Mosaic Murals – tackling large scale installations
I co-authored this instructional booklet along with artist Liz Nicklus. It is available on Amazon for an amazing low price of $16.00. If you don’t like feeding the Amazon juggernaut, it is also available on Barnes and Noble.
If you order today, you can have it by Christmas. A perfect gift for that difficult to buy for mosaic artist in your life.
The book is thin, but chock full of images and step by step instructions on creating large scale mosaics installations. Liz and I write this book when we discovered that there were no books available on this subject. Liz studied under Philadelphia legend Isaiah Zagar.
Together we have several public art installations in New Jersey. This book is based on our personal experiences.
A while ago I started a mosaic on our wall around our back yard. Circumstances put that project on hold. Circumstances have changed.
This week Liz and I decided to bring this project to completion. Last Sunday we completed installing the tesserae and yesterday we began grouting the finished mosaic. We have about a third of the wall left to grout – it has been raining all day so that will have to wait for a dry day. It is so gray today one would think we were in Seattle and not in the middle of the Sonoran desert!
When the grouting is complete, I will post more pics including close-up shots of some of the interesting features.
I was dragged into doing mosaics. Not willingly… it was Liz’s thing. I did my oil painting, and found object sculptures, she did her multi-media and mosaics.
But the deadline was crashing down on the AtlantiCare mural, 56-foot long, 10-foot high. She had an apprentice assisting, but I was dragged in screaming and kicking. By the end, I was hooked.
I brought in the next commercial job… a friend asked us to do murals for an adult retirement center. I talked him into tripling the stipend, and we installed a three-panel permanent installation.
We did a two-panel install after that, and taught classes in Key West. I did a really cool class with high school art students after that. Since then, we solicit public art projects. The best thing about this is getting paid for doing what we love.
What do you do with an old table that has really no purpose? Mosaic it!
I focused on geometric patterns on this first table. I based the background on nature… sky, earth.
Wood is tricky to mosaic on… it expands and contracts based on humidity. The terrazzo has to be adhered with mastic. Sanded grout is best.
The other table I did was a crappy pine end table. It was so ugly, no amount of refinishing or paint would have helped it.
One year during Artists Open Studio Tours I didn’t feel like painting. When I paint I get covered with oil paint and turpentine and linseed oil. And my paintings often do not make sense until they are completed. So I decided to mosaic an ugly old table.
Again, geometric designs ruled. Just call me lazy.
Raritan Valley Community College Mosaic Mural… Liz had completed one solo mosaic at the AtlantiCare women’s facility and we worked together on a triptych for the Maurice River Senior Center and a diptych for the Gloucester County Health Department before we landed this project.
The Raritan Valley Community College is located in Somerset, NJ. They wanted a showcase entrance tot he Performing Arts Center.
We completed this 27-foot long mural in just under two weeks, in the heat of the August sun. The mural was accented by ceramic pieces created by students of the arts department. We were assisted by a student, Laura Ilsley. She remains good friends with us to this day.
This was our final large scale installation in New Jersey, we soon relocated to Arizona.