Over the past year or so, I’ve been slowly expanding my mosaic horizons – taking classes as the opportunities present themselves and exploring new tools and materials. Having worked with stained glass for so long, it’s been really nice to branch about and try new things. I have discovered that I love smalti and natural stone, especially when I use my hammer and hardie to cut it, but I have also discovered that I don’t particularly care for working with vitreous tile or using thinset directly as my adhesive (oh Weldbond, how I love thee).
At first I was a bit disappointed in myself for these new-found dislikes. I mean, if I’m an aspiring mosaic artist (craftsperson? artisan? still need to sort that one out…), shouldn’t I love it all? But the more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that it’s all just part of finding my ‘voice’ and knowing myself. I’m glad I’ve dabbled in vitreous tile and thinset, because who knows when a project will come up where they’re just the material that I need. They’re in my repertoire now, but they won’t be my trusted or beloved go-to items.
And with that, I give you the first mosaic (and hopefully the last, at least for a good long while) that I have done with vitreous tile. The design is based on a kind of data visualization called a chord diagram, which I think is used a lot (but not exclusively) in genetics. Truth be told, I don’t really know much about the technical side of graphs and data vizzes (or really how to read most of them), but I do enjoy them from a purely aesthetic perspective.