Sunday, March 30, 2014

Le 29 Mars 2014

I figured out that Mariam being going to France (the Lucky one!) I might as well date this post in French.

I have been adding lots of materials and colours this week. Blue glasses and ceramics - from France and Italy for the upper veil, Orange American glasses and Beige granites for the hair... 

Mariam's eyes - March 29, 2014

At this stage, I have used quite a few different materials and colors, and it is beginning to be very interesting... I have approximately laid 10 % of the tesserae.

Mariam's Eyes on Mesh, March 29, 2014

You can see the Tablet used to display the original model. It is indeed very useful to be able to visualize the bright colors I am trying to achieve in this piece. 

Technology rocks ! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mariam's Eyes, March 22

I finally got to bring the bright red out. Yesterday I laid the first line of the Red tesserae. These mark the top of Mariam's veil.

I also marked the rims of her eyes with black granite, and added to the sand on the side. 

Once you have a few uninterrupted lines of one color it becomes easier to work simultaneously on several areas of the mosaic, because you can use this line to glue other tesserae against it. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mariam's Eyes. March 18

In the winter, glue may take 36 hours to set. In a dry day of summer. it may take 2 hours.

You have to wait until the glue that holds a tessera to its support is set before you can glue another one beside it. UNLESS, something else already holds that tessera... Which could be either an other tessera, or a whole line of them...


It sounds stupid but it is not. If, for example, you have one stable row of tesserae solidly glued to its support, you can use it to hold several parallel rows of tessera. This then allows you to work faster.

So at the beginning of a project, I lay long lines of tessera, each line of the same color and I let them dry up. Then I use these original rows as bases to build up wider area. As I have built several lines, I can simultaneously work on several areas of my mosaic and progress faster.

This why I always begin with the outer contour of a project. 
As per today Mariam's eyes is 2 to 3 % complete.

A long row of black granite is now separating the face from the veils. It does not look black but grey because you only see the unpolished back of the stone. (The shiny black face is glued to the support)

I also started the sanded area on the side. Please remember that one is the mirror image of the other.  Mariam has the sand to her Right and Mariam's sister has it to her Left...

This sanded area is made of 3 different stones : Gold Travertine, Beige Travertine and Crema Marble.  


After 15 hours of work, 5 different materials are involved on the bench: 

Black Granite, 
Green slate, 
Golden Travertine, 
Beige Travertine,
Crema Marble

Many more will follow ! 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

First tesserae laid...

This week end I laid the first tesserae on both Mariam, and her sister's eyes.

The inside edge is of gold travertine, the outside one of a beautiful green slate I found last week at the local Habitat for Humanity store !

Originally I had planned the outer edge of black granite, but I changed my mind, I believe the green slate and gold travertine together will be gorgeous.

Although it barely can be seen here, I have been using long strips of stones on the regular Mariam's Eyes. However, because of what I am trying to do with Mariam's Sister Eyes, I only can use small tesserae.


Monday, March 10, 2014

On the Bench !

Now that I completed Fall Foliage...

I actually got started on Mariam's eyes.

I intend to precisely document the progress of the project. Here are the first pictures of the models on their tables. 

The "regular" Mariam
The "regular" Mariam is the piece commissioned from France. It will be realized according to my classic reverse Method, the Mirror image is built upside down on its plastified model. 

Meshed Mariam
The "Meshed" Mariam I will build in parallel to the regular one, following the reverse method (It will also be built upside down), but for a change, I am inserting a fiberglass mesh between the model and the mosaic. This is an experiment. I have great expectations for this technique...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mariam's Eyes - the Models

There are 3 or 4 levels of modelling for all my mosaics. One original digital image, (If the original is paper, I digitize it);  one paper original, at scale with the final mosaic, and one final model at the same size as the final mosaic.

So here are the models :  

The original reprint from scan of a French magazine. 

The Black and White model printed on heavy paper, and enhanced by hand. I used a graphic software and hand drawing to work on this picture to get to a Black and White image.

The laminated real size models. Enlarged and laminated prints at the size of the final mosaic. In this particular case, I had 2 of them made - mirror image of each other, as I will build 2 mosaics at the same time. The regular one for France, the other one as an experimentation of a different tesserae laying technique.