A tide pool in the making.
When I first posted images of the completed “Tide Pool Table” to Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, a number of people asked me how I’d designed it, or suggested that I post images of the mosaic in progress.
I had taken a few shots of the tabletop as I worked on it, but very few. In spite of that, I am going to try to show you how it came into being.
It all started with a patio side table that had seen better days. The table had a chip out of its plain glass top and seemed a prime candidate for a mosaic makeover.
One day while we were doing a little beach combing I realized that tide pools would make great subject matter for mosaic art. First of all, I’m a big fan of tide pools, but also because they are so beautiful and full of shape and colour and movement. I also thought they would lend themselves very well to work in glass, my new favourite medium. When I started work on the table, I knew it would be my first tide pool piece.
I had planned to follow what I believed to be standard protocol, and make a sketch or visual plan of what I hoped the finished piece would look like. I sketched it but realized that I didn’t have the patience to make a plan for every piece of glass. That’s when it occurred to me that sketches have never been part of my art making m.o. I have always preferred to work organically and let a piece develop as I worked.
I looked at various images of tide pools from my own photos and images on the web. Once I had some basic shapes, colours and textures in mind I set out cutting glass. I lay the cut glass out in little piles as I imagined I wanted to place them.
I began with an area that was to be a sort of purple anemone and started gluing down tesserae. By the time I’d finished that, all other plans were forgotten and I just continued to lay down glass creating elements as they occurred to me, occasionally going back and removing pieces that weren’t working. I referred back to the tide pool photos periodically and continued to build.
I should probably add, that the gluing was not quite as easy as I’ve made it sound. First was the process of selecting the proper adhesive for the job and that was a job in itself. I won’t bore you with the details, but I did find a clear glue that promised to hold glass to glass on a piece of outdoor furniture. So far so good.
Once I had finished the tabletop and was happy with the outcome I turned my attention to grout. I decided a dark charcoal grout would set the piece off well and be most appropriate for an underwater scene. I grouted the mosaic with a few whoopses here and there, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed. When the mosaic was grouted, cured and sealed, I secured the entire top into the frame of the table with a flexible grout, but not until I’d repainted the metal table base.
I am so excited to be creating again and I have to admit that I think this piece turned out rather well. The table now sits on our veranda where we spend some part of almost every fair weather day, and I’m always happy to see it.
I’m also happy to say that I have my next project well under way and look forward to showing it to you. Thank you for looking in.