Monthly Archives: October 2007

Hodori – Tongdaemun Stadium Subway

In Seoul, many of the mosaics were in subway stations. The 1988 Olympics were held at Tongdaemun Stadium, so of course it is only fitting that the mascot, named Hodori, be plastered all over the subway station walls.
The mascot was designed by Kim Hyun as a friendly tiger. Apparently, the name Hodori (호돌이) was chosen from over 2000 suggestions sent in by the public. “Ho” is derived from the Korean word for tiger (horangi/ 호랑이), and “dori” is a diminutive for boys in Korea. I will admit I was quite the fan back in ’88 lol 🙂

These murals are all made of ceramic 2cm tile, worked in a grid style. They were large too! I’m sure making all of these got tedious by the end but I think they turned out well.
Boxing 호돌이

Taekwondo 호돌이

Rowing 호돌이

Ping Pong 호돌이

Shooting 호돌이

Basketball 호돌이


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Filed under Animals, Art, Flickr, gridwork, Mosaic, Murals, Public Art, Round the World, Seoul, South Korea, Uncategorized

The ‘Kiosque des Noctambules’

Designed by Jean-Michel Othoniel this entrance to the Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre (Royal Palace- Louvre Museum) métro station in Paris, France was realised in 2000 to mark the centenary of the Paris Metro.

From memory, it is situated in the Place Collette. You can’t miss it really! It is made up of 800 red, blue, amber and violet glass balls. Cool huh?! I know it’s really not mosaic related, but it uses glass (!) and it’s a groovy sculpture…

Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre métro

Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre métro detail

Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre métro detail

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Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Europe, Flickr, France, Glass, Museum, Paris, Public Art, Round the World, Travel, Uncategorized

Niki de Saint Phalle at the Negresco

On to France!

When I arrived in France I really thought I would see more mosaic than I did. Of course what I did see was fantastic! This one caught my eye while driving in to Nice, down the south of France. We did a U-ee (U turn) and stopped in to take a look.

The Negresco is the “It” hotel in this region. Everyone (apparently) who is anyone has stayed at this hotel and they command some fairly hefty prices on some of their rooms. What caught my eye was this mosaic sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle right out the front. Of course Niki is just amazing, that goes without saying. This one is a mosaic sculpture of Miles Davis. Unfortunately it is not made accessible to the public, in that it has been gated off, so hands off and no close looks… However, you can get up close enough to see some detail. It’s wonderful!

Miles Davis

Miles Davis

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Filed under Art, Artists, Flickr, Inspiration, Miles Davis, Mosaic, Negresco, Nice, Niki de Saint Phalle, Public Art, Round the World, Sculpture, Travel, Uncategorized

Artist Watch: Susan Crocenzi

I’ve decided to start a series of other mosaic artists that inspire me. I thought I’d start with Susan Crocenzi, aka sucra88. I found her through Flickr (good ol’ flickr!!!) and instantly fell in love with what I saw. It was an extreme ooh & aah session (and a few laughing moments) going through her photostream. I really like what she does. It’s very different, I think, to what I’ve been seeing lately and also I look at it and DON’T think: “I could do that”, so of course it’s very inspiring! Plus, she’s really nice and very funny and very interesting!!!

Susan seems to work alot with tempered glass, something I havn’t yet quite got my head around. I’ve used it in Kashmir before, with an indian silk underneath but it just didn’t quite have the same effect.

Susan’s love and study of art began early. She won a haiku contest about bunnies in fourth grade and years later managed to have three art classes her senior year of high school.

After graduating from Chico State in 1987, she spent the next thirteen years teaching middle school English. Being a teacher was the most difficult, joyous and significant accomplishment of her life.

She left teaching in 2002 and has been immersed in mosaics ever since, often pondering how middle schoolers and tesserae (the little bits of material that make up mosaics) have a lot in common:

  • There are a lot of them scrunched into a very small space.
  • They’re lovely, each in his/her/its own way.
  • Tesserae don’t love you like kids do.
  • On the other hand, tesserae don’t follow you around the classroom, pulling at the hem of your shirt, begging repeatedly, “Ms. Cro, Ms. Cro! Will you read your bunny haiku again, Ms. Cro? The bunnies! Hey! Ms. Cro, will you read your haiku? It’s so funny! Huh? I can’t believe that thing won a prize, Ms. Cro. Please? Come on!”

Now she lives and creates in a (very quiet) cabin in the woods of the California Sierra Foothills. As a kayaker, hiker, and gardener, her work is most influenced by nature, as well as poetry, and others’ mosaics.

Susan has studied under several esteemed mosaic artists including Laurel True, Ellen Blakeley, Sonia King, and Jenny Iams-McGuire. She has studied the mosaics of many countries, including Turkey, Spain, and Mexico. She is a member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists, and Mosaic Artists Online.

Anyway, I think I’ll let her work speak for themselves…

Arcetri originally uploaded by sucra88 – I think this one, so far, is my all time favourite. I love this one!!!


Andrea originally uploaded by sucra88

Twilight on Mill Creek Lane
Twilight on Mill Creek originally uploaded by sucra88

Electric Kool-Aid
Electric Kool-Aid originally uploaded by sucra88

Shabby Chic/Victorian Yard Art Flower
Shabby Chic/Victorian Yard Art Flower originally uploaded by sucra88

originally uploaded by sucra88

And the artiste in question, sitting atop the stairway in Sunset Heights in San Francisco:

Susan being all inspired and thoughtful and happy and stuff
Susan being all inspired and thoughtful and happy and stuff originally uploaded by sucra88

Aren’t these stairs amazing?! They were made by Colette Crutcher & Aileen Barr a few years back now. Check out more pics in Susan’s staircase set.

I think Susan is an artist to watch! I’m looking forward to doing a swap with her soon! 🙂

If you are interested in purchasing any of her beautiful artworks, email her on sucra88 [at]



Filed under Art, Artist Watch Series, Artists, Emerging, Female, Flickr, Garden Mosaics, Inspiration, Mosaic, Polymer Clay, Rant, Round the World, Susan Crocenzi, Tempered Glass, Uncategorized, USA, Wall Hanging

Leeds Library getting an unofficial makeover

Just to update and give a bit of background information on this building, I got this from Sam Hirst‘s flickr site (one of the guys trying to do something about this building):

“This is a Magnificent Building which has very sadly been abandoned / neglected by the side of the busy york road (Leeds). It has plenty of burmantofts tiles and many stained glass windows. At one point this building was the very center of the community. It hosted a 23 metre swimming pool. A Library which had a Lending room, Reading room, Childrens Library / Reading room, and a Womens library. Over the years the swimming pool was known for its competitions and it would be jammed packed with local school children during the holidays. The building was designed in 1901 by a local architect and built by local tradesmen. The building has been abandoned for over 30 years. It has now reached the stage where nature takes over. The roof at either end of the building has collapsed. Unfortunately this building recently played host to the local Heroin Junkies.
The radiators have been ripped from the walls and strewn across the floor. The brass door handles have been prized off of the doors. Some of the roof tiles have been stolen. There are plans to soon redevelop this fine building. I just hope that for the buildings sake this happens sooner than later! ”

The York road library revisited (mutiny on the Landings)

I found these guys on Flickr and thought what they are doing is very cool. I love old buildings for a million different reasons: the main one being they should be taken care of because it is a part of our history. It’s such a shame that we allow these remnants of history go by the wayside… Anyway, I love what they are doing and they are revealing some awesome mosaics!!! Look at this beautiful owl! I can’t understand why any city would let this kind of thing go, but it happens all the time!


Civic Pride originally uploaded by oldboys_ue

We need more people like these young chaps 😉

Before & After

Before & After Originally uploaded by oldboys_ue

I highly recommend viewing more of oldboys_ue‘s pics on his Flickr site.


Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Building, Community Projects, Europe, Flickr, Floor, Inspiration, Leeds, Library, Mosaic, Public Art, Round the World, Uncategorized, United Kingdom

Dog Tag Tear Drop, Seoul

Back to the War Memorial in Seoul… There was an interesting sculpture made out of dog tags called The Drop or Nun’Mul Bang’Ul.

The plaque reads:

In remembrance of the Korean soldiers and UN military participants who lost their lives in the Korean War, the respect towards the warriors (1,300 identification tags) has been embodied as tear drops. The iron thorns symbolise the horror, suppression and danger of the tragic war. The circle on the sand below represents the wave of the drop.

I thought it was an interesting sculpture essentially employing mosaic to make the drop. The use of the dog tags of dead soldiers, I thought, was very powerful.

Dog Tag Mosaic Sculpture

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Filed under Art, Flickr, Mosaic, Museum, Round the World, Sculpture, Seoul, South Korea, Travel, Uncategorized, War

Scaly Building

In the area of Seoul known as Samcheongdong – the new “it” part of Seoul – were some really interesting shops and buildings. One of which was this restaurant.

Mosaic (?) scale building

Funky Building

Very cool! It was closed when I walked past, so I couldn’t go in and taste the food 😦 All the “scales” are made of recycled metal. Not sure what!? But, interesting and colourful anyway…

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Filed under Abstract, Architectural Installations, Art, Building, Business, Flickr, Murals, Public Art, Round the World, Seoul, South Korea, Travel, Uncategorized