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You are here: Home Light Weight Boards galleries Mosaic Art Portfolio - Sandra Robertson

Shopping for China for mosaics

Visit to the Brisbane City Council Tip Shop - Acacia Ridge


Even though it looks like I have a ton of odds and ends (mosaic stash) in my garage, garden, perhaps under the bed, the ceiling and many nooks and crannies, I still needed to go on a mosaic treasure hunt on Sunday for some more china and found objects to include in the Mosaic Floriade workshop.

It was a bright and sunny, beautiful Brisbane April morning and first stop was the Tip Shop at Acacia Ridge. Last year I was a selected artist in the Brisbane City Council Tip Shop Competition (Bridezilla) and I always try and buy my cups and saucers, quirky items and bases at the Tip Shop.   There was not a huge selection, it depends on the day, but I did find a wonderful heart shaped lid with ceramic flowers (heart beats a little faster when one finds these perfect items for mosaics) and some good yellow mugs and china to reshape.

There is a good selection of furniture at this Tip Shop if you like to renovate and it's fun to fossick and sometimes the items seem to find you!  The staff are really helpful and friendly and I would have liked more time, but there were other things on the agenda.   The staff are always happy to not have to "wrap" all the items.  I smile to myself when people at most Op shops say "well you are only going to smash it, so why wrap it?"  

After 14 years, I don't bother anymore to say, I don't smash it, I reshape the items very carefully, with quite intricate cuts and I am very particular not to break anything until I am ready.  So I often fret on the way home as items tinkle away in the back of the 4WD that they may break, but in the end, mosaic artists know how to put things back together.  I really was grateful the Santa Claus pot and lid were wrapped, it's a quirky find and I love it.

The concrete planters are really great at the BCC Tip Shop at Acacia Ridge and one day I will find time to get some for my own home, to mosaic, of course!  I did spy some sturdy table bases, but Dave was already in the car and I knew not to push my luck.  I was happy with my mosaic stash finds.  Probably when I am ready to mosaic some pots again, they will be all gone.  Such is life.

As we were halfway there, we decided to push on and check out the Logan dump recycle shop.  It was a very busy place.  There were 2 shelves of crockery, I think it had been well picked over by Sunday lunch time, there were big crowds coming and going.  Somehow I had envisioned more items, we will try and visit on a week day in the future but it's hard as I am so busy 24/7.

It was very handy having big trolleys and lots of room to move around and Dave commented on the huge assortment of bicycles at this dump shop.  Do people just chuck out things these days as it's too much trouble to find a new home for items or sell them?  I saw a fellow walking out with a kid's scooter and he couldn't wipe the smile off his face.  I hope the kid is as happy as he is when he gets his cleaned up scooter. It's a nice feeling to see things leaving the two shops with delighted customers.   Great to see things on a never ending circle of use.   I also become green with envy when another couple walked out with two tiny painted chairs.  I could see them nailed to a wall on my home with pots of geraniums.  That's the trouble, you get too many ideas and too little time.

So I really behaved myself and only filled one trolley to the top with coffee mugs, and three plates.   That was about all to pick from.  There were more interesting oddments at the Acacia Ridge Tip Shop.  Again it's all about timing and what's there on the day.  Other days, there has been huge mosaic bounty but I think Sundays are the dregs after Saturdays.  However, a really trained mosaic eye can see past the obvious and the mind's eye displays such possibilties with the most simple of items.

Dave, being so thoughtful, had put about 6 boxes in the 4WD so after I bought most of the coffee mugs in the place, ($15 !!!!!) we trolleyed the loot out to the car and as we unpacked we put them in colour groups in the boxes.  How is that for being organised?!  The gold mug was a great find. I think I will wash it up well and use it today for mosaic inspiration as it reflects my hands as I work at the mosaic table.

We stopped by at one of our besties place and surprised her with a visit.  Thanks Jan for a lovely salad roll and the beautiful bunch of home grown roses. I love roses.  It was so generous of you to pick every bloom for me, that really made me realise how giving and receiving can be so pleasurable - I treasure that moment and Jan loved sharing the roses that her Dad taught her to grow to such perfection.  I love making mosaic flowers, it's my passion and having such colour and perfume in the studio is sheer joy.

The china cups and coffee mugs are happily sitting in their boxes awaiting their transformation. I will try and get time to find a space for them today, but priorty one is working on a mural commission today.  

if you would like to learn how to cut china into flowers and mingle with wine bottle greenery etc, book into a mosaic workshop.  You need to do my Beginner/Mesh Method workshop first so you have the skills to move into the Floriade workshop.   Making a mosaic vase of flowers using OzMosaics methods and tips and tricks is a good investment to advance your cutting skills.  It also gives you more freedom with your mosaics to be more inclusive of other tesserae.  Mixing modern and ancient mosaic methods and materials brings out your own style, rather than being locked into what's been done before.

When you visit Op shops etc don't just look for the pretty floral china and trinkets, look at the worn and the left on the shelf items, they are true mosaic finds when you look beyond their original use.

A few photos of the mosaic jaunt:


Here are a few photos from the mosaic jaunt:











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OzMosaics provides a safe, happy environment for the making of mosaics! award-mosaic

Situatied in the hills of Coorparoo, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia our grand old Queenslander provides a mosaic haven for mosaic artists.

Students visit from around the world to learn with Sandy Robertson. 

Dave Robertson, Customer Service & Sales Manager takes pride in running the business, co-ordinating the Mosaic School and Workshops, plus shipping out mosaic orders on a daily basis! 

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