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Wednesday 16 December 2015

The making of a sea-themed mosaic floor - part 2

Hello blogger friends!

Thanks so much for your response to the first part of my mosaic floor blog post.  It is so encouraging to have your support and interest.  Snipping away in my studio can sometimes be a bit of a solitary existence so to know that you are all out there, following my work, is really great!

Now, where was I up to in my mosaic floor commission...? Ah yes - I was starting to think about the squid, lobsters and the border.

I loved choosing the colours for the squid - greys, blues, and a cheeky bit of purple.  I decided against a 'cartoon-like' eye, and just kept them floaty and ethereal.

Lobster pots, scallops, squid and lobsters so far ...

Now, I have made lobsters before, so I had a copy of one up on my computer as I created these two.  I didn't want them in a straight line, so took a deep breath, and made them interweave a bit, which was complicated, but worth it in the end, I think you'll agree!

Lobsters together - this was tricky!

I wanted to make the border as I went along, because there is a lot of it, as you can imagine - I certainly didn't want to leave it all until the end.  So I drew templates of the crab, and the mussels and spaced them out accordingly., without being too regimented.  I think I need to order some more pale yellow tiles - I'm using a lot of those!

The first of twelve crabs to go round the border - each will be different, of course!

Starting the border, with a rope design, mussels and crabs ..

And so things are really progressing well, I think. Next, I will start to mosaic the seaweed and think about the sea, so keep an eye for part 3 of this project, and do leave me a comment about how you think it is going so far...
The mosaic so far ...

Thanks again for your support,
Felicity x

Saturday 28 November 2015

The making of a sea-themed mosaic floor - Part 1

Hello, blogger friends!

I wanted to share with you the first part of my latest and biggest ever mosaic commission.  It is two floor panels for a new build house near Poole harbour, in Dorset, UK.

My client wanted a sea/fish themed mosaic, starting from the sea bed working its way up to the surface, ranging from crustaceans to sea bass and John Dory - right up my street!

After the necessary discussions and planning for a commission of this size,  I stocked up on the cement board, porcelain tiles, glue, sharpened snippers and I was ready to go.

My first task was to draw the design on the first of two cement boards - easier said than done!  Such a lot of of looking, rubbing out, redrawing and looking again goes on, I can tell you!  And then things can change a bit when I am actually making it - it has got to feel right.  I take a lot of time doing research on Goggle images to get the different element in the design to look as real as possible, within  the confines of my art.  Below is the first basic design.

With the drawing completed, I then looked at the range of colours available to me of the porcelain tiles, and decided on the colour palette I want for my first elements, the lobster pots and scallops on the sea bed.  I snip the tiles to the shapes I want them, and then stick them on the cement board with PVA glue.

In my next blog post, I will show the progress of the squid and the lobsters - both will be tricky, but I love a challenge!

I am so enjoying making this mosaic, and would love to make more of this type, so if you, someone you know, or a business might be interested in commissioning an original work of mosaic art, do get in touch -  felicityball@justmosaics.co.uk - and we can discuss the possibilities.

Thank you for reading and do look out for the Part 2 blog post of this project.
Felicity x

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Wednesday 14 October 2015

My Narnia story mosaic is finished!

Dear all, 

In my last blog, I told you about the Narnia story mosaic I was making.  It certainly was a challenge, and unlike anything I had ever made before - always good to push the boundaries!

Well, during the last few days, I finished it.  Once the snipping was done, the grouting began!  I use ordinary exterior white grout, with a brown tint, which really brings out the colours.  It is a long process of grouting, wiping, regrouting, filling in holes, wiping, grouting .... you get the picture!

As this is a mosaic for a garden,  I then paint the sides and back of the cement board with a neutral colour exterior paint, and seal the front with a waterproofing spray for tile and grout.  No way any moisture can get in!

And so, here is the finished mosaic - what do you think?  Do leave me a comment - it is lovely to hear from you, and I always reply :-)

Many thanks for reading,
Felicity x

Thursday 24 September 2015

A Narnia story mosaic

Hello blogger friends!

I am throughly occupied at the moment with a new commission, unlike any I have done before.

A customer of mine (I think I would even go as far to say she is a collector of my work, which makes me very happy) loves the Narnia stories by C. S. Lewis.  She asked if I could make a long thin mosaic depicting the main images of the story.

Well, I love a challenge and so when her commission turn came (she is very patient!), I started to formulate a sort of triptych design in my head for it and finally decided on three main scenes from the story.

The wardrobe had to be there, of course, then the lamppost with Mr Tumnus and Aslan the lion and the castle.  I had to think of how I could combine these three very different scenes as seamlessly as possibly using my trusty tiles. The mosaic is for my customer's garden so I am using porcelain tiles which are frost resistant. They are great, and I have a wide range of colours, but, oh, they are SO hard to snip!!  I do have porcelain cutters as well as my ordinary snippers, but I can only do a few hours of snipping at a time before giving my fingers, hand and arm a rest!

So, it is coming on well. Trying to get the angles right for the open wardrobe door was tricky, and Mr Tumnus was a challenge!  I am really pleased with how the lamppost and Mr Tumnus have turned out, and now on to the castle and Aslan.

I have used a bit of artistic license with the castle of Cair Paravel, and decided to use greys and blues for it, as there are a lot of sandstone/brown tiles in the rest of the mosaic - so apologies to any purists out there!

Now for the landscape and Aslan, the lion.....
Keep an eye out for my next post when you will see the Narnia story mosaic is finished!

Thanks for reading,
Felicity x

Thursday 10 September 2015

Forgive a shameless plug ....

Hello blogger friends,

Please forgive this shameless plug ....!

I have been working hard to stock up my 'mosaics-ready-to-post' shop with all sorts of lovely original mosaics for the oncoming festive season, and it would be great if you could take a look.  There might just be something there that would be perfect for someone you know - especially the person who has everything! - or perfect for you!

Just click on this link and have a browse - http://justmosaics.miiduu.com - once they are gone, they are gone!  Below is just a selection of what is on offer ...

Thank you SO much, and if you think your friends might be interested,  please spread the word!

Felicity x

Monday 24 August 2015

A mosaic inspired by a blind!

Hello blogger friends,

The 'summer' (raining here again in the UK!) is coming to an end, and it is nearly time for the children to return to school.  I have found time this holidays, though,  to complete this mosaic commission.

My client wanted a piece of art to complement the new blind in her room - see below.

She also had a grey splash back for her sink, which she wanted me to bear in mind with the design.  See below.

We decided on a size - not too small as we had a blank wall to play with.  65cm x 48cm seemed about right.  With all these things in mind,  I started on my design, then the snipping, sticking and grouting.
I really enjoy making this kind commission - and a unique piece of art results!
And here it is!

I used three different shades and thickness of red tiles for the flowers, the green tiles are slightly thicker than the background tiles, to give them a 3D feel.  The whole effect is a vibrant, unique, textural mosaic work of art!

I hope you like it, and thanks for reading my blog!  If you have a mosaic commission in mind, do get in touch - felicityball@justmosaics.co.uk
Felicity x

Friday 24 July 2015

A Barbara Hepworth inspired mosaic

Hello blogger friends,

A while ago I wrote about our visit to Barbara Hepworth's studio in St Ives, and it's been in my mind for a while to make a mosaic inspired by her great sculptures.

Here is the link to the blog post I wrote, if you fancy a read - http://justmosaics.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-inspirational-barbara-hepworth.html

Her work is now being exhibited in the Tate, London if you get a chance to see it - we are planning a trip in September - http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/barbara-hepworth-sculpture-modern-world

When planning this Barbara Hepworth inspired mosaic, I decided just to use one colour, and as she lived in St Ives, it had to be blue for the amazing sea and sky nearby.

I collected my range of blues, chose five or six and started, trying to capture the light and shade of the beautiful shape of the sculpture.

This is how I have done so far .... it has made me look at her work so closely, and appreciate the beauty of it even more ...

I will show you when it is finished - these things can't be rushed!

Felicity x

Thursday 2 July 2015

Making a mosaic bistro table

Hello blogger friends!

Yesterday I sent off a mosaic bistro table to a new famous customer - it was all very exciting!  But MORE exciting than that was the making of the table for me.  I have now fully got to grips with snipping my very hard porcelain tiles for exterior mosaics, and feel confident that as with ceramic tiles, I can create the shapes I want.


I make the table top on a thin piece of exterior plywood - 60cm in diameter.  For this pattern, I like to design each section individually, and then choose my colour combinations.  I love the colours in this design particularly, and see each little part as a work of art in their own right!

I've made this very short Flipogram to show you how it develops - just click the link below.


I have to be especially careful around the edge to make sure the tiles are even, so the grout finish is as smooth as possible.  The top is then fixed to the table frame and grouted and sealed in.

It gives me a great deal of joy to create these colourful bistro tables, knowing that they will continue to give pleasure, inside and out, for years!

Have you ever made a mosaic table, or have you got any questions about making one?  Do get in touch - I love to hear from you!  felicityball@justmosaics.co.uk

Felicity x

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Mosaics inspired by Alfred Wallis

Hello blogger friends,

As the development of my mosaics carries on apace, I thought I would share with you my latest mosaics bound for the Jane Reeves Gallery in Padstow Cornwall, UK - www.janereevesgallery.co.uk

My sister introduced me to the work of Alfred Wallis, and I love it! His naive style and movement lends itself perfectly to my mosaic process.  I have made a set of three large mosaics for the gallery, and had them especially framed.  And here they are!

I would love to know what you think of them, and which is your favourite, and why.

Many thanks,
Felicity x

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Mosaics in bespoke frames available!

Hello blogger friends,

Just a quick post to let you know these two framed mosaics are available to buy in my 'mosaics-ready-to-post' shop - http://justmosaics.miiduu.com

They won't be in there long, I'm afraid,  so do take a look before the galleries nab them!

I would love to hear what you think of their new bespoke frames!


Monday 8 June 2015

Moving my mosaics on ...

Hello , Blogger friends!

It's a beautiful day here in Bristol, UK today - our back door is open and the dog is snoozing in the sun!

As a small business, it is sometimes quite hard to keep the momentum going and not getting in a rut, so I am always on the look out for new ideas and projects.  Mosaics are so versatile that there are many avenues open to me.

My latest step forward is this.  A friend suggested that I have my mosaics, especially the larger ones framed.  Perhaps in the past, I wouldn't have had the confidence to consider this, but now I feel my pieces are ready for it, and it feels like a very exciting and important step forward.

I have always tried to see my mosaics as works of art - I paint with tiles - so to have them framed feels like paying them due respect.  My work is rapidly developing and it feels the right thing to do.  I'm not sure about framing all of mosaics, or where this will lead, but it feels like one of those important moments.

Here is the first one framed for the Jane Reeves Gallery www.janereevesgallery.co.uk , and I think it sets it off quite nicely!  What do you think?

'Crest of the wave'

Until the next time ...

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Me and my mosaics at an Art Trail

As soon as I had been accepted on the BS9 Arts Trail - www.bs9arts.co.uk - I started wondering what it would be like.  Never having done one before I was both anxious and excited, and my thoughts ranged from selling out of my work, to coming home with everything!

I decided to have as many examples of my mosaics as possible to exhibit the wide range of pieces I can make - in retrospect probably too many things, but if people liked my work, they certainly got a good flavour of how varied it could be.  I had all sizes and prices of mosaics on show, along with my sets of flower mosaic greetings cards.

When you first arrive at your space, it is difficult to imagine how you are going to arrange and fill it in a way which will be most accessible and attractive to a passer by.  It took us a while I can tell you, and even when you think you have finished you are not sure how it will come across!  This little film shows you the end result, though I kept changing things over the weekend!

I did enjoy the whole experience.  The prospect had been really daunting - art is so personal and subjective, and you are laying yourself open to the great general public! By the end of the weekend, however, I felt reassured that my mosaics were quite a lot of people's cup of tea - phew! To have a constant stream of people asking me how I made them and enjoying the great variety of coloured, textured tiles, and the way I put them together, has given me a real boost.  I loved the camaraderie of being with the other artists and their varied work, too, in our lovely venue.

I sold quite a few mosaics and heaps of my Flora Mosaica sets of greetings cards, which was also fab.  When I think of my work in people's homes, and being looked at and enjoyed, it's a wonderful feeling.

So, the bullet has been bitten, and my first show is over.  It's good to get out of your comfort zone sometimes, isn't it?  Next year, I will know what to expect and not to expect, and I already have some new plans and ideas for it - watch this space!

Many thanks for reading,

Monday 20 April 2015

The making of my mosaic, 'Sheep in Winter'.

Hello, blogger friends!

There is never a dull moment with my mosaic work, and I love the variety!

Last week, I was commissioned to make one of my 'sheep in winter' mosaics.  This is one of my personal favourites as I use a more subtle palette of colours - love the bright, love the pale!

This mosaic is particularly 3D.  I build the sheep and the tree trunk in plain white tiles first, and then add the coloured tiles on top.  It really works well to bring the mosaic to life.  The other tiles I have chosen are all different widths so bringing a lovely texture to the whole piece.  The sheeps' heads and legs are only one tile thick so giving the effect of a big wooly body coming out at you.  As you can imagine, better in real life, but I'm trying to give you some idea of how it is!  These photos probably do a better job.

The grouting of this mosaic piece is particularly difficult, with all the different levels.  My fingers do suffer, as no other tool will do!  But I take it slowly, section by section, making sure I haven't missed a bit, and then turning it upside down and grouting it again - amazing how many holes slip the net!  And then, the long wiping process begins, until I am 100% happy :-)

And here it is finished!

I hope you like 'Sheep in winter' and thanks once again for reading my blog.  I know you are all out there as my stats tell me loads of you read, so do leave me a comment - it would be lovely to hear from you!

Felicity x

Saturday 4 April 2015

Making a mosaic using vintage tiles.

The Easter holidays are upon us here, blogger friends - so usual routine is out of the window.  It's good to have change sometimes though, isn't it?

As the children are older now, I am able to get quite a lot of work done in the holidays, which is great - though I have to be ready to stop at any moment to sort something out, or be a taxi for someone.  That's OK - that's part of the deal!

From time to time, Sue from Yay Retro www.yayretro.co.uk kindly gets in touch about some vintage china she has, and I might be interested in for a mosaic.  I received a box from her this week to find cups and saucers and I was able to get these lovely pieces of china from them.  They are very delicate to snip and often just shatter when I approach them with my snippers!

Sometimes, I'm not sure what to make with special tiles like this, but with these I just knew straight away - a mosaic teapot wall hanging, and a big one too - 35cm x 35xm!  I just love the shape of teapots.
So I drew out my friendly teapot design, and asked my husband to cut it out in thick MDF so it would have a chunky feel too.  When he came back from the garage with two teapot shapes for me, he said - "Mmmmm - not the easiest ....!"

It took a lot of thought how I was going to use the tiles - I only had a limited number - hotchpotch, a pattern ..... ?!  In the end I chose three contrasting plain coloured tiles as well  to complement the lovely vintage tiles.  As I was making it, I had that tell-tale excited feeling that I have when something is going well, and that good feeling it is going to turn out well.

And I was right - I really am so pleased with my vintage mosaic teapot!  What do you think?

Happy Easter, everyone!
Felicity x

Friday 20 March 2015

Mosaic sunflowers!

Hello everyone!

It is rather fitting that, as I write my blog about sunflowers, the sun is really shining (with a bit of warmth!) here in Bristol!

We all love sunflowers, dont we?  Those gorgeous yellow golden petals and the generous wide brown seed head, with shapely green leaves.  I have made mosaic sunflowers for some years now, and am really getting it down to a fine art!  I have collected all sorts of yellow, orange and red tiles that I use - different thickness and textures to really bring the sunflower to life!  Here are just some of the sunflower variations I have made -

This week I made a sunflower bowl.  I had to use the same thickness of tile for the mosaic, so it was as flat as possible and could be used practically as a bowl.  I used extra glue so the tiles stuck really well on the slightly curved surface, varnished the sides and back, and sealed the mosaic, so it really is a useful bowl as well as being a work of art!
Do have a watch of my short product film to get a feel of how it is in real life.  As my mosaics can be so hard to photograph, I am going to make more of these short no-frills films.

I do hope you have enjoyed seeing my mosaic sunflowers, and, as always, I love to hear from you,

Happy weekend,
Felicity x

Friday 13 March 2015

A tricky mosaic commission!

Hello everyone, and welcome to my Friday blog!

I love a good mosaic challenge, and I have certainly had one this week!

I was commissioned to make a mosaic of a sheep - which on the face of it doesn't sound too tricky .... My customer wanted a more realistic looking sheep rather than a cartoon Shaun the Sheep - like sheep!  She sent me a few photos of the sort of sheep she was after, to use as a starting point.

Once I had outlined the shape of the sheep and decided on four/five different tiles to use for the body, I was ready to start.  I looked closely at images of sheep on Google to see the direction the wool went on the sheep's body, and started to cut and stick my tiles accordingly.  I had the perfect mottled/brown tile to replicate the different colours in the wool.  I then used the shape of the tiles to make it look as real as possible.

That went well, and I was pleased with the body.  I always leave the head and face until last, so I can see what it would like on the body, if you know what I mean!  Then started hours (literally!) of trying to get the face right - the eyes, snout, nose mouth - ooo it was tricky, but my Facebook followers www.facebook.com/FelicityBallmosaics.co.uk were a great help, confirming my suspicions that the mouth/nose were wrong in version 1 - see below.

Start again!  My breakthrough came when I looked closely to see sheep actually have a sort of triangular end of nose and quite a narrow length of nose.  From then on, I didn't look back, and it came quite quickly.  I think all the sheep I make in the future will have different faces (and characters!) but below will be the basic formula.

And here he is finished - what do you think?

I am now happy to say that you can order a mosaic sheep from my Etsy shop www.etsy.com/uk/shop/FelicityBallmosaics - and each one will be a little bit different!

If you have a mosaic commission in mind, do get in touch - felicityball@justmosaics.co.uk

Many thanks for reading,
Felicity x

Friday 27 February 2015

Mother's day mosaic offer!

Hello blog friends,

Just a quick blog this week, as I get ready for my second mosaic workshop on consecutive Saturdays.  They are great fun to run, but lots of work to get ready for them, and absolutely exhausting on the day making sure everyone is happy, and has a lovely flower mosaic to take home with them!  Click here for more information - maybe you would like to have a go! http://www.felicityballmosaics.com/workshops.php

Last week I had a group of friends who hadn't seen each other for ages, and this week, I have a complete mix - a mum and daughter, two keen beginner mosaicists and a dad, who doesn't know he is coming yet as it is a surprise present - never a dull moment!

Next week, I will write in my blog about the therapeutic aspect of making mosaics - but this week it's a little plug for my flower gem mosaic Mother's Day offer - forgive me!

My flower gem mosaic makes such a lovely gift for Mother's Day, which is March 15th here in the UK.  It costs less than a large bouquet of flowers, last forever and is something a bit different.

It is 15cm x 20cm and hangs like a picture - £20 incl UKP&P and a mosaic flower greetings card - or £28 incl RoWP&P and a mosaic flower greetings card.  Please email me with your email address for PayPal - felicityball@justmosaics.co.uk - and which of the ones below you would like. I might have time to make a special colour combo for you, but you'll have to be quick!

Thanks as always for taking the time to read my blog posts, and I appreciate SO much any sharing you might feel moved to do!

Until next week,
Felicity x