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Tuesday 25 November 2014

A visit to the British Ceramic Tiles factory shop - mosaic heaven!

Hello blogger friends!

On our way down to Cornwall last week on a research trip for some commissions, we stopped off at one of my favourite places in the world, the British Ceramic Tiles factory shop - yes, heaven for me!

It is where I buy a lot of my tiles for my mosaics.  We went in the wrong entrance at first, and gave ourselves a shock to find this ...

and this ...

instead of the factory shop - but all was well as we realised our mistake, and it was great to see the raw materials of tiles, and where they start from!  One day, I will pluck up the courage to ask to have a look around.

The shop itself was full of all sorts of goodies for the mosaic artist!  First of all, boxes of my staple coloured tiles - 

... then all sorts of interesting tiles which I always find a use for to really bring my mosaics to life -

...and then these gorgeous coloured glass tiles which are too thick for me to cut, but look at those colours!!

Oh yes! - as you can see from my trolley (1 of 2!), I had a lovely time and am stocked up for the next few busy months - but am always on the tile look out!

The car was a lot heavier driving away, I can tell you - until the next time BCT....!

Sums me up!

Happy mosaicing days!
Felicity x

Tuesday 18 November 2014

The story of a mosaic commission

Hello all,

I love being commissioned to make a completely original and personal mosaic.  I love a  challenge and to find ways of creating something new with tiles.

So, it all starts with a customer liking my mosaics, having an idea of a special mosaic and getting in touch. This particular customer, Ellie, lived close to me so we arranged for her to come round and have a chat.

She wanted me to make a mosaic for her sister's 40th birthday.  In it, she wanted a particular sailing boat her and her sister sail in on the Sussex coast, some trees suggesting the New Forest, a 'B' for her sister's initial and 40 on the sail.  We chose a range of tiles that she liked, and I could work with.  Then she left it up to me.

'Right,' I thought - 'interesting!' I firstly researched the sailing boat she wanted, and found an image of the sideways view I was looking for.  Then I looked for clumps of trees in the New Forest, and found an image of one that would work in the mosaic.

I started by drawing the design on the wood, and when I was happy with the proportions and detail,  I got on with some snipping and sticking!

As I was making the boat, I realised that it needed people in it - and who better than Ellie and her sister?!  So I found out what colour her sister's hair was, and what colour life jackets they wear - it's all in the detail! Better have some seagulls too ..  And here it is....!

I so enjoyed it all - love to make something new!

If you have an idea for a special mosaic, have a look at my website as a guide to sizes and prices - www.felicityballmosaics.com - and do get in touch! felicityball@justmosaics.co.uk

Felicity x

Friday 7 November 2014

My Facebook page and my mosaic business

Make no bones about it, friends, my Facebook page - www.facebook.com/justmosaics.co.uk - is very important to me and my mosaic business.
I held out getting one for a long time for ignorant and stubborn reasons - I freely admit it.  I didn't know how it all worked, I had heard all the negative stuff about Facebook and it just wasn't me - how wrong was I?!
I paid someone to set up my first Facebook business page, which was good and bad.  Good, as it gave me an introduction to how things worked etc (not so scary after all) - but bad, because I had to go through this administrator every time I wanted to post something. In the end, I realised it wasn't really a reflection of me - there was no spontaneity or personality about it. I sincerely believe, that if you are going to connect with an artist online, you need to 'know' the person a little, trust them, get a sense of who they are and how they work.
So two years ago, to the day practically, I told this administrator, I wanted to run the page myself, and within five minutes, it had been shut down with all the posts and likes I had built up gone ... yes GONE! - shattering - boy, do you live and learn?!
So I started up again myself from scratch. It wasn't easy at first, but I felt SO much happier doing it all in my own way, and letting followers get to know me a bit, if they wanted to, that is!  Over these two years, I have tried to find ways of making my page interesting, and a place where people want to come back to and interact with.  I really enjoy the whole experience.

I like to respond quickly to comments, so that fb friends know I am here, and that I appreciate them taking the time.  Any knowledge I have about mosaics, I love to share and help people get in that lovely creative zone, which I am privileged enough to be in for my job.  I know people like to see work in progress, hear of new commissions, see where I work, what materials I use, enter giveaways, see finished work in situ and so on.  And, I try not to post too much ... ;-)
And then, of course, lovely people BUY my mosaics which never fails to give me a buzz :-) - liking them enough to want them in their houses and spending real money on them - amazing! Whether it is an order from my website - www.felicityballmosaics.com, a commission or a post-the-next-day purchase from my Facebook shop https://www.facebook.com/FelicityBallmosaics.co.uk/app_109411145786630 - they honestly all mean a great deal to me.
I am not good at selling my work, and that's a FACT! It's all too personal and does something funny to my insides!  So, to have my Facebook page and be able to showcase my mosaics, is invaluable to me, and I never take it for granted!  I can make a new mosaic during the day, post a photo of it in the evening and it can be off to someone's house the very next day - how fabulous is that!

But it's not ALL about mosaics on my page. I am very much enjoying sharing my 'take a moments' with everyone, encouraging us all just to stop for a moment and 'smell the flowers' in our busy lives.  I love sharing other artists work - there is so much out there to be introduced to and appreciated.
Our dog, Pip, my faithful companion, gets a showing from time to time (sorry non-dog lovers!), as do short films, the odd funny, discussions from the newspaper, your advice on a mosaic, links to blogs and articles, and so it goes on.  I aim to keep my page lively, interesting, varied and buzzing - and in turn, fb friends are kind enough to like, share, comment and order - what a great partnership!

So if you are one of my Facebook friends, THANK YOU, don't stop, and why not subscribe to  my blog - see right?  And if you are one of my blog friends, THANK YOU too, and come on over to my lovely Facebook page - www.facebook.com/justmosaics.co.uk - give it a like and join the gang!
It's great to have you ALL with me :-)
Felicity x

Monday 3 November 2014

Check out my original mosaics this Christmas!

Hello Google friends,

Well, it's coming up to that time of year again, and I know you will be bombarded with catalogues, and social media stuff and shop sales, all trying to persuade you that theirs are the Christmas gifts you have been looking for!

I'm not sure why I think I am any different - I am just a mosaic artist working from my studio at home, creating mosaics unlike any others!  You'll be glad to know that I am not very good at the hard cell, it's just that my mosaics really are lovely and vibrant in real life, and DO make unique presents - there done!

If you would like to order one of my mosaics to arrive in time for Christmas, please can you order very soon from my lovely website, as they take me a while to make for you - www.felicityballmosaics.com  All my prices include UK P&P, and I try to keep them as reasonable as possible, as I love to be busy!  So, why not pop over there now, and see what catches your eye?

Here are some small collections of some of the mosaics I make - I cut each tile individually and each design is original - perfect for any occasion or to enhance any space, inside or out!

Which is your favourite?  I would love to hear from you.

Many thanks and see you over on my website - www.felicityballmosaics.com

Felicity x