Wednesday, May 26, 2010

sun + mosaic = fun

I could write an entire blog entry on how relieved I am to be done with school but I don't even want to recall how burnt out I became those last couple weeks of the semester. Instead, I want to acknowledge how that burnout has stirred up some creative curiosity. I have a year's worth of art school to incorporate into my repertoire of hobbies and I have been thinking about playing around with some new mediums.

Today I decided to try my hand at mosaic. First, I went to a few websites with some good information about DIY mosaic to get a feeling for what I would need. I was thrilled that I already had everything on hand except the colored tiles. Instead of spending a small fortune on the pre-cut ones at Michael's, I went to a nearby thrift shop and bought some ceramic mugs in an assortment of colors.

One at a time, I put a cup in a zip lock bag, wrapped it with a towel and whacked the package with a hammer until the pieces were small enough for what I had in mind. It took about an hour, but I put together a nice palette for less than $5.00. If you decide to give this a try, I have a few tips to share:
  • You should place the ceramic cups on a solid, firm surface for the most uniformed piece sizes when you whack the mugs.
  • Double or triple bag your cups because in the process of breaking the ceramic, the edges cut up the bag and shards of glass spray out. These shards are sharp so wear safety glasses and make sure you sweep up well when you are done. I would avoid going barefoot in the immediate vicinity because there are bound to be really fine bits left behind.
  • Use an older towel to buffer between the hammer head and the bag. I used a nice bath towel and it is in pretty bad shape now.
Since this was my first project, I decided to put it together freestyle. I find an unplanned project is much more educational than the craziness of trying to do it "right." I really like how it turned out. Once the grout underneath dries, I'll put down another layer to fill in between the tiles. Fun, fun, fun.

The weather was perfect - 80 degrees with a gentle breeze. We barbecued salmon burgers for lunch and ate watermelon for the first time this year. While I was mosaic'ing the kids were close by painting on their easels, making mud pies and Tim tinkered in the garden. We listened to the black eyed peas, chit chatted and had a really peaceful day as a family. Love that. (Allergies. hate that. )

1 comment:

  1. Great job, Jilliene! I so know what you mean about how it's better to just jump in and do it rather than trying to do it "right"... and I love that you just broke up old mugs!! :)