Monday, March 8, 2010

Choosing Tiles for a New Piece

This week I am starting a new mosaic. I decided on a design, which is an octopus in the ocean. I am sticking with my sea themes again. I guess I am drawn to the ocean and the creatures that live there. It seems peaceful to me. Also, the organic textures that I put onto the tiles seem to work for many different things in the ocean. The size of the board is around 30" x 24" and will have a mirror. The newest place that is showing my work,, has only small wall space and she had requested small pieces last time. I have a tendency to work big, so I have to reel myself in a lot of the time and remember that people don't always have a huge wall space to display my work. Plus with the wood board and the tiles and the grout, the mosaics are quite heavy.

I drew out the design and figured out where the Octopus will go and the mirror as well. I may end up cutting the board even smaller, but I hate to do that. The smaller the board, the smaller the pieces have to be, which takes longer for me to make, and it is actually harder for me to do because I have to do a lot of cutting and fitting in.

I chose the tiles and colors I'll be using for the piece. This is the scariest part of the mosaic for me. I'm afraid I'll choose the wrong color or texture and the design won't flow well. I could do it over if I had to, but that means starting from the beginning; making more tiles, waiting for the tiles to dry, firing, glazing, etc. When I make the tiles, I only make 2-3 sheets of each texture. I know it would make more sense to complete the design before making the tiles, but I just can't seem to work that way. I have tried to do that in the past, but for some reason I need all my materials ready before I can conceptualize a design. I need the board there to draw on, and the tiles there to study. Will this texture work for this scene? What color would work? Do I have the right color clay in the right texture to make the right color? All these things can feel overwhelming.

I don't think I like glazing either. I'm not a painter. I never was. I often wonder if it was that awful professor in college who berated me during every painting critique. I hope not. I can't let someone like that keep me from my art! I worked my ass off in that class. And cried every Wednesday morning at 10:30 when I got home from class. I was not the girl who cried during class... not me! Why was he so awful to me? I even had fellow students ask me why he hated me. I hope it was because he saw what an awesome artist I was. He was trying to beat the work out of me. Fucking Gaudnek. Then I had him again for BFA seminar and the guy was my best friend! He loved me! Maybe he saw that I was not a painter, so he wanted me to get the fuck out of his class. Anyway, enough time spent writing about him... So I have to paint my tiles this week and get them back into the kiln to fire so they are ready for my latest sea creature.

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