Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It's a Mad, Mod, Mosaic World

Way back in late November I received a message through a social networking site from someone who liked my mosaic work and was looking to commission a backsplash for his kitchen. We had my family visiting and I was furiously working on our master bathroom renovation.  It's not often that we have free babysitting from the grandparents so I spent whole days tiling our new shower.  Somewhere in all of that I managed to try to email the prospective client. Time passed and I got another message through a different site from the same client. Now it was Christmas time and we had Mike's mother coming to visit and the holiday to attend to. I was still working on the bathroom reno and trying to finish gifts for everyone. I did connect with the client and we discussed his kitchen backsplash project. I did not hold out high hopes for it to actually come to fruition because so I get so many internet inquiries about my work and they mostly fall through. Most people are just not serious about the project or realistic about the cost of commissioning an artist to hand cut glass to make a custom mosaic mural for them. Or, sometimes it seems as though people are just fishing around for prices, free advice, etc. I take inquiries seriously and have wasted a lot of time and effort on long distance projects that never happened. That's going to change-onward.

Amazingly, this client was serious and realistic and we began discussing what he and his wife were looking for. They liked a mosaic of mine from my site that was based on Gustav Klimt's Tree of Life work.  My mosaic is abstract with geometric shapes and a golden color palette. The clients loved it but they wanted flowers and butterflies and vines. Hmm. How to do that without it turning out too sweet or childish looking? After a couple of preliminary designs and some further discussions we arrived at a design that we all liked.  It has the flow of the inspiration mosaic with tendrils of green vining ribbons, pared down flowers in simple concentric circles and some realistically rendered butterflies. To me it has a modern look and a lot of life.  There is something almost cosmic feeling about the floating flowers.  I included a yellow swallowtail butterfly as a memento of watching them in the garden with my little girl last Summer. We had loads of them around the wild perimeters of our yard.

It's a fairly large mosaic (6 ft. long) though certainly not the largest I've made. I've been updating the clients on my progress through digital photographs. As I neared completing it the clients enlarged it, more than doubling the project in size. I'm now working on the second phase of it and making good progress.

I've always worked fast but it is a challenge to work on something as detailed as a mosaic when I am home with my 2 yr. old daughter. I work while she naps or after dinner and on weekends, whenever I can. This is the first large project since having my daughter and moving. While finding time to work is challenging it is also rewarding. I am really grateful for my patient clients who are giving me quite a lot of freedom to be creative. It's great to have this creative time in my studio. Working on this project is helping me to think about my work and where I want to go with it.

I'm really looking forward to completing this mosaic and shipping it off to it's new home soon.  I can't wait to see it installed.