Might as well learn something

I’m still in that craft-to-art transition phase (yes, still), working through the craftier / more functional bases that I have stockpiled (e.g., vases, trays, plates, etc.). Since I’m starting to feel a bit antsy to get on with the next phase, I’ve decided to work on at least one skill in each of these last few projects. Might as well make it a learning experience, right?

As you may have noticed in my past work, I naturally gravitate to the “crazy paving” style (or opus palladianum, for those of you who are up on your Latin). However, until recently I had never really done it with any intentionality or strategy; it was always just very intuitive and free-flowing. I used the pieces I had wherever they fit and kept my cutting to a minimum. But wouldn’t you know it, there are rules even for crazy paving. And while, yes, rules are made to be broken, you can break them more effectively once you are good at following them.

So I’m working on my crazy paving. I’m keeping an eye on my range of sizes and shapes, working on introducing “consistent inconsistencies”, and avoiding grout rivers. And you know what? I’m liking the results. But man oh man, following the rules is time consuming! These mosaics took me longer than normal to do. Maybe I’m being pickier or thinking about it too much. Or maybe I just need to re-train my eye and my hands. (Or maybe I shouldn’t be trying to get caught up on Dexter while I’m working, ha ha.)

In any case, here are two of the newest pieces, done with much more intention and rule-following. Both bases were found at the thrift store – I loved the shape of the vase the moment I saw it and the tray is actually a mid-century modern Danish teak tray (oooooh! aaaaaah!). In the case of the tray, I was also working on transitioning gradually from colour to colour – yes, two skills in one project!

Multicolour stained glass mosaic vase by Julie Sperling
Untitled vase (2012)
Stained glass on glass
"Gradation" mosaic tray by Julie Sperling
“Gradation” tray (2012)
Stained glass on a mid-century modern Danish teak tray



Let me know what you think!

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