Thursday, October 15, 2009

Using Mesh for Mosaic

This is a mini tutorial for those involved with the mosaic mural projects who have never used Fiberglass Mosaic Mesh. Included is a sample of how to package your mosaic for mailing.
1. Starting from the bottom up:

  • You may want a mobile work surface (for your comfort) to tape your project to.
A cutting-board or clipboard for example.

  • Tape or clip your Template to your work surface

2. Template with your tracing-paper cartoon overlay.

*note: You may skip this step and draw directly on your template if you're confident in your design.

3. On top of your cartoon you will layer clear plastic.

Don't forget this step or your template/cartoon will be glued to your mosaic!

*I use the gallon size freezer bags. They are very thick and reusable for many more mesh projects. It has been suggested by other mosaic artists that GLAD Press'n Seal also works very well.

4. Layer your fiberglass mesh on top of the clear plastic layer.

You are now ready to start your mosaic :)

5. Apply your adhesive to only a small area of the tesserae.

* Left to right: Weldbond, Mac Glue, Dap Adhesive Caulk

6. Let your mosaic dry completely before removing it from the plastic.
*Drying times will vary with the adhesive used...sometimes drastically.
Mac Glue and Dap Adhesive Caulk are usually dry in about 6 hours...dependant on temperature and humidity. Weldbond may take a few days.

7. It is not necessary or desirable to coat the entire mosaic area with adhesive.
Because it is even more important that the adhesive used in assembling the mosaic to its final substrate is allowed to push up through the mesh and have good contact with every piece of your mosaic.

8. Once the adhesive has dried and has been peeled away from the plastic, your new mesh mosaic should still be very flexible.
Hold it up by the corners and give it a gentle shake to be sure that everything is well stuck.

9. Trim the extra mesh from your finished mosaic to about 1" or 2.5cm from the tesserae for packaging to mail.

Packaging a mesh mosaic to survive the mail

It is not necessary to use a giant package for the delicate mosaic...but it is important that it be immobile and rigid.
You will need:
  • A mailing envelope that's only a bit larger than your mesh mosaic. If it has padding or bubbles, even better.

  • 2 pieces of rigid cardboard cut at least 1/2" larger than the mesh edge of your mosaic.

Strong tape (regular gift-wrapping tape is not strong enough)

On 1 piece of the cardboard, tape down the entire edge of the mesh surrounding the mosaic.

Lay the 2nd piece of cardboard over the a mosaic sandwich and tape the cardboard edges together.
*Most of the mosaics that I have received through
the mail that were packaged using this method survived
with very few issues.

If you are using mosaic mesh and don’t plan to mail your piece out - Then, trim the mesh as close to the tesserae as possible before adhering it to the substrate of your choice.
  • Using mesh for mosaics in this way is also very useful when working on vertical, curved and 3D pieces.

  • The meshed mosaic needs to be adhered with an adhesive that has the ability to squish up through the mesh, for example: thinset and DAP

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mural Update:

Swirlendipity I at Providence Park Hospital

Amuzapalooza has also been completed and is awaiting its frame for installation.

And, Swirlendipity II is well underway with a target completion time of late October.

The directive and Templates for the 4th mural of this donation project, working title 'hearts', will be delivered to the contributing artists this fall. With an estimated installation time of late winter early spring 2010

You may view the murals in progress and see the list and artwork of the many fine artists involved in these works by visiting my website under GALLERY - COMMUNITY DONATION MURALS.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Collaborative Mosaic Murals

I've been asked many a time now how this mural donation project got in an effort to make life easier...even I can't believe it.
I've started a blog.

Here we go...

It began innocently enough in August of 2008 in a Mosaic Challenge Group. One of my mosaic boxes “…of Atlantis” had won the latest challenge, so it was my choice to select the next subject. I chose a 6”x6” swirl.

...of Atlantis

Sounded simple enough.

After some fast and furious brainstorming on the part of a few of the artists in the group, the little swirls had morphed themselves into a full blown mosaic quilt project. Being the instigator of the swirls I jumped at the chance to be the one to pull it all together... I do love a big project!

We ended the challenge on October 31st with 61 swirl entries! Though because not all were made on mesh I was sent the 56 that were. This created another challenge: To design the mural with the mosaics touching each other or break the project into 2 panels of 28? The swirls were almost perfectly divided into cool & warm colors so I decided to break it up.

Swirlendipity I
Swirlendipity II

Before beginning to build the murals, these 2 panels now named Swirlendipity I & Swirlendipity II needed a home. In discussing this project with a friend, Ann Tronzo, she suggested that I look into the new medical complex and hospital that had just opened in September of ’08…she’s also a nurse there.

A bit daunting to approach such a large place never having donated art before.

I made 2 mural mock-ups and met with the manager, Elena Weissman, of the Assarian Cancer Center for the Healing Arts at the Providence Park Medical Campus Novi, Michigan. Quite an interesting and very unexpected visit. I had no idea that a medical facility would house art classes, yoga, a pottery studio and a gallery!

St John Providence Park Hospital in Novi, Michigan

The swirl mural concept was welcomed with great enthusiasm. In a meeting that followed after the holidays, we looked for wall locations within the main hospital, Providence Park, as it is new with A LOT of empty white walls. We chose the public entrances on the 2nd, & 3rd floors. The first floor is the main lobby, and already complete.

Also in this meeting, Elena asked if it would be possible to continue the mosaic theme on the remaining 2 floors. What could I say but of course?

Swirlendipity I will be located on the Orthopedics & Surgery level, Swirlendipity II on the Women’s Services/Labor & Delivery & Neonatal level. The Jigsaw Puzzle, Amuzapalooza, on the Neurological Sciences & Oncology level , and the 4th and final mural, still in its design phase, will be located on the Cardiology & Surgery level …I’m thinking ‘hearts'

Each of these mosaics will be 3’x5’ with a Hardibacker substrate mounted on finished plywood. With the frame it will bring the artworks size to 4’x6’.

Bringing all of the mosaic artists together was never a difficult task. A very generous lot these artists. There was quite a list of mosaicists who had contacted me to see if it was still possible for them to donate a swirl. They were the first “go-to” when the puzzle mural was being established, along with the current swirl artists who were given another opportunity to participate. There are also artists from Providence Park Hospital involved in making 9 of the 50 puzzle pieces for Amuzapalooza.

As I write this, nearing the end of August 2009... a full year from the swirl ideas inception,I'm happy to report that Swirlendipity I has been successfully installed at the hospital as of July 31st.