Australian Mosaic Artist
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It's a big read - but it's over a decade of mosaic making!
Studio OzMosaics – Sandra Robertson
Mosaic Artist & Mosaic Instructor (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)
Sandra Robertson is a full time, dedicated mosaic artist, exploring and creating mosaics across diverse mosaic applications, combining a mix of tesserae (mosaic pieces) anchored with cement, to expected and unusual substrates. Perhaps digging deep into the base, wrapping or clinging tesserae to spectacular elevations, each mosaic artwork is unique. Sandy's passion for 3-D mosaic is evident in many installations and is very popular with clients and students and collected.
Sandy creates mosaic moods, highlights and shadows - leaving some mosaic spaces unoccupied, whilst other areas may be filled with interesting objects –perhaps calmly weaving, surging or seeming to explode on the surface - always securely embedded or surrounded with textured, tinted concrete. To grout or not to grout is often a major consideration in many fine art works but required in many outdoor installations. Sandy's mosaics may be flat, sculptural, functional, decorating surfaces with style.
Sandy's art beckons you to inspect closely, as one feels pleasure and excitement, a sense of wonder whilst exploring the surface texture, focal points and materials. When the spectator views the art from a distance, the intended perspective in the built environment and landscape is evident.
Studio OzMosaics is located close to heart of beautiful Brisbane, capital of Queensland, Australia. Sandra creates hand-crafted mosaic artworks, ranging from traditional to contemporary styles. Sandy has over a decade of hands-on mosaic experience, bringing excellence in mosaic design, fabrication and installation. Sandy's craftsmanship allows a wide range of mosaic choices and this is shared in her mosaic workshops.
Passionate about Australian mosaics, in every shape and form, Sandy has travelled internationally to explore mosaics in all its fascinating shapes and forms – absorbing, styles, cultures and mosaic method. Influenced by her surroundings and nature, unique, contemporary mosaics emerge, whilst embracing the masters of old. Sandy's unique mosaic style and mosaic processes make her art distinctive and exciting. Sandy is at the cutting edge of mosaic art and works to shape your ideas in mosaics.
Sandy visits client sites, when required to consider design, fabric and install mosaics. Online communication such as email and video calls, provides excellent communication with the artist and clients globally thus enabling mosaics to be made and shipped, with feedback via photos and video of work in progress.
OzMosaics works clients and the mosaic community at large to produce fine art –commercial, residential or whatever is requested.
Attending mosaic conferences in Australia and abroad, Sandy participates in juried art shows, exhibitions and galleries and has been awarded mosaic prizes, appeared on television and in printed media. Exciting mosaic venues include shopping centres, public spaces, community halls, airports, seating arenas, performance and meeting places, public parks and more. All ideas and locations are considered - all budgets explored.
Thinking outside the mosaic square, Sandy selects or shapes mosaic bases from a diverse range. From a shovel or fry pan, a car or fridge door, rocks by a cascading waterfall, a building façade; mosaic art is only limited by imagination, budget, design, installation constraints and time. A small mosaic surface can take as much time and effort as a large one, dependent on mosaic detail and design.
Consultations with Sandy may provide good alternatives to work within your budget/project vision.
Studio OzMosaics fabricates and organises mosaic delivery/installation by OzMosaics, the client or a contractor (providing instruction/consultation). Mosaics are supplied in one piece or perhaps a gridded, mosaic jigsaw - which installs seamlessly.
OzMosaics also provides gridded mosaics, to custom design for wall, pool surfaces etc. It could be as simple as taking the numbered sections of the box and installing to the provided photograph/grid/instructions.
Mosaic art provides public entertainment. Watching a mosaic artist at work is captivating and cutting/grouting demonstrations are popular and a promotional tool for Sandy's clients, promoters and community and fund-raising events. OzMosaics Group
Challenges are wonderful workplace events, seminar or conference team building courses with a difference - providing a fresh idea, fun, hands-on and unique experience for the busy professional.
Public mosaic displays are popular - the mosaic may be permanent or installed after the event - sold, auctioned for charity or put in a public gallery/client venue. Recording of the making of a mosaic provides education and promotional material. Donation of materials by the public and businesses is far reaching. Mosaics can provide mood therapy in dentists and doctors surgeries; any space where people gather and wait requires visual art.
OzMosaics art may be useful and decorative - a wonderful backdrop for restaurants, hotel foyers, tourist attractions, rotundas, performance spaces, reception areas, wedding backdrops, signage, resort art, to name a few. Many mosaic artworks aid in the reduction of vandalism and graffiti and improve the value of property or bring customers to a venue.
Sandy worked closely at Park Road Station in Brisbane with Queensland Rail, to provide art to reduce graffiti and it succeeded to date. A delightful mosaic project titled
"what do you see out of a train window" was completed, working closely with clients of the Brisbane Endeavour Foundation, Mater Hospital Captain Starlight Room, mosaic helpers, Art from the Heart Program, Queensland Rail and willing mosaic artists in the community. The world is full of train, bus, train stations, shopping centres, parklands, subways and blank walls that have the potential to provide public art gallery walls. Any solid surface or wall is mosaic gallery in waiting for Sandy.
Art programs endeavor to bring a sense of pride, community spirit, awareness of surroundings and skills. Sandy works with many groups on mosaic projects, small to large - all are important.
Sandy is passionate to educate and provide skills to others in these projects, an opportunity to meet new people, gain employment, travel and share skills over a broad spectrum. Giving back to the community is part of OzMosaics philosophy, wherever possible.
Sandy constantly researches new mosaic products or adapts products to mosaics; testing, sampling, exploring the possibilities, techniques and materials from other art mediums – thus keeping mosaic art diverse. One enquiry may spark another idea and suddenly Sandy is able to confer and consult with other like-minded artists. Imagination and mosaics are a good mix. Glues need to perform and endure varied situations; surfaces need expert treatment consideration when it comes to waterproofing, final sealers and suitability. Locations require installation inspection, mosaic art takes time to create and products need to perform and last the distance. Respect for the environment and community is paramount.
Taking it to extremes, Sandy is often outdoors, testing mosaic durability in rock pools by the sea, deep freezers, indoor and outdoor conditions, submerged in a swimming pool or even wearing the art! Sandy works very hard to make sure products used in her mosaics are capable of handling the mosaic limit. Sandy encourages mosaic artists to embrace other mediums and Sandy has installed an electric glass kiln inher Studio and 2012 will bring more mosaic diversity, plus new workshops and skills to her students.
Together we grow the joy of mosaics. Mixed media is bringing art factions together as never before. Sandy does not lose sight of the tradition of mosaic, but asks -
"why not be inclusive wherever possible for art's sake?"
Although Sandy has worked on many flat, traditional mosaic surfaces, such as floor art, benches, tabletops etc, she explores the fascinating world of textural and 3-D mosaics, covering sculptural pieces, rocks, laser cut forms or reusing and exploring existing bases. New and recycled materials embed happily in an OzMosaics project. The mosaic beauty is important, across a range of exciting and unusual materials. It's the result that matters.
Reused and recycled materials allow consideration of our fragile and precious environment and provide wonderful mosaic challenges to Sandy in her mosaics.
Diverse and unique mosaics result, often with emotional content. Mosaic art is enduring and provides an art feast for the eye, indoors and out. Sandy will work with interior decorators or landscape artists to fashion beautiful vistas or create mosaic art that knows no bounds. Muted or bright in colour, Sandy works with you and explores material possibilities.
Small mosaic urns and pots are equally as special as mosaic murals for hotel walls or public seating and parks. Sandy consults with architects when appropriate to ensure the mosaic installations are a simple and professional process - treating each installation as unique. A long list - pots, tables, pedestals, swimming pool murals, wall features, garden sculptures, birdbaths, giant balls and eggs, public seating, performance arenas, mirrors, picture frames, fine art, floor medallions, bathroom, kitchen, church murals, portraits, interior design, signage, furniture - whatever surface you need decorated in mosaic, Sandy is excited to discuss your project.
Next time you take a dip in a pool, bath or shower imagine a mosaic on the wall, a floating reflective mirror ball, a mosaic surfboard or floating drink trays! Imagine swimming with mosaic sea creatures or having a mosaic jellyfish in your bath! Look down at the floor - is it boring? Add an OzMosaics feature carpet. Adorn teenager's rooms or nurseries with mosaic faces and cartoons, based on children's sketches. Match a mosaic mural to your bedroom bedspread. Decorate cupboards or add a mosaic stained glass window.
Sandy can teach you or install wonderful mosaics on furniture, funky or traditional style. Use those old family dinner settings hidden in the cupboard on a mosaic mirror or picture frame, table or chair, or garden pot/pedestal. Sandy has wonderful ideas for you to consider making or commission OzMosaics. Perhaps a huge mosaic ball will enhance your courtyard.
Contact OzMosaics to discuss creative sparkle in your garden, home, workplace, City Parklands, Botanical gardens, airport galleries and scenic paths.
Consider the ceiling, lampshades, chairs and beautiful lamps. OzMosaics ensures new or renovated spaces - especially bathrooms/kitchens are spectacular with friezes, murals or mosaic highlights. Decorate with a theme or colour through your home creating a gallery of useful mosaics (benches, bathrooms, bed heads, wall art and more!). OzMosaics can add mosaic decoration to a letterbox, motel/hotel/resort entry features, garden sculptures or entries with a mosaic mural/number/name/plaque.
Lighting plays to great effect on mosaics day and night. Special mosaic applications enable your mosaic grout to glow in the dark or sparkle with glitter. Sections of OzMosaics artworks may have painted surfaces, adding texture and interest to the mosaic areas. Mosaics add class and interest to business window displays, particularly fashion, shoe, boutique, florist and souvenir outlets. Sandy's mosaic jewellery pendants are popular.
Store props and mannequins become function artworks and customers love them.
Sandy works with the client /student to bring their vision to mosaic reality. Time and care ensures professional, quality mosaics, with happy results. You are encouraged to be part of the process providing inspiration leading to a happy collaboration. Prices vary due to project size, complexity, installation and materials selected.
OzMosaics source and supply mosaic materials and provide professional service and quality products. Sandy works closely with professional suppliers to ensure products are the best for the job and has a very close relationship with these companies. Always searching for new products, innovative materials and processes ensures quality and new mosaic ideas. OzMosaics has an online mosaic shop and studio store supplying clients and students with mosaic materials. Sandy encourages exploration of materials, often the cut exposes inner raw beauty to use in the mosaic.
Every mosaic is special and Sandy has a vast range of materials on hand or can source easily - selecting from smalti, vitreous glass tile, ceramic, china, shells, beads, stone, mirror, marble, cement shapes and found objects. Expert advice on substrates and installation is available from OzMosaics studio by consultation or workshops. Mosaics may be simple or complex - reusing bases and sourcing recycled materials is equally as exciting as the arrival of new smalti colours or specialty cement lightweight bases.
Sandy's husband, David, is a full time partner in OzMosaics - Studio Manager/ Customer Sales/Service. Mosaic bases are fabricated using student or customer joomla templates" href="http://templates.ijoomla.com/" target="_blank">templates. David is responsible for the student bookings, studio space, stock control/ordering, freight, customer assistance and he often assists with mosaic installation.
Using and supplying professional mosaic cutters and tools,
Sandy shapes the mosaic materials by hand, using special mosaic tools and nippers, fabricating the mosaic at OzMosaics Studio – bringing materials "alive" in mosaic art. The mosaic is adhered using processes such as direct method, mesh method, reverse method and other unique OzMosaics techniques.
OzMosaics provides installation advice or onsite consultations. Mosaics may hang, or be glued or screwed, to a base. OzMosaics can provide options at installation time, to enable future relocation of a mosaic. Health and safety of public /private installation is important. Sandy provides flat and 3-D mosaic surfaces considerate of touch and tread.
Much of the mosaic work is prepared at OzMosaics studio – thus saving time/money for the client and OzMosaics. Working to the client vision or her original designs, clients benefit from a unique work of art or a series of art based on ideas of Sandy and/or the client.
When time permits, Sandy updates her own mosaic collection, allowing the opportunity to explore and ignore what has gone before in her quest for mosaic progression, completely unhindered – her own art may be a simple desire to create passionately, privately and explore within.
You may be interested to own one of Sandy's Private Collection or present a Corporate or personal gift. Sandy keeps most of her private art as it records her progress in mosaics and changes direction considerably.
Sandy is proud to work on public artworks – putting forward ideas that bloom such as the International Mosaic Tribute to the great Steve Irwin, Australia Zoo. This project captured the heart of many artists worldwide, children and fans of Australia Zoo at large. OzMosaics took it to hospitals, Brisbane Craft Fairs, at the time sponsored by Reed and Mos-Oz/MAANZ /Laticrete Australia and encouraged disabled community members to participate.
OzMosaics studio provided the facilities, many products, made huge amounts of mosaics and backgrounds, and Sandy and close friend and family provided hands on support, cutting, gluing and grouting in many long nights. A labour of mosaic love and care fill the air.
Sandy project managed this huge set of 11 mosaic masterpieces, Australia Zoo worked closely and provided a home for the mosaics. Close mosaic friends helped often around the clock. The project blossomed and kept growing until Sandy had to say "stop so we can start piecing all the mosaic mesh segments together" – hundreds of mesh mosaic segment were donated, from around the world.
Australia Post became our favourite face at the studio door, carefully handling every mosaic, as it was so very precious. Many people were involved, each person so special. The huge, 3-D mosaic murals adorn walls at Australia Zoo and companies such as Laticrete and Mini Movers donated their products and services - A lasting tribute to Steve Irwin & Terri Irwin, Bindi and Robert Irwin and the wonderful zoo crew.
A mural installed at the Norfolk Island airport made by the local community, under Sandy's direction, is a showcase of the beauty and historic settlement of Norfolk Island. The Art in the Park gallery on Mt Pitt featured mosaics on display including a mosaic "dunny". OzMosaics community artworks create tourist attractions and often records local history. People involved with the artworks revisit over time bringing family – a sense of mosaic history prevails.
Photographs spread the beauty of the mosaics around the world. Sandy videos all her mosaics in the making and these clips will feature in due course on mOs-OZ online mosaic school – available for clients and students.
Other community projects by Team OzMosaics include amazing seating in the Animal Zoo Enclosure – the Numbellie Seats at Queen's Park, public arena/the Karalee Community Hall and school "Everybody Seat" - both major award winners, located at Ipswich, Queensland, Australia - Huge mosaic collaborations working with council, schools, teachers, artists and the community.
OzMosaics is currently working on proposals for two major school community projects, offshore projects, another Brisbane Community Park and is excited to be visiting Hong Kong as an exhibiting artist in April for an exciting Mosaic Easter egg exhibition. 2011 finds Sandy very busy with diverse mosaic commissions, including six mosaic murals, depicting the portraits of nuns, saints and mosaic replicas of stained glass windows, for a Brisbane Church.
Bringing together communities and mosaic enthusiasts around the world, is a constant joy for Sandy, providing mosaic memories and surprises. Groups of children, parents, elderly, businesses, teachers, artists - Sandy especially enjoys working with disabled community members to provide mosaic methods for everyone, so all may participate.
Sandy works closely with Carers, Foundations, Sponsors and clients to assist making mosaics possible in many places. Sandy provides facilities at OzMosaics studio for visiting students and hosts artists in residence programs. Students have come from afar, to learn at OzMosaics – England, Dublin, Canada, USA, Singapore, New Zealand and around Australia.
Sandy helps as much as she can with online mosaic enquiries and requests, moderating mosaic forums, help lines and has Mos-Oz (Mosaic Online School – Australia) and SMARTI online, School of Mosaic Art International - - in the pipeline.
An important resource that will grow and keep students, schools, clients and enthusiasts up to date with modern mosaics and traditional techniques.
Sandy has visited art studios in Florida, Texas, Colorado and Salt Lake City, USA, Sydney, Tasmania, South Australia, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Norfolk Island, Brisbane – on the "road" around Australia. Sandy looks forward to future mosaic travel and opportunities to share mosaics with other art studios.
Exciting new products are on Sandy's studio shelves and future collaborations with artists and suppliers abroad will enable more mosaic commissions in Australia and offshore. Sandy is enjoying an exciting connection with one of her Chinese suppliers. Products come from India, China, Australia and Italy – if the product is suitable for mosaics, Sandy will consider using it in her art.
After natural disasters or mishaps, Sandy encourages Councils and Government facilitators to keep the broken china, found objects and articles to piece back together as artworks, providing therapy and beauty to the affected areas. Mosaic walls, sculptures, levy banks etc, chunks of concrete, damaged properties provide potential for mosaics bringing together spirit and broken objects as art.
Clean, reused/recycled materials make tesserae for these projects.
It takes thought and commitment but with the right people, special artworks can emerge. Working on these projects offers a form of release, counseling and memories to cherish, explaining emotions and the heart of the people. It stops much going into landfill when viewed as art objects. Sandy works with items such as china and wine bottles in many murals, please contact OzMosaics if you have left over or damaged items to donate or community art suggestions.
An avenue to explore is harnessing the energy of prisoner reform projects, street kid involvement, graffiti artists, grey nomads, retirees, rehabilitation, work for the dole, unemployment projects, new skills, work of a fine programs,....this would benefit the community at large with skills and a sense of commitment.
Check with your local council about Grants and the possibility of a community art – Sandy will work with you to bring it to reality. Make mosaics to fund-raise or decorate your train station. Imagine the walls of freeways with enduring mosaic artworks, combined with colour rendered cement.
Many schools make mosaics, working with the local community and Team OzMosaics has worked on many huge school projects funded by Grants and other resources – from start to finish OzMosaics assists/runs the project management, fabrication, teaching, installation and project management.
Governments are encouraged to support the arts.
Teaching the teachers is a wonderful experience and takes mosaics into many areas in Australia and overseas. School students learn the art of mosaics – equipping them with skills for future works.
Sandy has invented and shared many ideas for working with large groups to provide a safe environment and an exciting approach to learning the art of mosaics. These huge projects have allowed Sandy the opportunity to work with other artists in many fields.
Collaborative mosaic projects give everyone opportunities to explore the medium and mosaic education and often tell stories, such as Indigenous art and Dreamtime mosaics. Sandy works with Indigenous artists and storytellers.
With everyone involved, beautiful mosaic projects have emerged, with passion, love and pride with a historic moment in every mural. Memory mosaics can be public artworks, or perhaps a special item in your home or garden to pay tribute to friends, family or pets. Sandy can discuss your memory mosaic project with dignity and respect. Sandy has a private hoard of found objects waiting to be included in her art.
Embedding precious pieces such as family china, special notes or thoughts, keys, trinkets, medals, memorabilia, a pebble or special shell collection, ashes, notes, photographs, signatures gives a lasting mosaic for garden, home or perhaps a memory urn or sculpture, Sandy has special projects for her students to embrace memory mosaic art. Make a mosaic quilt with your family, school or community – record the history or beauty or your location. Imagine a wall of sea scenes, creatures or people at work.
Decorate a rock or mosaic urn or unusual object. Imagine a wheelbarrow covered in mementos in your garden.
Mosaic is a source of therapy for the mind, body and soul, connecting many people to their creative heartbeat in a busy world. Hands on, creating a mosaic, can give a desirable release to children and adults – some quality time out - from a hectic lifestyle. What makes you tick? Sandy finds "from small things big things grow" and many of her students have progressed to their own mosaic teaching or art practice – Sandy is proud to have launched them in their career or community art adventures. From that first tile cut comes a smile and a journey to who knows where. The process of creating art, for everyone is important to our health, mental state and creative joy.
Work with OzMosaics to create your mosaic story or dream or passion, into reality.
Sandra is a professional member of the Mosaic Association of Australia and New Zealand (MAANZ), the Society of American Mosaic Artists and hosts and moderates several mosaic forums online with huge member bases. Sandy held the position of President and VP of MAANZ (formerly known as Mos-Oz).
Sandy continues in OzMosaics an Art from the Heart Program and presented for many years at Australian Craft Fairs raising money and creating campaigns for the Starlight Foundation, Endeavour foundation, MAANZ - including the Money in the Dunny, fund raising ideas etc. Sandy is open to ideas in this arena. Through online forums and discussion groups, Sandy shares her passion for mosaics with beginners and professional artists around the world. She is grateful to the support of family and friends, clients and students, who help make all things possible.
Commissions, public/community projects, student workshops, products and gallery enquiries are welcome.
Visit the OzMosaics website – http://www.ozmosaics.com.au for regular updates.
Studio visits and consultation by appointment.