Clearing my shelves: How “Harvest” came to be

harvest mosaic - smalti beach glass
“Harvest” (2013) — Mexican smalti, Bermuda beach glass (4-1/2″ x 7-3/8″)

One of the drawbacks of reinventing yourself, in any art or craft, is that you end up with a bunch of older materials from previous phases of your artistic development. Such is the case with me. Primarily, I have a heck of a lot of stained glass that I’d like to move off my shelves (and I’m working on hatching a plan – more details to follow). This particular mosaic started by looking at my shelves to see what had been kicking around for far too long and should be used up in order to make room for new materials. And what did my eyes land on? The very first smalti I ever bought – a pound of “confetti” nails (a mix of offcuts and leftovers in a variety of colours). When I bought them I thought they would be the perfect thing to practice on because they gave me a range of colour and weren’t particularly expensive (as far as smalti go). As soon as they arrived, I sorted them into warm and cool colours, and that’s how they’ve sat on my shelf for the better part of 2 years (I did dip into them to make both bike mosaics).

So it was high time I made a dent in that batch. I went with the warm colours because they suited the frame, and tossed a little beach glass from Bermuda into the mix. I didn’t have a plan for the mosaic at all; I just did whatever felt right at the time. For me, this piece was a bit of a ‘palate cleanser’ after the very controlled graffiti piece. I just wanted to have some fun.

What’s neat is that I started this piece before leaving for mosaic camp, and I definitely felt my approach (or maybe my eye) change when I went back to finish it this past week. I love that I can notice myself evolving.

I hate naming my pieces. Well, I like it when they have names, but I suck at coming up with them. Some of them come to me so easily (as was the case with “Grounded“), but most times it’s like pulling teeth. Luckily, R is the master of names and titles. I was describing to her what the piece reminded me of, and she suggested “Harvest”, which is funny, because that was one of the titles I had been kicking around in my head. Maybe I’m not as hopeless, naming-wise, as I thought!

smalti mosaic
Just some unstructured, free-flowing fun



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