Tag Archives: mosaic

Garden Posts (Part II – Installation)

So, after several months of snipping and nipping, cutting and sticking, the panels were finally ready.

It had been a particularly hot and sunny week which wouldn’t be ideal for the installation because the cement would dry too quickly, so I checked the weather forecast and it said the weekend would be warm and overcast.  Perfect.  As I am not blessed with a huge amount of patience I thought I was being really good waiting two days.  When Saturday arrived, dressed in old togs I set about clearing the fence of plants and fairy lights, laid out a plastic sheet and I was good to go.

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Yes, I know I should probably wear gloves!

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A teeny tiny daisy petal had been dislodged and needed to be sunk back into the cement.

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The weather forecast had been a little pessimistic because the sun broke through the clouds and it was a really hot, sunny day and my shoulders got a bit burnt.   Anyway, all three panels were now stuck to the posts and tomorrow I would be grouting.

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Grout colour is always tricky to decide upon, but I usually favour dark colours (I’ve made bad choices in the past!).   It is so exciting when the grout it applied and I wipe away the excess. Gradually the beautiful colours underneath start to pop through.  The clean up process was now in full swing because everything was drying particularly quickly, but with plenty of elbow grease it was beginning to look like a mad bouquet of colours.

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collage three panels size

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Dog photography is all about treats and timing, apparently!

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So, that’s the end of my latest project – on to the next ……..


Garden Posts (Part I – Making)

Over the last few months I’ve been busy working on a new mosaic, well three mosaics actually, to cover the plain concrete fence posts on our patio.  I took lots of photographs as it helps to look at the design from a different perspective.   So, I hope this post will show the process I use and give you some idea of the detail involved.

I decided to work the three panels at the same time so the design would flow.  I wasn’t working to any plan, I just knew in my head what I wanted it to look like.

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When it came to making a butterfly, I started experimenting.  I took a piece of plain glass and cut it to shape and then painted the back with several layers of nail varnish.  It worked out beautifully for this and another butterfly, so I used this method again for snails, ladybirds, dragonfly and bees wings.

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This little spider was a regular visitor.

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Even though it was blisteringly hot, our extremely furry dog would sit in the shade and stare at me, willing me to put my cutters down and play football.

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I wanted to include as many garden visitors as possible, even the ones that aren’t always welcome, so snails had to be included!IMG_81576 frog collage resize

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I took a photograph of this moth sitting on a window and followed it’s simple lines in mosaic.IMG_8332 Collage resize

At the very bottom of the panels I used stained glass to make grass and added another snail and a hedgehog.

Next – sunburnt shoulders, cement hands and the installation ……


Garden Ball

This terracotta ball has been another project that I started and shelved some time ago.  But with the promise of Spring in the air and little crocuses and tete-a-tete daffodils popping out of the ground, I was once again inspired.  And I’m so glad because it is probably one of my favourite pieces to date.

Citronball N1

Citronball butterfly

Citronball N3

Citronball dragonfly

Citronball N4

Citronball bee

I’m hoping to see lots of butterflies, dragonflies and bees in my garden this year……..

Citronball N2

…… but maybe not so many snails !

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As probably mentioned before, I have been known to start new projects before I’ve finished others!   This Buddha head was something I started a couple of years ago,  I made a start …… and then put it to one side to do something else.

Buddha 1

I decided against mosaicing the face because I was afraid it would detract from the features and I like the contrast too.

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Bad day at the office

Mosaic ball 1

I’ve had to come in from my workshop because I’ve just had an accident.  There I was sitting listening to the radio and cutting the next batch of petals for my mosaic lantern ball when I smacked my hand against the sharp edge of a killer flower.   There followed what looked like a scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

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Luckily my Handsome Trusted Assistant (HTA) was there on hand (excuse the pun) with a bottle of superglue and stemmed the flow of blood.   My finger is quite sore and as I don’t want to bend it for the time being I’ve come indoors.  I’m not very good at wasting time so I’m a bit annoyed that I can’t get on with what I wanted to do today.

In contrast HTA is having a great day and is nearing completion on making his first overdrive guitar pedal. He has finished all the electronic gubbings inside and is now putting the finishing touches to the artwork.   He was last seen with an acrylic spray can in his hand and full face mask, making noises Darth Vadar would be proud of.


I love the fact that the led lights up in the shark’s eye!  More pictures to follow when it’s all assembled.

Anyway, tomorrow is another day and all being well I’ll be back at my worktop snipping away at another daisy or something.

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EDIT.  As I’m typing this my HTA has just come in to tell me that he has just been stung by something in the garden and it has left a pulsating sting in his arm (which he thinks is quite cool)!   Is it Friday the 13th by any chance and nobody has told me?!?

Villa Mosaica

Last week I took a short break to visit friends in Spain.  It’s the first time I’ve been there in the Winter and although it was quite warm and sunny we skipped the beach and went sightseeing instead.

The aroma and colours in the local market were amazing.





I couldn’t resist bringing back pots of spices, a bag full of garlic, cinnamon sticks and dried mango :)

Palm trees


Cool sign at the entrance to a disused circus arena.

Knowing about my love of mosaic I was taken to see an old villa where the owner, Emilio Gallego covered his entire home with broken china (probably in the late 1800′s?)

Villa Mosaica


Unfortunately, the villa is falling into disrepair because of a dispute over ownership.



I loved spotting my Grandmother’s name, Clara.



I do hope that some sort of agreement can be made soon to save this building which is fast falling into disrepair.  Apparently the rooms inside are also covered in mosaic and at the rear the garden has a porch made of pillars with Moorish arches which are beautifully decorated with ceramic tiles.

Back in my Workshop

It’s been some time since I’ve been in my workshop but as my job in the ceramics studio has come to an end I’m looking forward to spending lots more time in my garden hideaway, creating more of my own art.

I went out for a pizza with my workmates this week and took along a personalized mosaic for each of them.


Agapantus (African Lily) for Jane, a flower-lover.


A robin for Sophia because a little robin often visits her garden.

Stag beetle

And a stag beetle for Kellie because we had a funny conversation about the stag beetles in my garden flying past my neighbour and making her scream!  Hilarious!

The ceramicist I worked with has now settled into her own studio and is busy making lots of beautiful things.  And, as every studio should have a name plaque, I made this for Gina.

Bunny Hole

It was lovely getting back to designing and making mosaics and I’m really looking forward to getting started on my next project :)


Wall Pot

It’s amazing what you can find at the bottom of your garden :)   Last week I was hunting for some broken pots to use as drainage and I came across a stash of terracotta pots I’d forgotten I had.  So, as I had another Juncus Spiralis plant (the curlywurly plant in my Sizzling September post), what better than to mosaic a wall planter.

This was the perfect two day project.

Wall pot

Sizzling September

I was wandering around a local garden centre yesterday and found this lovely wall planter, but unfortunately it had a chip in the glaze. As it was the only one left I bought it half price as I was sure I’d have something to cover over the damage.

Damaged pot

I’ve had fun today searching through my mosaic trays and discovering things I’d forgotten I had.  Anyway, I decided on this beautiful carbouchon.

Wall pot

I found this amazing plant, Juncus Spiralis, which reminds me of wild untamed hair!

I’m making the most of this fabulous weather and planting up some winter baskets and pots, with the help of my furry friend :)

Hanging basket

Lounging Lizard

About eight or nine years ago I visited a magical garden owned by a couple of retired art teachers.  They open their garden up every year for charity as part of the National Gardens Scheme.   Every year I go back, and most years I introduce a friend to this garden, it’s so beautiful.  When I leave I’m usually full of ideas about how I can do this and that in my garden.  A short drive from their Eden is a garden centre so I usually stop off and buy one or two plants and dream of what might be.

stairsA couple of years ago I bought a chunky piece of slate on my way home and imagined how a lizard would look sunning itself on it.   I’ve kicked around with ideas on what to mosaic it with but thought it would be different if I used stones.


I’ve grouted it and varnished the stones to bring their colours out and now just have to find somewhere sunny to place it.