Sunday, 7 January 2018

How I made a large fish mosaic - part 1

Hello blogger friends,

Many thanks to so many of you for reading my first blog post of 2018, about my latest large commission .  If you didn't get a chance to see it, here it is - http://justmosaics.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/an-exciting-mosaic-new-year.html

So, this is my first week of working on the marlin.  My studio is all ready and I'm looking forward to starting.


I needed to have the wood cut to start with.  I have used 9ml exterior plywood for it - I could have used mdf but I prefer to use wood if I can.  The main board is 60cm x 90cm, which isn't far off the original marlin mosaic - see below.  My clients didn't want a border for their commission, leaving more space for the fish, sea and sky.


I drew the shape of the marlin on the plywood, as I will be making this separately first, and then will stick it onto the background board to really give the mosaic the 3D feel of the marlin leaping out from the sea.




Once the marlin had been cut out, I sanded the edges and added the details of the fish as guidelines for when I mosaic.  It is always exciting when I cut and stick the first tile!
I usually start a large mosaic by cutting and sticking shades of one/two colours first. With the marlin, I started with the fins and tail which are black and grey tiles.  As I cut and stick, I am thinking of the movement of the fish, and the light catching the fish as it jumps from the sea.  I use the spaces between the tiles as well to create this movement.


This is how it looks so far, as I gradually build up all the different movements, textures and colours in the fish.
Next week, I shall fill in the rest of the fish, with the eye and the mouth always being the most difficult parts!  Look out for my next post and see how it takes shape.

Many thanks for reading, and it would be great if you could share it with your friends and followers,
Felicity x



Saturday, 30 December 2017

An exciting mosaic new year!

Hello everyone,

As 2017 comes to an end and I have had a lovely Christmas break with my family and friends, I am starting to look ahead to what 2018 has in store for my mosaic business.

I spent the last few months of 2017 making a lot of smaller mosaics for Christmas presents, which was great and I feel very lucky to have been so busy.  But the beginning of 2018 brings something very different - a large fish commission for a client's kitchen.  So, the first few months will be taken up with one mosaic.  I am very much looking forward to making it, and having the time to immerse myself in creating a large work of art.

The commission came about from a phone call to my business line one day - 07944 635487.  The caller said she had seen my work in a fish restaurant in Oxford, and had taken my card a few years ago.  She and her husband were now in a position to commission a mosaic for their kitchen, and could they come a visit me at my studio?  No problem.

They came here in early December to discuss what they wanted and if was possible (which of course it was!). They were particularly taken with the marlin mosaic (see below), which I was very happy to make for them - obviously it would be unique to them, but along similar lines.  They especially liked the movement and lift of the marlin, and the splashes of light, which were hand made tiles.



Before we could go any further, my clients had to decide the size they wanted.  I always suggest clients blu-tac a piece of newspaper on the wall to see what size would work in the proportions of the room.  This is what they did, and emailed me a size, asking for a quote.  We agreed on a price and up front deposit and I put their commission in my order book for the new year.  Exciting!

So, blogger friends, I will attempt to give you a weekly update on the progress of the marlin and I would be really grateful if you could share it with your friends and followers - anything you can do would be much appreciated!

Many thanks, and look out for the first post in the first week of January as I get started.  Look forward to hearing from you,

Felicity x

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Mosaic preparations for Christmas!

Hello blogger friends,

As September passes each year, I start thinking about making mosaics for Christmas presents.  Too soon, I hear you say!  Well for me, it isn't, I'm afraid - I love my work but it does take time to make, and there is only me snipping away in my studio.  The thought of not having orders made and ready for my clients' Christmas presents is not a good feeling, so I have learnt that lots of lead up time is the answer!




I'm not sure how many orders I receive from you all in blogosphere, but I hope you don't mind me reminding you to give me lots of time if you are one of those lovely people who keep me busy here in my Bristol studio!  I ship my mosaics all over the world, so need even longer to get them to you in time, please.

As you know from past blogs, my mosaics are infinitely versatile, and I am always up for a challenge - so do take a look at my website and see what I can do, and beyond ...! www.felicityballmosaics.com
In these photos, I've just given you an example of some of what I make, but if you have something something/different in mind, email me, and we can discuss the possibilities - felicityball@justmosaics.co.uk

It would be great if you could pass this post on to your friends and followers and make this the best and busiest festive season ever for me!

Thank you,
Felicity x

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Mosaic art in situ - ideas for mosaics in the home and garden

Hello blogger friends,

I often ask people who buy my mosaics to send me photos of the mosaics in situ.  Partly, of course, because it is lovely to see where they finally rest, and to see how they look - and also because it gives people who are thinking of buying or commissioning a mosaic how it might look.  Often we don't purchase a piece of art, no matter how much we are drawn to it,  because we are not quite sure where to put it.  Hence the photos in situ.  I have a large collection of them now but have just chosen a few for you to have a look at, with a little explanation of each underneath.
This is a Kandinsky inspired mosaic hangs in our kitchen, and lifts my spirits every day!

Two very different mosaics in this bathroom - on the left a wave mosaic which is just tiles and wood.  On the right is a Moroccan inspired mosaic in which I have used a Mediterranean blue grout.

To the left of the door of this Coastguard's Guard cottage, is a exterior mosaic of a local scene in Devon.

In this church, I mosaiced the inside of the font and made matching wave panels each side.

See one of my garden benches nestling in this garden - a work of art, and so useful!

I made two landscape mosaics for this client who had a lot of wall space and wanted something interesting to look at while she sat at her patio table

Here is an exterior poppy mosaic to add to my client's collection of wall art.

It was hard to choose just a few examples - but I hope this gives you a small idea of how versatile my mosaics are.  If you have an idea, and would like to commission one, it really is easy - just email me - felicityball@justmosaics.co.uk- and we can discuss the possibilities.  If you want to get some idea of what it might cost, do visit my website and see all my work there for more details - www.felicityballmosaics.com

Many thanks for reading, and I would really appreciate you sharing my mosaics with anyone you think might be interested.

Felicity x 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Roman design mosaic table and another finished mosaic!

Hello blog friends,

Just to give you an update on the tricky Roman mosaic table commission...
It is now finished and ready to sit at, with a glass of something lovely ..!
Before packing it up for the courier to take it to its new home, here is a photo of it for you.



On the subject of mosaics being finished, after a lot of thought and work, I finished the mosaic garden water feature recently - it was, it is fair to say, a labour of love, and luckily, I love it!



It's very satisfying when you finish something that has taken a long time, and even more satisfying when you are pleased with the result - so all good!

Now onto the next project ... I'll keep you posted!
Felicity x

Thursday, 20 April 2017

A tricky Roman mosaic design bistro table

Hello blogger friends,

As in life, things don't always go right, and I have experienced that recently with a commission to make a Roman design mosaic table.

To start off with, it is a different style for me which I was/am excited to try - I always like a challenge!  The precise nature of a geometric design meant a lot more measuring and checking, which I thought I had done!  Below is a design I found on Google images, which my client liked for the centre of the round table, so I sort of based my middle design on that.

Courtesy of Google images
My client wanted greys as a colour palette with blues and beiges.  So off I went, drawing the design and starting to cut and stick the tiles.

Here is my original design, and the progress I made with cutting and sticking the tiles.




It all seemed to be going well, until I made the devastating discovery that what I thought was the middle, wasn't the middle, so when everything needed to be the right measurements, they weren't!
What to do?  Nothing, but take every single tile off and start again!
The actual process wasn't as daunting as it sounds, and I collected each colour tile in a tub so I could reuse them in some shape on the Take 2 table design!
With some help from my husband who is very good at these things (and had pointed out the problem in the first place!), we now have a perfectly central design drawn, and it's time to start again.
Of course, it HAS to be right!


When all is completed, I will share the finished table with you, and hope you like the centred Roman mosaic design!

Do get in touch, and if you like my blog and mosaics, it would be great if you could share.
Until next time ..
Felicity

Saturday, 11 March 2017

A very special mosaic

Hello blogger friends,

Once in a while I am commissioned to make really special mosaics.  Obviously, I feel that all my mosaics are special, but some just make my heart race as I make them.

So, a few months ago, I had an email from a chap who wanted me to make a mosaic for his girlfriend, saying 'marry me'.  Well, I was so excited - what a lovely romantic gesture!  We discussed all the details and designed a special motif together to fit in the mosaic - something special to them.

What an honour to part of such a special moment in a couple's life!



Anyway, I made the mosaic posted it off with all my good wishes and positive thoughts. I didn't hear for a while .... until yesterday, when an email told me the great news that all went well -  she said YES, and seemed to like the mosaic too!

Happy days!
Felicity x

Monday, 30 January 2017

How I grout a rainbow mosaic house number with sunflower motif!

Hello blogger friends,

I often get asked how I grout my mosaics. I must say from the beginning that no one has ever taught me - this is the just the way I do it, and it is seems to work pretty well, so this is for all you budding mosaicists out there!


Having made the mosaic and all the tiles are thoroughly stuck and are where I want them,  I get the Unibond grout  www.diy.com, plastic jug www.asda.com and spatula www.amazon.co.uk

 
I measure three serving spoons worth of the powder grout (about the right amount for this 20cm x 20cm mosaic), and mix in small amounts of water until I have a buttercream consistency, the same as in the middle of a cake, mixing it together with the spatula. Make sure you don't get a dry lump of grout at the bottom of the jug!

Next, be brave and get spreading! I work the grout firmly into all the spaces between the tiles.

I keep going over the mosaic, spreading the grout on thickly, and then scraping it off with the soft edged spatula, again and again.

The edges are very important in mosaics - especially for this exterior house number - as that is the place where water might get in. I use my index finger to press the grout right into the edge, going round and round the edges until I am sure it is all completely covered. - be careful for sharp edged tiles!

I wipe all the excess grout off, checking once again that there are no gaps - it's amazing how grout sinks and suddenly a hole appears from nowhere!

Before the final wipe, I use a thin and sharp tool to make the holes either side for fixing, before the grout dries.  I paint the sides and back in an exterior paint to finish it off. The mosaic is then ready to go up, and lift your spirits every time you go into your place for years to come 😀
If you have any questions about making mosaics, or a project you are working on, do leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer it for you.

Thanks so much for reading, and look forward to hearing from you.
Felicity x

Monday, 16 January 2017

Felicity Ball mosaics and Pinterest

Hello everyone,

This is just a little blogette to let you know about all my lovely Pinterest boards.

I have been on Pinterest for quite a while now and really enjoy collecting all sorts of arty pins I like, just so that I have them in one place and can go back there and enjoy them whenever I want!  There is so much amazing work out there of all media, and its such a pleasure to have my very own gallery at the press of a button.

So, I thought, if you are a Pinterest person (or even if you're not!), you might like to join me there sometimes too. Here is the link to my boards - https://uk.pinterest.com/justmosaics/  I am always adding new pins so do keep an eye open, and I look forward to your company over there!

Many thanks,
Felicity x


Sunday, 8 January 2017

Thinking ahead for my mosaic business ...

Happy new year, blogger friends!

With my business this year, I am going to try and learn from last year's mistakes - that's a good start to the year, isn't it?!
Let me explain. As you can imagine, my mosaics take a long time to make - I cut and stick every single tile myself.  Of course, I'm not complaining - I am very lucky and love my work.  But I am determined to improve my planning this year.  With that in mind, I am now using  'The Maker's Yearbook' devised by fellow maker, Nicola Taylor to help us all achieve this - do take a look at her website - it is so helpful!  www.makersbusinesstoolkit.com

Last year, I received orders for my popular mosaic bistro tables too late for me to make them in time for spring and summer.  I did make them all in the end, but felt terrible, when the sun was shining and my customers didn't have their tables to sit at.

So, I know it only January and sunny days seem along way away, but I am now encouraging everyone to make their orders now, so that all shall be well and you can enjoy a glass of something the minute the air warms and the sun shines.



For more details, please visit my website and treat your patio to a lovely table and a mosaic piece of art!  www.felicityballmosaics.com

Thank you for reading and I would be really grateful if you could share my blog with your family, friends, and followers.

Until next time ...
Felicity x