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Sandy's Mosaic blog

MAANZ New Mosaic Horizons Prize 2019

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Held at Octagon ArtSpace, The Woodworks Gallery Bungendore NSW.
ROBERTSON SANDRA Unearthed 2019 terracottasmaltishaped tinted thinset 45x32

...and the winner of the New Horizons Mosaic Award is
Sandy Robertson - Studio OzMosaics!
Thank you to MAANZ for the opportunity to exhibit and to the judges for this inaugral award.  I am thrilled and honoured to receive an award for mosaic innovation from such an impressive line-up of mosaic entries in the

I was inspired to create this mosaic after a holiday trip to China in 2019.
The Terracotta Army in Xi'an, aka Terracotta Warriors and Horses, is a super large collection of life-size terra cotta sculptures in battle formations, reproducing the mega imperial guard troops of Emperor Qin Shi Huang (259 - 210BC), the first emperor of the first unified dynasty of Imperial China.  I was fascinated to watch the scientists working in the earthy pits reconnecting and examining the terrac cotta warriors.  Dave and I hope to return to Xi'an to spend more time explorating and visiting the Museum.  We loved visiting the Great Wall of China and many other places in China and Japan.  I hope to create series of mosaics based on the trip and experiment further with Laticrete Australia products, which allow me to push the limits of modern mosaics.

Artist:  Sandra Robertson - Studio OzMosaics
Title:  "Unearthed"  $590 - 
MAANZ Prize: $1000 Award

Materials:cement sheet substrate, terracotta, oxide tinted thinset-  handformed slabs and motifs, ceramic tile, Dynasty smalti, gold smalti, terracotta pot slabs. Laticrete products:  
#335, #4237 system, Hydroban, #4217, #3701 and special stirred oxide techniques.

Artist Statement:  Discovered by a farmer in 1974, the brightly coloured, glazed Xi’an Chinese terracotta army warriors transformed to grey, within moments of unearthing.  Stunned archaeologists were left with tiny colour chips, to investigate and replicate the former glorious colours.In my mosaic, hand-formed, variegated, thinset tesserae, with stirred oxides, represents the terracotta exposure to light and air, after 2000 years underground.  

sandra robertson mosaic latricrete warriorSpecial tesserae surface effects, an antique, golden teapot rim, glazed ceramic terracotta tile and smalti, depict crumbling, colour transformation and artistic armoury patterns. 

View left-middle, shows armour & sleeve.

View right-middle, shows Qin Dynasty Emperor/Warrior's face/profile/helmet, using terracotta fragments.

The transformative nature of mosaics" held at the Australian National Botanical Gardens Gallery Canberra
28Aug -  29th Sept 2019

ROBERTSON SANDRA FloralShapeshifter 2019Artist: Sandra Robertson
Title:  Floral shapeshifters  Size:  30:30   
Height: max 7mm  Weight: 3.1kg
Substrate – 4.5mm cement sheeting
Price:  $355.00

Materials:  Dynasty smalti, slate, handmade variegated, thinset chunks, garden tool, pebbles, nails, gold glitter, china, terracotta, banksia, pine cone, nail polish, drink glass, wine bottle, millefiori, wire, beach glass.

Artist Statement:
My mosaic represents transformative, mood shapeshifting, whilst finding your true colours and direction.

Have you ever felt broken physically or emotionally; in desperate need of tender, loving care to repair?  

Do you hide your true feelings and soldier-on,  with a concrete-encased, heavy heart?
Secret, dismal grey pain flows, poisoning your core.  Dig deep, accept help, find courage. 
Break through the barriers, trust and don’t fear a little transparency. 
Reciprocate kindness and love - trust in the transformation.  Plant positivity seeds, fertilized with imagination. 
The seasons will bring regrowth, strength, branching out, purpose and direction – your aura will radiate gold!

If you would like to learn how to create mosaics enrol in a mosaic workshop at Studio OzMosaics, Brisbane Queensland Australia, to learn mosaic techniques to create the mosaics of your dreams!  Studio OzMosaics also stocks everything you need to make beautiful mosaics in our Brisbane Coorparoo Studio Store (by appointment only please 07 38474873) or buy your mosaic supplies online at - OzMosaics Mosaic Web Store.  The best prices and professional mosaic supplier in Australia for 20 years.

When The MOS (Mosaic online school) is online, you will be able to learn everything you need to know to make mosaics online. 

For more information on MAANZ (The Mosaic Association of Australia & New Zealand) please visit
Photos of MAANZ Exhibitions and Symposiums and mosaic info are found on the MAANZ website.

I encourage you to join MAANZ to participate in mosaic events and receive mosaic newsletters keeping you up to date with mosaics in Australia.

ROBERTSON SANDRA FloralShapeshifterDetail 2019



Special Thanks & updates!

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December 2021
OzMosaics is on the go again!  Since my injury in 2019 I have had 2 surgeries and lots of work to get back on my feet to mosaic again.

I am pleased to report that the studio is buzzing again - I am currently working on a large outdoor wall mural for Nazareth Pre-Learning centre/Playground Space in Wooloongabba.  It's all about butterflies and bees! Installation is due in January 2022.

Another mosaic project on OzMosaics studio workbench is a stunning 3D kitchen backsplash featuirng Queensland coastal banksias, due for installation around July 2022.  It's so stunning and my clients are wonderful!

I completed a gorgeous mosaic cat table commission for a client this year and also delivered some fabulous completed mosaics to Regis Aged Care Wynnum, made by residents and my mosaic art team.

I was a Presenter for the MAANZ International Mosaic Symposium in October and entered 2 mosaics in the MAANZ Internaitional Jiuried Art show.  Both were accepted in this prestigous Exhibition!

OzMosaics commence workshops in a new format in March 2022. I will be ably assisted by Maureen Randolph and the new class format will greatly benefit my students and my foot!  Where there is a will there is a mosaic way.

Mosaics donated by Kat Gottke have been renovatedf and will be installed in 2 Aged Care Residences at Carindale and Birkdale in 2022.

Diary 2019:
Thank you!  I might have a broken foot but my mosaic mind is overflowing with new mosaic techniques and future mosaic workshops!  

0dbf86d4 e370 433f a65e c65180b422f8Dave and I wish to thank profusely everyone who has phoned, visited, sent cards, flowers etc during my foot injury and recovery time.

The staff at the Greenslopes Private Hospital were so kind, professional and caring and my Orthapedic Surgeon is brilliant and second to none and I am forever grateful to him and the Greenslopes Emergency Dept for their prompt diagnosis of my rare Lisfrant foot injury.  No, my injury was 100% NOT related to any of mosaic mosaic activities!  My right foot was injured whilst out on a whale watching tour in Brisbane - a painful Lisfranc Injury.

I am slowly recovering and can't wait to start workshops again and client commissions as soon as I am releasede from PT and treatment, surgeries etc.
I am finding that patience is indeed a virtue and a loving husband by my side is beyond amazing.

Mosaics in indeed therapy as we have all known since the first time we held a pair of Leponitt Mosaic Wheeled nipper tools in our hand!
I haven't been down in my studio, but Dave has been working so very hard trying to keep things going and been flat out with processing online orders (thank you all so much!) and attending to visiting students, clients, customers and artists.  I miss seeing all my mosaic mates so much and will be organising a MAANZ meetup as soon as I am able and running workshops again.

I have been busy working on The MOS!  (The Mosaic Online School) as much as my foot will enable me - very short time frames, as my foot has to be elevated so often for swelling and pain.  However, I am in a rather big moon boot and slowly doing some PT exercises and short hobbling along with a wheelie walker.
My family, friends and my wonderful mosaicing mum are just incredible, cheering me on and cheering me up as needed.  My dear sister Julie, you are my absolute inspiration and I love you dearly.  My grandsons are so precious and they entertain me in the funniest of ways.  I might be missing out on some mosaic things but certainly my heart is full of love.  Won't be soon until my hands are full of mosaics!

To those of you out there who are facing difficulties I send you loving and warm hugs.  I can't thank my friends and family enough and hope to make it up to you all very soon.  Dave, you are my hero.  I hope all my students and mosaic enthusiasts are madly making mosaics in readiness for Christmas and a beautiful summer!

Thanks to to the understanding of the MAANZ Committee as I was unable to attend the 2019 MAANZ Symposium in Canberra due to my foot injury.
I was disappointing to cancel my role as a speaker at the Symposium and I was so looking forward to sharing new tips and tricks in the mosaic workshop. Thanks to those who had booked in for understanding.  I wish you all a word of beautiful mosaic making.  It's addictive but so satisfying!

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Ceramic tesserae - OzMosaics Mosaic Store

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ceramic mosaic tile glass ozmosaics australiaNew to OzMosaics!  Australian Hand Made Ceramic tesserae!
Sandy says:
It's very exciting to be collaborating with a very talented ceramic artist to produce mosaic ceramic tesserae for my clients, customers and students (and myself!) to include as special features, highlights, and texture in our mosaics.

Each ceramic is made to order to up to 2-3 weeks is required to produce and deliver your special ceramic tesserae.  Flora, the ceramic artist, explains the process below and mosaic artists will understand the comparable time and effort that goes into producing the ceramic tesserae.

From square tiles (great for borders or use your mosaic imagination!) to circles large and small, little pots (wonderful to add fun and interest in your mosaic murals), exquisite, luxurious floral blooms (mix and match in your mosaic art with your hand cut china and more!), loose petals, leaves and lots more to come!  I recommend these inclusions as I have often searched for something "extra special" to highlight my mosaic art and now I am very happy to have these beautiful ceramics to do just this.    

Keep an eye in the shop, check back regularly as Flora and I explore the possibilities of this wonderful ceramic tesserae.   Send me your ideas for mosaic ceramic inclusions; Catherine and I will be pleased to explore all suggestions!

Ceramic artist Flora says, "my favourite part in ceramics is the pouring & making the items. It is like opening a Christmas present every time I open a mold & a wonder to me that I have made it, fascinating."Mosaic artist Sandy says,  "it's wonderful to have these exquisite ceramics to include in my mosaic art, I continually find the colours and texture beautiful to work with".  

We are very fortunate to have this beautiful ceramic tessera available and hand made in Australia.

About the ceramic making process:

From the ceramic artist, Flora...
I have great joy creating ceramics and supplying OzMosaics with a mosaic range;  a mix of hand made and poured from a mould - ceramic flowers, petal, leaves, tiles and pots and more.  

The clay used is Duncan's Laguna with a mixture of brands for the glazes, underglazes & translucent paints. Before pouring commences, the molds have to be cleaned using an air hose, brush & other tools as required then strapped tight so no leakage of clay. The mold is topped up with wet clay until the desired thickness, then the mold is emptied leaving the shell or actual item. The piece needs to dry somewhat in the mold before it can be opened but not too long as it can crack as it shrinks. While the piece is wet, it can be carved into pieces or have cut outs done such as windows on a house.

Once the item is removed from the mold it needs to dry further which is known as leather dry, then it has to be cleaned by hand using sandpaper, wet sponge & tools to perfect the edges & shape  -- then they are fired for approx 8 to 9 hours which is called a Greenware Fire & they turn to bisqueware. The cooling process is normally 3 times the fire time & then the pieces can be painted.  

When painting with glazes each piece needs 3 coats & each coat needs to be dried before applying the next which in winter time can take a while.  Then they are ready for the Glaze firing which takes approx 6 to 7 hours.  

When a piece is glazed, it can be used for outdoors and is dishwasher safe.
Sandy says:  A lot of time, love, experience, talent and care goes into every ceramic created by the talent Flora.

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  • Studio OzMosaics
    Cnr 492 Cavendish Rd & Arlington Sts
    Coorparoo  4151
    Brisbane Queensland Australia 
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  • Tel: (+617) 3847 4873
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About us


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! 

There is never a dull moment at OzMosaics - we hope to meet you or make friends on Facebook.

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