Better known in the Mosaic World as Caz Kovacs, Caroline was born in Morwell VIC, Australia. A neighbouring town to Traralgon, where she currently resides. It is in the centre of a region of South Eastern Australia where there are rich brown coal deposits. This brown coal is the fuel for 90% of Victoria’s electricity needs.
As a child Caz always felt the need to create. She loved drawing, painting and making greeting cards. She crochets and embroiders and is also musical – having learnt to play the piano and sing.
After finishing high school she worked for the State Electricity Commission of Victoria for 10 years as a Mechanical Engineering Assistant. Her specialty was open cut mine performance statistics and she took great pride in her work.
Caz has been happily married to Atti for 22 years (you go girl!!!) and together they have two sons aged 14 and 11. When they embarked on their journey of starting a family, Caz left paid work and joined the unpaid work force commonly referred to as a Stay at Home Mum, or as I like to sometimes say, a Domestic Goddess – though there is very little Goddess-like about staying at home 😉
Caz has been mosaicing for just over two years now. Her studio is a large colourbond shed which is now officially called Caz’s Mosaic Studio. Atti made her a great, big work bench underneath a window that lets plenty of natural light in. After a family holiday to the lovely Merimbula – a seaside town on the Sapphire Coast of NSW – Caz made her first mosaic. “While doing some holiday shopping I came across a tile shop that had a large assortment of coloured glazed ceramic tiles on display out the front. I had been reading some Better Homes and Gardens magazines that had an article on mosaics in the garden. So with inspirations from the sea I bought some deep dark blue, turquoise, pale blue and pale sand coloured tiles, collected small pebbles and shells from the beach and returned home and made my first mosaic stepping stone.”
Her next project was a terracotta pot and then more stepping stones, as she found these were an excellent way to experiment with different designs and layouts. She has made many pots as presents for family and friends, but it is her neighbour (her biggest fan – though I’d argue her neighbour would be competing for that title) who has commissioned her to make several pots as gifts.
Caz continued on diving into the realm of wall art and power tools. Her first power tool was a gift from her husband – a wet saw. She scoured the library and the internet looking for inspiration and knowledge from people who shared a similar vision. “I no longer felt alone with this unusual hobby”.
Caz learnt the indirect method using fiberglass mesh and then made her first picture, Starry Night. “I had seen a newspaper booklet on famous artists and saw Vincent Van Gogh’s incredible painting and thought that I could duplicate those unique brush strokes with small pieces of tiles”.
Using a grid she enlarged the picture to roughly the same size as the original painting. “I had to work on the picture in four separate pieces for it to fit on my work bench. I used my new wet saw and cut out a variety of coloured rectangles before I started gluing. I love using mesh. It makes it so easy to make alterations and adjustments. The project quickly took shape as I spent ever free opportunity I had to work on it. I used a variety of different grouts and finished it off with a timber frame that Atti made out of leftover architrave.”
Her next satisfying project was her onion pot and pedestal. The main background tiles were salvaged bathroom tiles from Atti’s work. “I had the project nearly finished when I ran out of tiles. I was so disappointed because I couldn’t buy anymore, anywhere. To my delight Atti found a small box of leftover tiles in the back of an old store room. It was just enough to finish the project.”
Last summer she was commissioned to make a mosaic picture for an exterior wall. She made an Australian Floral picture but ended up making it into a square shape as opposed to the rectangular specs provided by the client. So she kept that piece for herself and decided on Dutch Irises, inspired by the popularity of her pedestal, for the client.
I think it is safe to say that Caz is the Tile Flower Queen… she makes the most amazing flowers and has even photographed how she makes them. Click here to go to her online tutorial.
I look forward to hopefully meeting her when I travel down to VIC in a couple months time… I was there earlier this year and had no idea she lived as close as she does.
This reproduction of Klimt’s Kiss is gorgeous too… Not yet finished but I thought it was definitely worth posting…
And finally meet Caz and her hubby…