathe..

A lovely fortnight spent in Norfolk...

Sky space..

One of the many lovely churches in Norfolk - Norman tower!

We walked the Weavers' Way.

A good year for dragonflies!
A heron at such close quarters on a boat trip on the Broads.
A perfect, empty beach - saw a seal!

View of the Broads
Beach sculpture!

Well worth a visit!  Where have you discovered this summer?


Friday 13 July 2012

My mosaic studio

Welcome to my studio!

This is a very special place for me and I thought I'd share it with you.  A whistle stop tour awaits!
This is where it all happens - my simple, eminently practical work bench!  To the left are all my tools, sketch book and tiles colours etc, with the notice board of interesting things above it.
Side view of the workbench.

To the left of the workbench is my thinking chair - very comfortable - where I sit and give my mosaics a good coat of looking and decide what to do.  My mosaic cards are for sale on my gecko table (available on website!)
This is the view from my chair - computer (with Dubrovnik sea screen saver!), stationery, daughter's knitting bag..!
And here is my palette of tiles - I take the baskets (on the middle shelves) which have one sort of tile in each, over to the work bench, and fill them up from  supplies, as and when. To me, they are inspiring.

And finally, this is the view I am fortunate enough to look at every day!  All sorts happens along our road which keeps me amused.  There are two resident robins I feed on the bird table, when the magpies allow, too!  It is always a heartening view, even in the rain!

 So, this is where I spend my days, creating mosaics - a great place to be!

Thanks for reading,