Theme and Variations (All Dreams)

I’m almost ready to start this very large mosaic which will be titled All Dreams. It is the 5th in my Music To My Eyes series, which is inspired by classical piano music in particular forms. These mosaics rely on mosaic gold in a grid format, or andamento, in expressing some aspect(s) of the form/music.

All Dreams is inspired by a contemporary classical piano piece by Christopher Theofanidis, titled All Dreams Begin With The Horizon (3rd movement, in particular). The form is basically a Theme and Variations. Although the other pieces in the series are named by the musical form, I think that Theme and Variations is just so technical sounding, so I’m going to call it All Dreams, for now anyway. Still thinking on that…

In 2010, I created this 36” x 57” substrate (at right) from 36” square, 1/2” Wedi panels in two layers. At that time, I could not get the full 60” x 36” panels here in Tulsa, so I built one. I needed four such panels for a large commission.

As it turned out, this substrate was about the same weight as a Hardibacker panel which cost much less in both $$ and labor. The weight was a concern because I would be using a lot of stone. I went with the Hardibacker and stored this Wedi substrate away. The finished panels ended up weighing about 100 lbs. each.

A few years ago, I had a metal frame made, with an EZ-bar hanger attached on the back, and installed the substrate into the frame. Now, I had a landscape-oriented substrate ready and waiting to be mosaicked.

It is pretty heavy without any mosaic on it. The Wedi substrate itself is about 30 lbs., if I remember correctly. Since framing it, I have been contemplating what I could do with this while keeping the additional weight as minimal as possible.

Over time, an idea began to percolate and I started some design work last spring. Just a bit more tweaking and I hope to start the mosaic work next week. As you can see in the photo, I have the gold all lined up, minus two orange plates that should arrive any day now. There is a 28” x 49” grid of 3/8” squares centered on the substrate. The design calls for both mosaicked and non-mosaicked areas, which I hope will help with the final weight.

It looks like I’ve got plenty to keep me busy!