Stabby seems right at home in my daughter's beautiful San Jose condo. Her new console table, which will sit directly beneath the mosaic, won't be delivered for a few more weeks, unfortunately. Of course, I'll want a photo of the complete effect once the table arrives, which I trust Allison will be able to provide.
See all Stabby posts here.
Well, what can I say? This nearly life-sized, pixellated unicorn head is finished and ready for transport to San Jose, CA! Allison loves her mosaic unicorn and is awaiting her with open arms and wall space.
I completely enjoyed this project, as is always the case when I have the opportunity to do something that I would never have thought of doing on my own. I learned some good stuff and I am thrilled with the final outcome.
I'll be visiting Allision when Stabby arrives, and we will hang the mosaic together. I'll get some in situ pics at that time. If we're lucky, her new console table, above which Stabby will hang, will be delivered before I have to come back home. Otherwise, Allison is a capable photographer and she can try to capture the complete ambiance.
Previous Stabby posts here.
I've completed the 170 squares that make up Stabby's head.
Now, I'm cleaning the glass and the gaps around the squares. Allison has floor to ceiling windows in her condo, and these windows will be facing the mosaic and shining some pretty bright light on Stabby at times. I want the gaps and any exposed cement to be as clean and neat as possible.
Next, I will use some black cement colorant to darken most of the exposed charcoal cement, especially the gaps around the squares.
The Wedi washers that you see were used to attach the Wedi panel to a wood support frame on the back. I'll attach a metal floater frame—Allison's choice—to that wood frame, and also install the hanging hardware onto the wood frame. I don't trust the metal hangers that come with the floater frames; they tighten into the frame with tiny set screws and I feel that I need more robust hangers for such a large mosaic.
I'll be visiting Allison in San Jose in June. It looks like I will be able to arrange for it to be delivered while I am there, and the two of us can hang it. We are both excited to see it on her wall.
As of the above photo, 112 of the 170 pixels (squares) are finished. My daughter is very excited about how it is coming along, and I am enjoying working on this. For background on this mosaic, see Stabby.
It is interesting to see how the various patterns reflect. In the photo at top left, the darkest square is an awesome spikey pattern made with Kismet tiles cut in slim right triangles, which are the offcuts from another pattern. The photo at bottom left shows a closer-up view. I don't think that this pattern will stand out quite so much when the piece is upright.
There is another pattern that is similar, but with smalti and not as pointy, and the pieces are more squarish, so closer together (shown in this blog post). The squares in this pattern also look very dark, very black.
I will be putting the piece upright soon, and will have a better chance to study the reflective variations from the proper perspective.
There will be a lot of finishing work to clean-up the squares. I'll be using a black cement colorant on visible thinset due to it being not completely black.
This piece has been tricky in dealing with such a variety of materials, all of varying thicknesses. I'm using a combination of raising some of the pieces with porcelain tiles underneath and controlling the height with thinset.
It's coming along!
The above view is from from the left and slightly above, at the base of the neck. The photo below is looking straight on at the base of the unicorn's neck. See more info. on this mosaic here. 32 squares down; 138 to go!
Oh so fun! Allison is seeing my progress and asking for more and more texture!
Although I am really enjoying this, there are a couple of challenges. The black glass is very hard to see, especially against the charcoal thinset. And, it takes a lot of finessing to work with the different types of glass in achieving what I consider to be a desirable tessera height, especially with all the different textural effects going on.
Talk about fun!! I'm getting started on Stabby, a custom mosaic of a pixilated unicorn head. For some background on this project, see this blog post. At left, see the design and the mockup I made a few weeks ago.
I've prepared the 36" x 36" | 91cm x 91cm substrate, which is Wedi with a wood support frame on the back, and I've inked-in the squares of the 16x16 grid that define the unicorn. This morning, I started playing around with some patterns to fill the 170 or so 1.5" x 1.5" | 4cm x 4cm squares.
The glass in the upper left and also the fourth square from the left in the row of six (in the above photo) is from a gorgeous Uroboros glass sheet called Black Granite Ripple. It's quite difficult to cut and I've got a bandaged finger to prove it—it got the better of me in five minutes' time. Totally worth it; it's luscious.
Although the mockup photo previously showed an eye, I ended up removing it, per Allison's request.
I'm not sure how many different patterns I will come up with, but it certainly won't be 170; I'm thinking 10-20. I'll be repeating the patterns in a random fashion.
This mosaic will be a focal piece in my daughter's beautiful San Jose condo.
What a fun little mosaic! This is Stabby, my younger daughter's spirit animal, so to speak. She has a thing for unicorns, but not just any kind of unicorn. She refers to them as stabby demon horses; hence, the name Stabby.
I wanted to make a custom mosaic for Allison for her birthday, and she really wanted me to recreate her unicorn (below left) in mosaic. The more I thought about this, the more I got excited about it. We decided that I would make a mockup to explore the effects of the black smalti against a white thinset background, and if the white of the thinset is what she wants.
Allison is a software engineer for Apple, and she is also a writer. She created the pixilated unicorn, shown below on the left, as a logo for herself, using a 16 x 16 grid. Below right is one that I modified and that she has approved.
Her original does not have an eye and she is still thinking on that. I tried a red eye, and a few shades of gray. Then, she suggested one that is the same as the cement. To avoid the mess of putting the white cement into the black square hole, I created a little cement cube.
I'm thinking of working within the pixilated format, in 1.5" or 2" squares. This would yield a 16 x 16 grid of 24" or 32" square, respectively. Then a few inches around the grid for the thinset background. Within the grid, the unicorn squares would be various textural patterns in primarily black glass. That's the thinking right now anyway.