.. and finally after many hours of touching up, cleaning and getting absolutely frozen as we worked in the garage Maria has got her beautiful table home. thanks to Ann at Blue Sky Mosaics for all her input both with cutting the difficult orange pieces and with grouting...
YIPPEE.. IT'S HOME in Ballater
Maria Spinardi has been coming to my regular "GEM" class at the studio on a Wednesday morning.she has spent many hours creating this amazing peacock table which she affectionately refers to as "the BIRD" .The table has been rescued from the skip and has been adorned with beautiful shades of stained glass shards some of which have been foiled to make them sparkle even more. His eye has come from Turkey and his beak was cut from a gold dish. The nuggets which we cut in half give more texture and interest and as always the ball chain adds a bit more decadence. this table will be put outside but needs to be taken in over the winter.I suspect the gold oil behind the beak will perish but we decided to take the gamble. Isn't it wonderful! Now to grout Maria... Good luck!
Meet Harry .
Harry's mum has commissioned me to do a quirky sculpture of her beautiful boy.
I'd like to share the process with you as he evolves.
He is sculpted from kingspan insulating foam which came from the dump.
I glued and wired the blocks together into the rough shape I needed. Bought the gorgeous ornament to guide me with the shape as I cannot do it from a photo.
The shape is coming along nicely now and he is about 60cm high.
Daisy Mackay has given him her seal of approval....
I have a list of quirky requests to incorporate into his design so watch this space.
Gosh, I'm sorry it has been so long since I've added anything to this page.
I'd like to tell you about my mural in the utility room which has kept me very busy over the last 3 months.
It has been a slow process which started with me getting new units and flooring.
I firstly wallpapered and painted and then I was able to start preparing the design to cover the rather bland cream tiles which have been there since we moved in.
I started by hunting for lots of different shaped bottles and glass vases which I melted in my kiln. I primed the tiles and just worked onto them rather than go to the hassle of removing them. I melted around 40 different shaped bottles and vases and cut some ceramic ones in half too.Some of them I foiled behind to give them an extra sparkle. They got stuck on first
Then I made lots of different ceramic and glass flowers using a variety of preshaped materials, lids, knobs and bits of crockery and glass. I glued them onto mesh so they could be easily wall mounted and positioned on a vertical plain.
This was the fun part! I decided not to "clutter" the design with foliage as I wanted to create a more abstract feel.
I worked in sections and beside the sink I incorporated 2 vintage ceramic marmalade pots which I cut in half to hold my utensils etc. I drilled holes in the bottom so the water would drain out.
I spent ages trying to decide on what colour to do the background. Mirror was definitely in my mind but I ended up digging in my rubbish crocks box to find bits of white plain china which I chopped into random shapes to work in round the flowers and vaseS. I outlined the whole splash back with some vintage tiles which had come from the dump. They are a lovely pale grey colour and I just had enough to go round the edge.
I started to add in lots of subliminal messages and little bits and bobs which mean something to me.I also added some nonsense and some quirkiness so you'll always find something new in there no matter how many times you look.
I've got our name, our anniversary, the tale of Peter Rabbit and lots of china stamps to name but a few pieces.
Grouting was a nightmare.. slow and laborious, but boy did it bring everything together beautifully. Again, I did it in sections so I had to go back to it on 5 different occasions!
It is really hard to grout vertically and the light was poor and it was hard to reach some areas . What a brilliant feeling to have it finished though!
It has been scrubbed and polished and it looks amazing. Now I just need to buy some lovely expensive mosaic tiles to put on the shelf under the window. This luxury I am allowing myself as my splash back cost very little apart from a few tiles, the kiln firings, the grout and adhesive, 10 fingernails, about 300 disposable gloves and 3 months of my life!
Thanks for reading and watch this space as I am 2/3 way through another mural in my loo..!
Today I would like to introduce you to POPPYCOCK and This piece has been inspired by the work of the Amazing SOLANGE PFIFFER . Look her up. Her pieces will blow your socks off!
POPPYCOCK been created onto an upcycled chopping board so he is rather heavy!
His tail feathers and body have been cut from the rims and designs on 2 sets of dinner plates. I used one of the flowers on the plate to represent his eye.The ceramic poppy was taken from an arrangement and I was floored to realise the colour on poppy had been painted on after firing so it came off when I started to grout! Had to repaint it! His comb is also made from poppy petals which had to be repainted and his wattle has been made from melted bits of glass.The background has been filled with a selection of precut tiles ( a nice contrast to the random pique assiette style of the bird). He is a gorgeous guy and his friend CHINA JIM will be joining him soon in the studio. Watch this space......
Can't believe it has been 2 months since I've had the chance to sit down and write up my news page.
September was all about NEOS and 191 visitors came to my studio and garden over 9 days and gave generously to my chosen charity gathimbaedwardsfoundation.org. Please look them up and see what wonderful work they are doing.
My GIVING HEART outside the studio was adorned with 200 knitted flowers and the money raised went straight into a house building project in Kenya.My lovely friend Caroline pictured below was involved in the project and they built 2 houses in the time she was there.
My visitors came from far and wide and they ranged from very young to very old.
I had some 4 legged guests too!
Finally finished "KING HALCY ON A LOG" and he has now been installed into the bottle pond . He is my 5th sculpture made from Kingspan foam.
The first one I made was DAISY MACKAY in 2013 at a course in Crieff run by Jan Kilpatrick of Wild tiles and hosted by Katy Galbraith of Recycle Me Mosaics. Both these artists have been hugely inspirational to me.
The pieces of foam are carved, wired and glued and before being covered in tiles and random crockery in pique assiette style.
My 3rd piece was created when our beautiful TINKY WINKY died.. larger than life when he was alive, I had to create a larger than life memorial for him!
SUNFLOWER SHELLEY is a rather stunning beach babe who stands beside the pond in her bikini . Her body is a metal frame and her head is sculpted from kingspan. Her hair is formed from twine found washed up with the tide and her bikini bottoms are made from perfume tops by Marc Jacobs!Her hat keeps her warm in the winter!
And last, but not least we have RUBBISH FAIRY.. the ecowarrier who collects all your rubbish and brings it to me for recycling. She is an absolute star... and you can sit a cup of coffee on her chest!
Meet "Pinky" and "Perky", two of my newest creations. They are a pair and were inspired by a drawing by my great niece Miah Campbell. Pinky is made from a mug and I have incorporated the handle into her tail. Perky is made from a spice jar and the lid forms part of his body. In both pieces I have used some beautiful pale blue china for the sky. I don't know the name of the design, but it bursting with opulence and elegance which is such a contrast to the 2 rather quirky chooks! I love creating pieces which are full of contrasting elements so you will look and look again and each time you will see something new!At the moment these 2 guys are at the UDAS (Upper Deeside Art Society ) exhibition in Ballater but they are sold and will be going to live with Cornflower at Penny's house!
CORNFLOWER IS PART OF "THE HENNY HUT" SIGN
This fishie little guy is slowly taking shape since being carved in May under the watchful eye of my talented friend Gail Massey. He is carved from insulating foam and has been adorned with glass , crockery, melted glass and figurines amongst other things. Last weekend he was given a log to sit on. It was carved by "Steve the Viking" who doesn't want a mention but he's getting one anyway. ..such a talented guy. He worked really hard to get the angle and position of fish and rods to keep the kingfisher well balanced and to give his top heavy head some support.
Here are some pictures of progress so far. I have melted him some longer tail feathers and have literally anchored them into the foam with lots of glue. I'm worried that the foam isn't strong enough to take any more weight. tomorrow I will grout his body, tidy up his head and he can be placed on the log semi permanently.
Next photos will be of him finished and in his temporary home beside pond.
What a great way to spend a grey rainy day at Balmedie . At the Sand Bothy we had a family mosaic day and boy, what a gorgeous array of sparkly colourful pieces were created . Such a pleasure to work with 2 enthusiastic and creative groups. Thanks for organising this Rosie Nicol . You can see the complete album of photos on my facebook page PRETTY RUBBISH MOSAIC ART
Today is end of term for Lumphanan Primary School.How lucky was I to have been invited to create a "leaving piece" with the 14 primary seven children? Thanks Alison Ewen for the idea and for all your help.
What a lovely bunch of children and look at their creations. I used 2 of the children's designs in the middle piece and enlarged and traced them to create an exact representation of their drawings .In the border we have everything from sharks ,swimmers, scooters, swords, rabbits, foxes dinosaurs, initials ,names and flowers and Chloe came form her sick bed to create a little bumble bee. Spent whole day working with the children to design and glue then I grouted piece ready to hang outside. Look out for it.. it's lovely and colourful.
Grace finally finished her mirror today It has been such a joy to watch it evolve. Inspired by Gail Massey's melted mirrors we have used one kiln load of melted glass shards to create the flowers, leaves and branches which adorn this piece. Grace made the little bird on mesh and I cut the 2 robins on my wet tile saw. The "bricks" came from the skip at Tile Giant and the mirror was bought second hand. Doesn't it look amazing for a heap of old rubbish!
Below are the 2 amazing mirrors created by Gail Massey at our Mess with Tess in Dess weekend in May. 3 kiln loads of melted shards to create flowers an greenery . Amazing work by such a talented girl.Oh and my Kingfisher WIP is looking good there too.
What a joy to work with the children at Ballater Library Club.Thank you so much Sabine Muir for inviting Lynne Henderson and I to come and do some mosaicing. Boxes of precut "treasure" were provided for the children to use so they had only to design, stick and grout! And boy what results. Wonderful creations onto flat pebbles and slate. Lovely sunny day so we got outside to grout..PHEW!Hope I'll see you again and you'll come and see me at my studio guys.
Latest commission off to it's new home in Sauchen. "Cornflower" was made from a large mug and a lovely flowery cereal bowl and the letters "The Henny Hut" were melted from bits of beer and wine bottles.Melted glass leaves and branches for tree and my new dremel tool cut the plastic eggs nicely in half to fit into the egg cups which were cut on my wet tile saw.Great fun to do and please look out for Cornflower and say hello when you drive past to buy your eggs.Check out the Pennies for Penny's Hennys !!
Had a lovely morning working with 21 ladies at 3rd Stage group in Woodend Barn. Everyone created a lovely butterfly .They are indoor pieces as they are created on MDF. I would have liked these pieces to be grouted but we had no time so we packed the tiles and embellishments into every available gap! I drilled tiny holes and inserted wire which doubles up as a hanger and antennae. Lots and lots of little tubs filled with precut tiles and shapes,nuggets , beads, ballchain and melted glass pieces to use in the designs. Net time I'll take a hairdryer as it was tricky to work on 2 sides in 2 hours!!! . thank you for inviting me ladies.
It was fun!
Finally handed over this wall hanging to The Sand Bothy in Balmedie. Thank you Rosie Nicol for making it happen.So much detail and variety packed onto this up cycled kitchen cabinet door!Tried to incorporate loads of little quirky bits and pieces so you can look and look again and keep finding new things. Hope it will be seen close up. Looking forward to doing workshops at The Sand Bothy on Sunday 9th July
I started this wallhanging in October at a course at Wildtiles in Elphin. Finally finished it. It is made mostly from kitchen tiles which I challenged myself to cut with a tile cutter tool instead of my beloved wheeled nippers. It took me forever. The flowers are inspired by Jan Kilpatrick's. The little birdie was done on mesh and the substrate was an old shelf. Love the finished piece.It's a smile maker!
My favourite piece for a long time. "Woodpeckers" have gone to Blairgowrie. 2 birds created from random shards cut from dishes and mugs. I've played with text cut from china to create their feathers and I've even got pictures of art incorporated into their bodies. Their claws were twisted from copper taken from broken stained glass. The wellies were a cruet set and the tree is my "piece de resistance" as you have to look closely and see that it was once a large 3d ceramic boot ornament. Turn picture on its side !Couldn't get Nancy Sinatra.. "these boots were made for walking .."out of my head and because lovely Kay has walked away to her new life, I wanted to include these words.
My first commission for America arrived in one piece at its destination.Called "Moonlight Shadow ", it is a memorial to a cat called Chloe. Thank you Lisa Weinsheimer for letting me create this for you.The cat is made out of a "Black Bottle" whisky bottle . Not one bit of the bottle was wasted.Look closely and you'll see the body is made out of the base of the bottle melted. The crushed glass around the tree is taken from some tealight holders. The tree and branches are melted glass and so is the grass. This weighed 3 kilos but I got it to America for less than £20.
The mirror below is called "You shall have some Fishies". It is created from a mixture of melted bottle glass, millefiori, nuggets, and glass tiles. I loved mosaicing over parts of the mirror to soften the edges and make a more interesting, organic shape . The glass pieces have been foiled to make them shine and the little fishies were cut from bathroom tiles. Enjoy admiring yourself in the mirror Brian Patience!
What a joy to create this colourful wall hanging for the sensory garden at Port Road Day Centre, Inverurie.
The tree has been created from melted bits of beer bottle and many of the little random shapes used are cast away glass shards melted in the kiln. The border has been put together using all the individual little tiles designed by our helpers.Lots and lots of people involved, both staff and service users.Brilliant to work with Ann Stephen of Blue Sky Mosaics in Kintore. Bit by bit, Ann and I are making the whole of Aberdeenshire sparkle!!
Thank you so much to the Friendship Group at the Ceilidh House in Kinlochbervie for inviting me to give a talk about my work. Thanks to the people who came out on such a horrendous night to and listen to me.I loved doing it and hope I'll get more opportunities to do this type of thing .Thanks also to Jasmine, my lovely sister, for helping with my wee demo. Get well soon everyone who couldn't manage along because of illness.
Started mending my frost casualties...
.This "sunflower Tower" is made up of sections . The top bowl was bought because of its lovely flower shape and I decorated it inside and out with sunflower colours. Water gathered in it and froze and the backside fell out of it! I have glued a sideplate in there for a new base and mosaiced it with black nuggets and tiles. The bulbous "pineapple" section covered in gold tiles and sunshines is also damaged as the pot underneath the tiles is also not frost proof. I've patched the grout and am confident it will be happy till the next frost arrives. I've got 10 months.. then I choose whether to take it inside, cover it in bubble wrap or let it freeze
I am proud to be helping to raise money for the Gathimbaedwardsfoundation . I created this vase to be auctioned at their charity dinner and I'm delighted it raised £160 . Thank you to Elaine Mather of Wild Poppy for making the stunning floral arrangment for the top. The total amount received this evening was £48, 624.Thank you so much to the lady below who bought it !
Workshop with Diane and Alice managing to create 2 pieces in the 2 days. Alice decorated a heart shaped stone with her initial A intertwined with her husband's initial B for Bruce. She explained about the "marriage stone " which I had never heard of . Google it !
It is such a lovely idea for a wedding gift.. but you have to find a heart shaped stone . Alice dug hers up in the garden. She primed it before bringing it to the studio to decorate. It's beautifully decorated in bright colours and will look fantastic sitting on her doorstep.
Diane's slate will advertise her B&B in Ballater and I love her choice of colours and her quirky "thistles". The piper is added to represent her own piping.
Diane's stone will have to be taken inside when its really frosty as the piggies(one little ceramic piggy bank cut in half ) are definitely not frost proof. A great fun little piece which cost next to nothing to create and will definitely be a smile maker on Diane's doorstep!OINK!
Thanks for coming ladies and enjoy creating more and more pieces at home.You're all set
nippers, adhesive, grout and LOADS of RUBBISH and IMAGINATION!