Sunday Studio Visit – Workshopping Mosaics
This Sunday I am not in my studio – I am participating in a mosaics workshop in someone else’s studio!
I am working on a project with the Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre to create a sensory garden for the Centre grounds. This is a project designed for the special needs group who meet once a week at the centre, and I am the artist on board. My role is to work with the group on some mosaic components for the garden – at this stage each person will create a mosaic paver and then the group will work together on a wall mosaic.
I had dabbled in a little mosaics many years ago, and so a refresher was on the agenda. The Neighborhood Centre was lucky enough to receive a Regional Arts Victoria grant, and part of this was allocated to a professional development workshop.
The workshop was run by well known mosaic artist Helen Bodycomb at her studio at Lot 19 in Castlemaine. Lot 19 is an amazing artspace in the Central Highlands of Victoria comprising studio spaces, an outdoor stage, an art gallery suitable for exhibitions, music, marionette theatre, performance, and film, and an outdoor sculpture park.
The workshop took place over the weekend, with Monday being an open studio day for participants to finish any works without formal tuition, though Helen was on hand for any questions.
I attended the workshop with the project manager from the Neighbourhood Centre. My main focus for the workshop was to nut out the best way to make the pavers with the group… the project has a garden theme, so bright simple designs were in order, with a minimum of tile and/or glass cutting – keeping it simple and straightforward to cater for individual group members abilities and also the project timeline.
By Sunday lunchtime a prototype paver was made, with a few small designs being experimented with, for those unable to complete a whole paver. The design still needed to be mounted on the paver and grouted, but the design, dot mounted on fibreglass mesh, needed to dry first.
So after lunch I was able to begin on a mosaic design of my own. As regular readers will know, most of my sculpture and artwork is organic and abstract, so this is the direction my mosaic design also followed. I decided to work mostly with stone divided up into section defined by rows of glass. I drew my design first and then transferred it to my mounting board using carbon paper. By the end of Sunday I had most of my design and layout completed so that Monday could mostly be spent finishing the paver prototype and then cementing my stone design onto the board.
It was great to have the opportunity to go back a third day and tie up the loose ends. The paver design was cement glued to the paver, but couldn’t be grouted until fully bonded – so I will do that tomorrow.
By the end of Monday I had almost finished my organic mosaic and was able to bring home the extra materials I would need to finish it, so stay tuned for a completed image soon.
And to finish off, some pics of me at the workshop!