Way Back... / by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

Over ten years ago, I found this book by Sarah Kelly.  This was in my early years, when I was still doing a lot of decorative work, and before I had even thought about working with stone.

I really loved the project shown on the pages (below left), created by Juliet Docherty. I don't know why I never tried it. I think I was trying to figure out smalti, or something, and veered away from vitreous glass projects.

Even further back, in about 1996, I found Mosaic Mercantile as a vitreous glass supplier. I called and ordered a catalog and some small mixed sets. No internet ordering — it was all by phone. It was so exciting to receive the shipment of tiles; I thought that they were so beautiful, especially the metallic ones. That Gypsy mix is still my fave! This was before I even thought about trying smalti, much less knew where to buy it.

Over the years, I've continued to buy vitreous glass for various mixed material projects, and I have a lot — a lot — that deserves to be used. Now, after so many years, I am revisiting Juliet Docherty's Decorative Panel project. I think that my Beginner's Mind exercises have given me the freedom to go back in time, more or less, so I've started a new mosaic that is inspired by the above project.

That metallic vitreous is beautiful and I'm using a lot of it. After finishing a lower section, it was so strange to have mosaicked a large, flat area. And the little squares are so... square. I've got to work harder to let them be more loose.