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!

Bottle Update

This wavy bottle (click on image to zoom) is now 5/8 finished, not counting the very top edge, or spout. I have not quite figured out how to handle that yet, but I will think of something.

The gold is called Acid Green, and I bought it back in 2006 when I was in Venice for the Orsoni 2-week Master Class. I’m using a lot more of it than I thought I would when I started, and it’s not because of waste. 3d objects can be deceptive. I’m also surprised at how much marble it is requiring. But I like the way it is turning out.

I’ve got a little trip coming up to San Jose, CA, to visit my daughter for about a week. I will finish this project when I get back.

Currently untitled. 18.5” x 6” | 47cm x 15cm. Marble, mosaic gold, on glass bottle.

A Bottle Break

With a busy June and July coming up, I’m taking a break between fine art pieces but still like to work in my studio when I can. I thought about doing some decorative work, and then I remembered a bottle that I had bought from an estate sale over 20 years ago. I thought I might have even gotten rid of it, but I found it at the back of one of my closets.

It is an unusual shape and only slightly wonky—most bottles are imperfect—and has a bit of a lean on one side. Still, it is a tall and distinctive bottle and I thought I could do something with it. It’s bulging shape did not lend itself to my usual geometric technique, and I’ve been wanting to do something 3d with marble for some time.

I came up with this design after contemplating the shape of the bottle and asking myself how I could best exploit the shape without making the project extremely difficult.

You can see the bottle at right (click on it to zoom). It measures 18.5” | 47cm tall and is about 6” | 15cm at its widest. I’ve marked the bottle vertically in eighths, and in this pic I’m just ready to start mosaicking the lines with brown marble.

The dark brown marble is Emperador, and I don’t know what the beige is. I purchased the marble from Home Depot a few years ago as a mix for wall applications. I absolutely love Emperador marble! It has beautiful variations and veining, but can be tricky to cut. I’m accompanying the earthy marbles with acid green gold in crazy paving.

We’ll see how it turns out.