|Pink Rhodies, glass-on-glass.|
The main part of the mosaic is done using Opus Sectile, which means that the pieces are cut to fit the shape of the object they represent; i.e. each petal and leaf blade are cut as one piece, the way a stained glass artist would work. However, stained glass would not be able to accommodate the small details, like pistils, as they would get lost within the copper and lead. These small pieces are very hard to cut, and a ring saw was used to cut into the petals where the pistils were inlaid. The background is done using Opus Palladium, which simply means it is random, though each piece is still hand cut to fit together, like a puzzle that hasn't been made yet.
This was a delightful little project to complete, perfect for summer. Now, I feel the shift toward Autumn, my favorite time of year, and I'm working on painting a bench for the City of Olympia. It has taken me several weeks for Mike and I to strip off the gum, hair (yes, wads of it), laminate, and primer paint from the slats, and then I applied new primer and a base coat of different colored enamels. A pattern is slowly emerging, and I will soon add layers of detail to create a "magic carpet" design. I am drawing on my experiences applying henna, studying Middle Eastern Art and Culture in college, last year's trip to Turkey, and playing with techniques in Laurel Skye's recent book on Rajasthani inspired mosaic. As soon as my daughter returns to school in a few days, I'll be making fast progress on the final stage of that project.