Tag Archives | river

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!


What a difference a frame makes

Remember waaaaay back last winter when I took 3 months off to go to California? And remember how I made my first “artier” mosaic while I was there? OK, confession time: that piece has sat — still all wrapped up from its journey back to Canada — under my work table since we returned in June. I know, you guys, I know. All I had to do was unwrap the thing and take it to the framer’s (which is only like a kilometre away), but somehow it just never got done. Until a few weeks ago, that is.

For days after dropping it off I stared anxiously at the calendar, willing time to go faster so that I could go pick it up. At last, the call came. It was ready. When I got to the framing studio, the mosaic was nicely wrapped up, all ready for the short trip home. The framer asked if I wanted to see it before heading out, but I declined. I think I was just so self-conscious about being really really ridiculously excited, so I was trying too hard to play it cool. Like “Nah, it’s ok. It’ll wait til I get home,” even though inside my head it was more like “omg ripthatbubblewrapoff NOW!!!!!!” Fortunately, R was there and calmly said, “Yes, we’d like to take a look at it.”

Yes, I made R take a picture of me looking all excited. I am a geek.

Now, I could already see it fairly well through its wrapping, but when he gently cut away the bubble wrap and revealed the framed mosaic, it was like Christmas morning. But not adult Christmas morning; more like Christmas morning when you’re 5 years old. I was over-the-moon giddy and grinning ear to ear. That night I kept periodically walking over to my work table to look at it, or randomly breaking out into a smile just thinking about it.

It’s weird. I mean, I was thrilled when I finished the piece and got it all cleaned up. But seeing it framed just took the happiness and excitement to a whole other level. There’s just something really cool about seeing your work framed and looking so, for lack of a better word, ‘professional’. I don’t know if it was so exciting because this was the first mosaic that I’ve had framed, but I’m not-so-secretly hoping that it will be this satisfying each and every time. I don’t want this thrill to wear off!

P.S. Big shout-out to Patrick Gordon Framing. They do excellent work and I would totally recommend them to anyone!


WIP Wednesday: “Mississippi Meander” (21 March 2012)

Haven’t made as much progress as I would’ve liked, but that’s because I’ve been busy prepping for our trip to Costa Rica and Guatemala. Which reminds me: No WIP Wednesday next week, since I’ll be exploring the Costa Rican cloud forest!

Getting there, slowly but surely. You can’t see it from the back, but there will be 2 shades of pink. Just need to finish the last of the light pink and then I can start filling in the background, which will be marble.


It’s all in the eye of the beholder

When I made this mirror, I kind of pictured a river or something in my head. But when I showed the finished piece to my partner, the first thing she said was that it reminded her of the colours on the Guatemalan flag. Funny how people can see such wildly different things in such a simple design, eh?


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