Tag Archives: Mosaic

End of year classes, WIPs and an exhibition worth seeing

Just a quick one to mention that there are only 3 classes left this year!!

First up will be a week long intensive on fabricating large mosaic installations preferably permanently, but I will also go over how to go large with the possibility of later moving the mosaic.  It’s going to be awesome!!! I cover everything from design enlargement to fabrication to installation and grouting. November 15 – 22 in my Canberra home-studio. Details in image below.

Mural class Ad

Marian Shapiro is then going to join us from teh Blue Mountains for two, one-day workshops on December 6 & 7. If you register for both classes there is a discount! Workshop 1 is “Understanding Andamento” where Marian will go over the visual grammar of mosaics. Workshop 2 is one that she’s already taught a few years back with much success: “Bend, Fold & Undulate” where participants will learn to create their own 3D substrates that well… bend, fold and undulate!

More information on my website.

If you are looking for some inspiration of what you can create in the Bend, Fold & Undulate class I recommend you go see the group show in Bungendore by artists Caitlin Hughes, Kate Butler & Kelly Wild. It runs at the X Gallery until December 1. Well worth the visit if you are in the area.

Fracturedscapes

I’m working on a couple mosaics at the moment – a mural in memory of my father and an awesome 3D piece that I can’t wait to finish creating the substrate for.

Poppy's wall

Hope you’re all enjoying this beautiful Spring!

 

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Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Artists, Australia, Canberra, Classes, Events, Exhibitions, Flowers, Inspiration, Kim Grant, Mosaic, Murals, My Home, My projects, Nature, Round the World, Works in Progress

Grabbing Life by the Cojones

2013 y’all! I still feel like I’m in the 90s. Or maybe I’ve finally arrived at “that” time in my life – being stuck in a particular time warp.

Quick catch up! I miss this place. Where once upon a time I blogged every other day or week, it has seriously fallen off  my radar. But, this year is looking to be ah-mazing! After a particularly difficult 2012 where I fell into a bit of a funk and didn’t know how to get out, things bubbled up and I found the courage to make many a change and potential difference in my life and that of my kids’. Even if these changes are not supported, not successful, I’ll know that they have made a positive difference and that’s all that counts. Turns out that taking out the trash is a very cathartic experience, especially when the trash was just someone else’s crap that they dumped in my backyard. We are all in such a good place. Finally!

So what has 2013 got in store for me?! Well good question, but here are some of the things I am super excited about it:

  • I have an intern/assistant for my personal projects!! Still in discussion phase, but looking good! 🙂
  • Teaching online. Yes!
  • Visiting artists! Yes!
  • A new community project with students at Chapman Primary School – Yeah!
  • Nearly coming to an end of the community project with the Queanbeyan council and there has been discussion of possible further projects with them. Yes!
  • Mosaic Symposium in Melbourne August 23 – 25

Last year I asked one of my repeat students if she’d be interested in assisting me in some of my personal projects. I’m hopeful this will work out as she’s truly lovely and I really like the way she works. There will be an introduction soon! I’ve been re-working an old design, getting what was in my head out on paper, based on my sister’s mermaids. Just a couple more elements to add and she should be ready to go – though the enlarging on this one will be interesting… It’s a big’un.

Teaching online? Mmhmm! This has been running through my head for some time now and out of the blue one of my first clients who commissioned me to make Odette, got in touch to ask if I’d be interested. So the rundown is this – AU$75/hr. I use either Skype or Facetime. I will cater the lesson plan to your needs/your project and also generalise the information where appropriate so that you can feel confident that what you are creating will last in the area that you live. I am not one of those teachers who tells you what products to buy and then leaves it at that. I get into the details of what to look for in a product and why so that no matter where you are in the world, no matter what the climate is, you have the know-how to source what you need for the project at hand. I feel this is a much more empowering method of teaching and learning. I also include class notes as a pdf. Interested? Email me!

VISITING ARTISTS! Wow, I have THREE (3) confirmed visiting artists this year!!! I know, I’m so excited. Canberra, we are so lucky. Really!! All three artists have very different styles so I think they complement each other well. In addition, all three have been teaching and creating mosaics for a number of years and are well respected in the mosaic world (and further afar too as a matter of fact!)

Susan Crocenzi will be teaching her popular class “TEMPERED, TRANSPARENT & TEXTURED GLASS AND POLYMER CLAY TILES” August 30, 31 and September 1. Susan hails from Northern California in the USA. If you have ever been to one of my classes you will recognise one of the below pieces, Crossroads, which she made for me back in 2008. It sits on my wall in my living room. Hard to miss really and always admired. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! I don’t know when or if she’ll ever be back! Places are limited. Besides, the reunion of Susan and Crossroads will be a thing to behold!

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Also on my list of Visiting Artists this year is Marian Shapiro! She had such a great time last time she was here that she has agreed to come back!! This time Marian is going to demistify “WORKING WITH SMALTI”. I. Can’t. Wait. Because yes, I’ll admit I am a little skeered of the stuff!! This class will be held November 8 – 10 and students will need to come armed with about 1.5 kgs of smalti to create either an indoor or outdoor wall hanging. Smalti Australia has agreed to a discount for all registered participants! If you happened to take Marian’s class in 2011, Creating 3D Susbtrates for Mosaic, you are welcome to mosaic one of your substrates in this class!! Great opportunity to complete a project! Let’s face it, we all have unfinished projects…

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I’m happy to be able to announce that I’ve just secured a third visiting artist. Timing is of the essence on this one as Carol Shelkin will be in the country from  the East Coast in the USA around the same time as Susan. I know, hard on your wallets people, but seriously these are two AH-mazing artists who won’t be making their way back to Australia any time soon!!! Christmas must come early and you don’t want to miss the partay. They each have their own style, their own teaching methods, their own everything. It’s, simply put, not to be missed. Carol’s class is titled “MAKE YOUR OWN MOSAIC WORKSHOP!” She will teach the use of modern mosaic techniques to understand structure, cross contour, highlights, colour, gradation, value, composition, design and types of shadows in realism using Stained Glass. Students will learn how to mix glass values and colors to define planes, and how to use colour most effectively with artist tricks. If your interest lies in creating realism in mosaics, then there’s no one better to learn from in the contemporary mosaics field today. Carol’s class is slated for August 18 & 19 (a Sunday and a Monday). So… think about putting in for leave now! 🙂

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Check out my website for full details on the Visiting Artists Series and check back for Carol’s workshop – my copy of Dreamweaver has just gone bust so I’m unable to update it immediately!

Community projects? Yep – They’re continuing! 🙂 I’ve just been commissioned by Chapman Primary School to work with staff and students there to create three murals that will be permanently installed out the front of the school. The murals are all in celebration of Canberra’s centenary. Exciting stuff! Themes for the three of them have been decided upon. It’s now a matter of designing, enlarging and coding the murals for a term 2 start (no biggie!!). Deadline is the beginning of term 4 with an unveiling in Week 2 of that term as this is Children’s week. We even have rosters ready to go for all students in all years and when they will work on the mosaics. I love how organised this school is.

We’ve just completed the seventh panel for the Crawford st precinct. Pretty satisfying! The kids and staff at the Axis Youth Centre made their panel, mostly independently of me. They should be really proud of themselves! I think they did a great job. I’ve also just got the Landcare group started with theirs. Their theme is River Life. I’m looking forward to how this will turn out! A few finishing touches on the design for the HOME in Queanbeyan panel and the design will be hopefully OK’d by them! Last but not least is a playgroup of 3-5 year olds! Design yet to be determined, but as the playgroup is for Indigenous children it will  involve Indigenous elements. 🙂 Almost there!

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The Mosaic Association of Australia and New Zealand (MAANZ) is hosting another Symposium, this time located in Melbourne. I will be there. Keynote speaker is UK craftivist, Carrie Reichardt (not Dusciana Bravura as previously advertised by MAANZ). Carrie is AWESOME!!! It’s going to be pretty bloody amazing! I was lucky enough to grab one of Carrie’s flying eyeball mosaics last year. Proudly hanging out the front of my home waiting to be included into a larger mosaic.

Grab life by the cojones! That’s the theme for my year! Life is too short.

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Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Artists, Australia, Canberra, Carrie Reichardt, Community Projects, Events, Kids' Projects, Kim Grant, Marian Shapiro, Melbourne, Mosaic, Murals, My projects, Public Art, Round the World, Susan Crocenzi, Symposium, Workshops

Kids’ Mosaic Stepping Stones

We have a b’day coming up in the family next week. Kids and I decided on stepping stones all around. This is why I love kids: ask them to create something and it’s done in less than a day… They’re so clever! Kids don’t dwell on the how, the perfection, the I-can’t. They just do it: brainstorm on what, choose colours, draw it out and start breaking tile and nipping, setting tile, grouting… Ta da!

Adults can learn a lot from children – if only they opened their minds…

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Artist Watch: Laura Harris

Laura Harris of Melonhead Gallery, was first “introduced” to me by Carol Shelkin. An email from Carol, read, click and… POW! I was literally blown away. That hasn’t happened to me, to that extent,  in a long time. Her work is magnificent. To be perfectly honest I grapple for the words that describe how I feel when I view her work, and that is all in a photo on my trusty ol’ computer, so I can’t imagine what it would be like in person.  She is in my mind a Mythmaker, to borrow a term from the righteous James Hubbell.

Born in Wisconsin she is the daughter of late Midwest sculptor/painter, Walter Lenz.  Laura has been working in mixed media, including fiber art, acrylic art and mosaic art for over 25 years.  More recently, Laura has concentrated on mosaic portrait art.  Using a preferred direct method of application, her choice in tesserae include venetian and dichroic glass, 24 Kt. Italian gold smalti, porcelain, ceramic tile, mirror, stone and salvaged or recycled materials.

Laura’s career was not always limited to the field of art.  She worked as a speech-language pathologist for over 15 years and was recognized in 1998 as one of the top 5 teachers in Wisconsin for her efforts in the field of Assistive Technology and voted New Berlin Public School Teacher of the Year in 2001.

Laura got into mosaics in 1985 after having to quit teaching due to her worsening Multiple Sclerosis. She has risen above her physical limitations, as her artwork shows, but also in her attitude towards her MS: “I can’t feel all of my cuts so I guess there is a silver lining in everything, you just have to look for it.”

Her father has played a vital role in her life as she states: “I have been involved in art my whole life. My dad was an artist and a strong influence. I remember even as a young kid that my dad banned coloring books, he felt they were too restrictive and didn’t challenge the imagination. He also died from complications of MS in 2006.”

Ballerina

Ballerina

Ashima

Evolution of Wish

Creeping Thyme

Lady with Roses

“Today, the world can appear fragmented and its people disconnected,  mosaics allow me to fuse the pieces  together to create something cohesive and beautiful , what I wish the world could be.”  –Laura Harris

LHarris

The lovely Laura in the Cave of the Mounds on a family holiday, before exhibiting in Madison’s Art on the Square.

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Filed under Art, Artist Watch Series, Artists, Female, Flickr, Inspiration, Laura Harris, Mosaic, Ornamental, Portraiture, Uncategorized, Wall Hanging

Mosaic Workshops, Canberra ACT

So I’ve finally gotten my act together and will be offering classes beginning this Winter. I will be working out of my studio here in Canberra (Northside) and am offering the following workshops:

  • Interior Mosaic Basics
  • Exterior Mosaic Basics
  • Beginning Tempered Glass Mosaics
  • Kids’ Mosaics (two age groups: 3-6 years and 7 and up)
  • Grout Clinic

More will come, eventually. I also plan on doing a reverse indirect class and a mural making class, so they are all in the pipeline but for now I think I have my hands full. 😉

Classes are currently restricted in size to a maximum of 4 students, minimum is 2. Perfect for beginners who have had no mosaic experience and are also adaptable for those seeking more of a challenge.

I’m also offering one on one tuition and can travel, given the right circumstances 🙂 Please just contact me if you’re interested.

All the info can be found on my newly renovated website: kimgrantmosaics.com

Happy Mosaicing All!! 🙂

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Filed under Art, Artists, Australia, Canberra, Events, Kids' Projects, Kim Grant, Mosaic, My projects, Round the World, Studio, Travel, Uncategorized, Website, Workshops

Artist in Residence at IMA!!

After the conference it was onwards and upwards to the Bay Area – my former stomping ground and one place I keep going back to. I always feel like I come home when I go there…

Laurel True was kind enough to let me do a stint at Artist in Residence at the Institute of Mosaic Art (IMA).  When I inquired about perhaps helping out with something at IMA, I wasn’t expecting an ‘Artist in Residence’ tag at all, but was more than happy with it 🙂  Laurel had mentioned the kitchen backsplash which piqued my interest,  amongst many other possibilities. I was worried that time pressures and other personal pressures may prevent me from finishing it, so I left myself open to anything. I had mentioned it to Susan Crocenzi – looking to collaborate with her cuz I thought it would just be fun! When I arrived and went over, I thought to myself the backsplash would be the perfect thing to do. Yet again proof of working well under pressure 😉 With no design ideas in mind and no inkling, at that time, that I would be surrounded by fellow artists a la  Linda Martin, Kelley Knickerbocker and Rachel Rodi [who are waaaay awesome!!! ;)] to help finish the installation I set about doing the kitchen backsplash direct (knowing that I had 4, maybe 5 days to get it all done)! – simply because I had no design in mind and worked it as I went. I knew that if I sat down and drew stuff out, it would not get finished.

Susan came in on the last day (all the way from Nevada City!) and added her tempered glass and polymer clay accents, all of which I think make the installation! Some of the polymer clay pieces she had made many moons ago and they just fit with the theme – colours, shapes… it was just perfect! Like it was meant to be somethin’… We finished just in the knick o’ time.

I have to say designing this was a little scary… 1 because I had no ideas, 2 because it’s in Laurel’s business, 3 because that business is IMA and 4 because how many mosaic artists go through there every year?! Laurel was way cool about it though and just let me go for it. I very much appreciate her support. I figured that she wouldn’t mind a walk on the wild side and wouldn’t necessarily need/want/prefer a traditional backsplash, so I went with something else and I think it fits with the spirit of IMA…

By day 2 I was starting to get just a tad panicked that I wasn’t going to be able to finish what I’d started! I was leaving to go back to Australia and not quite like I could pop in at any time… Mentioned as much on either Flickr or Facebook (don’t remember which) and Lovely Linda came to the rescue!!! She drove up from Santa Cruz to help me on the Saturday. How cool is that?! Kelley was there, having driven down from Seattle the day before, hanging her art for a show she’s got going on (go see it if you are close by – her work is amazing!!!!). We roped her in at some point in the day and when Rachel finished teaching her class… well we just had that glint in our eyes and she couldn’t say no 😉

Last day of installation and the name for the piece hadn’t even cropped up… Susan and I decided to call it Reach.

Have I mentioned how FUN it is working with fellow mosaic artists?!!! Spreadin’ the love is good in numbers!

Me and the Lovely Linda
Me and Linda Martin

Kelley, Rachel and Linda
The Gang – Kelley Knickerbocker, Rachel Rodi and Linda Martin

Crocenzi waving her magic TG wand
The LOVELY Susan Crocenzi

Reach1
Photo by Gib Robinson

Reach - glowing
Reach, *glowing*

Susan Crocenzi's Polymer Clay and Tempered Glass Creations
Detail of Susan’s work

reach_side1
Photo by Gib Robinson

reach_detail
Photo by Gib Robinson

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Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Artists, Backsplash, California, Community Projects, Design Concepts, Events, Female, Finished pieces, Flickr, Inspiration, Institute of Mosaic Art, Kelley Knickerbocker, Kim Grant, Laurel True, Lifestyle, Linda Martin, Meeeting of the Minds, Misc. Design Concepts, Mosaic, Mosaic Materials, Murals, My projects, Oakland, Ornamental, Polymer Clay, Public Art, Rachel Rodi, Rant, Round the World, San Francisco, Schools, Susan Crocenzi, Tempered Glass, Travel, Uncategorized, USA

Artist Watch: Suzanne Steeves

I had originally meant to post this before SAMA and for some weird reason my email dumped Suzanne’s response to me in my spam… grrrr! So apologies to you Suzanne, for not having gotten this up sooner… *sigh*

Suzanne Steeves was born in New York to Canadian parents. She had a fabulous career in television overseeing the launch of a couple of specialty channels, running entertainment production, heading up sports. “Very rewarding and endlessly all-consuming.”  Suzanne met her ‘soul mate’ ten years ago –  husband Aiken. “We left our full time careers behind, and ran off to Bora Bora to get married.”

As a child, Suzanne was constantly drawing, painting and actually did her first mosaic at age ten. “It was a gift for my grandmother. A picture made from all different types of seeds: pumpkin, poppy, sesame etc. My grandmother kept it hanging on her wall until she left this world.”

After the demise of her first marriage, Suzanne became a single parent with a demanding career and had little time to pursue her passion – art. “I did paint, but sporadically. Now I am making up for lost time. Initially I picked up my paint brushes and went back to oils. I had always loved mosaic but had never really considered it … until one day I happened to see a used mannequin with a uniquely beautiful shape. I immediately envisioned Eden Rocks. The idea of telling the story of the Garden of Eden – on Eve herself…” Suzanne claims it to be a ridiculous choice for a first project (scoff!) but considers herself an over achiever. “After starting her I realized I had no idea what I was doing. I spent the next several months reading everything I could get my hands on. I completed her last year and haven’t looked back.”

When describing her love for the medium, Suzanne states: “I can’t begin to describe the pleasure I find in working in mosaics. I love everything about it. The possibilities are limitless. I would need dozens of lifetimes to even begin to tackle every project I have wandering around in my head! When I’m in the zone it is my meditation.”

Suzanne left the city behind and now lives with Aiken and their two dogs on 100 acres north of Toronto. She has two beautiful grown children, a son Stefan and daughter Sasha and a wonderful stepson, Taylor.

Eden Rocks

Eden Rocks

Polar Prayer

Polar Prayer

Bird in the Hot Sun

Bird in the  Hot Sun

The Wave

The Wave

Finally meet Suzanne, pictured with her daughter…

Suzanne Steeves

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Filed under Animals, Art, Artist Watch Series, Artists, Emerging, Female, Flickr, Fused glass, Inspiration, Mosaic, Mosaic Materials, Nature, Ornamental, Suzanne Steeves, Uncategorized, Wall Hanging