Tag Archives | Kitchener

Introducing “River bend” … finally!

"River bend" mosaic by Julie Sperling

Nothing says “congrats on your wedding” like a mosaic

It seems that when friends and family get married, having me make a mosaic for them is a popular request. This particular wedding gift mosaic was for R’s brother and his wife, which R commissioned me to do (although I have yet to see the pay cheque…). The bride and groom gave me a list of earlier pieces of mine that they enjoyed, but essentially gave me free rein in terms of design, colours, and materials. Since the “Mississippi Meander” was on their list, I decided to go with a river theme. I’ve been planning to build a series around rivers for a while now, so this was a good chance to start doing that.

I chose a section of the Grand River that runs through Kitchener (where they live) and then stretched it to cover the substrate I was planning to use, so it’s definitely a loose interpretation of that part of the Grand. Originally, I had wanted to get rocks from their area to use, but time did not permit; instead, I used ones I had gathered here in Ottawa. I absolutely love the grey pieces that have lines in them and the ones that have a bit of orangey-brown at one end.

It was weird working on a project and not being able to post pictures / updates. I kept wanting to tell people (and by people, I mean Facebook): “I’m working, really I am! You just can’t see what I’m working on!” But now the mosaic – which I named “River bend” – is in their possession, so I can safely share pictures of it with you without ruining their surprise. Phewf!

0

Double lazy Susan…what does it mean?

When I was home in Kitchener for Christmas, my aunt and I were chatting about me making a lazy Susan for her. Since my parents have what’s known in layman’s terms as “the world’s slowest internet…ever”, I whipped out my phone (I rock an Android, in case you were wondering) and we browsed through my mosaic flickr stream to get a sense of what kind of style and colours she was drawn to. You know, for a girl who has never owned a cellphone before (and who generally has a strong aversion to obnoxious public use of them), I’m finding mine very handy!

Anyway, once back in Ottawa, I dutifully made the trek out to Ikea to pick up a lazy Susan (a journey I generally try to avoid at all costs, as I find it rather soul-sucking). A few days later, while browsing through the thrift store around the corner, I found another (smaller) lazy Susan. I asked my aunt which one she preferred, and her answer surprised me: she wanted both! (One for her, the other for a friend.)

The back-and-forth process of coming up with designs for the mosaics was new to me. My only other commissions had been relatively simple: one was a mashup of two mosaics I had already made, and the other was simply translating a logo into mosaic form. In other words, less “artistic freedom” for me. But these lazy Susans were different. I had a few shapes, styles, and colours to use as a point of departure, but then it was up to me. Truth be told, the freedom made me a bit nervous! But in the end, it wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought it might be, perhaps because my aunt was a very easy-going “client”.

Lemon-lime mosaic for my aunt’s friend

Lazy Susan with meandering lines for my aunt

I tend to associate each mosaic I do with the music, TV shows, or movies that are playing as I work. In this case, it was the final few episodes of Season 1 of Breaking Bad, a really fascinating episode of The Nature of Things all about raccoons, and the movie Food Inc. Also on high rotation was the soundtrack to Parenthood, particularly the Josh Ritter song that’s on it, which I’m pretty much obsessed with at the moment.

1

Flower power

flower mirror

Every time I go home to Kitchener to visit my family, my mom unfailingly leaves a pile of her already-read magazines on my old dresser for me to thumb through. I use them for 2 things: (1) to find new recipes and (2) to clip out little swatches of inspiration from ads or stories about the top 10 <choose 1 or more: couches, dresses, dinnerware, throw pillows> that you need to have for <insert current year>. That’s where the inspiration for this mirror was drawn – some pattern that I tore out of a Chatelaine, most probably (I likely scored a killer chocolate chip cookie recipe too!). I think it was originally cherry blossoms, which, in a random stream of thoughts, makes me think of that Andrews Sisters song, “I’ll be with you in apple blossom time.” (Although I’m quite partial to “Bei Mir Bist Du Shoen.”) And no, I’m not ashamed to admit that I have both of those songs on my iPod. In fact, I have the whole “Best of…” album. So there!

0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes