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Moving across from stained glass artworks to mosaic art .....

Extract from a post on the Mosaic Addicts Yahoo Forum that may be of interest:

You may have been a stained glass artist for up to 15 years and wanting a change from solder and foiling..more texture and freedom from perfect cuts.

At the risk of a thousand glass shards being thrown in my direction, I would
like to say "I know where you are coming from". I truly admire stained glass artists, I tried the soldering and foiling for a few minutes and ran from the room screaming, I knew instantly it was not for me, but I love the stained glass artworks. If I want a window or artwork I will buy it or commission it but mosaics are really in my blood.
Obviously your passion was stained glass for 15 years and I am sure many mosaicists have tried many art/craft arenas.
I love stained glass windows, one above the spa bath in our en suite, I commissioned over 20 years ago and adore it to this day.
I have a front veranda with huge windows, which we will replace with safety
glass first to support the proposed mosaic, begging for my stained glass and
mixed mosaics but it will take me quite a while to do the design in mind,
which involves hundreds of wine bottles, stewed and melted and reshaped into
glass that represents fungi and well, that's another story unfolding here
but it's so exciting the possibilities it's almost a meltdown!

Everything we do adds layers to our knowledge base and artistic instincts.
I love to see arts and craft mediums melding and expanding in new
When I visited stained glass art studious in USA, I was more interested in
the tools, materials and weird things I could do to bring the techniques
over to my mosaic world LOL! I have them all in my studio now and they are
doing more than they were meant to!

I was full of admiration for their stained glass art and skills but I was
out of my comfort zone. I even own a glass kiln and test out many unusual
materials etc when time allows. I suppose to be honest, it's the "flatness"
that takes the mosaic mojo from me.

When I look at a stained glass window, I want to add layers to it, textures,
weird I know. When I have this urge, I create multi layered glass mosaics
and adore the light effects and shadows. Stacking, piling, out of kilter,
it's awesome. But after a while I even tire of that. It's wonderful mosaic
art can follow so many directions.

Last night I dreamt of a mosaic I wish to create, that is making me weak at
the knees with excitement using transparent glass of all shapes and sizes,
it is on the back-burner for now.

You will love MAC glue if you wish to glue glass to glass, with transparent
effects or Clear Liquid Nails which offers many solutions. But why not have
stained glass mosaic artworks with opaque and translucent effects and
layering? Tinted thinsets, epoxy grouts etc will add drama and we won't go
into the hair, glitter, sequins, paper, foils, painted backdrops, wording,
symbols, lace, leaves, doilies etc as mosaic "undergarments"...

I have been doing these things for over 10 years and each day still brings
new discoveries.

Your mosaic substrate may be sturdy glass and you build on that. Imagine
working on glass lamp shades, you may find that it's so much fun! No more
connect the glass with solder, foiling etc you are now free to connect to
the base with adhesives. You may grout or not. So many possibilities.
Dangling things, stacked things..with the special effects. But, consider
the foil and solder, why not include it in your mosaics..think outside the
square. Play with the solder, play with the foil, shape it, break it, bend
it, twist it, combine it..take it to places no one else has though of...

Not a perfect cut is required! You can if you want to..but grout and
thinset is your friend. You may find yourself lost in stones, shells,
breaking them down, combining them with glass, vitreous mosaic tile, smalti,

To me if a mosaic materials require constant sanding of edges, they may hit
the mosaic sin bin in a hurry until I decide how to get around it. The
occasional swipe of a tile file ok but upsweeps of grout and thinset usually
do the job, perfect camouflage and melding of materials.....grout spaces
don't have to be perfect as do most stained glass works.

Grout spaces can be enhanced in your design. Grout is part of your art not
the stuff that fills in the gaps. You don't have to grout, it's up to what
the project is demanding of you.

If you want, you can "pipe" thinset (cement glue) over the glass joins and
create a really easy stained glass effect and the results are stunning.
Multiple colours, layers, things pushed can reinvent your stained
glass self in mosaics. Nail polish is awesome.

Do you have a pair of mosaic glass and tile nippers, brand name "Leponitt"?
These wheeled cutters are magical, you feel you are working with mosaic
scissors. You will already be very proficient in scoring, curves, straight
lines etc, the Leponitt cutter will allow you to cut "weird and wonderful
shapes" freely and I suppose the point of this, is I could not live without
my Leps, hammer, tile and glass scorer/breaker combo tool (no oil ever!).

Actually, I lie, if I did not have the Leps, I would smash, drop, bang, toss
plates, china, tiles, glass etc and be able to continue mosaics and have
much "stress release" at the tesserae smashing table! If I did not have my
glasses, I wonder what my mosaics would be working to touch. I may try that
next week. It intrigues me.

You can turn your stained glass into wonderful tesserae and combine the
stained glass with other mosaic materials.

Consider smalti, ceramic, plates, cups, stone, slate, mirror, baubles, found
objects, wine bottles.the list goes on. Nothing is sacred and the more you
explore the more exciting it gets. You will find what moves you in mosaics,
be true to yourself. Be warned, it's addictive. Free yourself from
constraint and find a hammer.

I think many stained glass mosaic artists easily transfer their stained
glass patterns into mosaic designs, replacing the solder, foil etc with
black grout. You might find you need to "break away" from the norm to get
more personality into stained glass mosaics. Often the comment is "that
mosaic looks like a stained glass artwork". If someone told me my mosaic
resembled stained glass art I would hit myself on the head with a hammer.

Nothing wrong with that, but take care you don't end up in the same puddle.
This is your chance to try something new bringing your current skills to the
mosaic table. Don't rely simply on the stained glass effects, re streaky
glass that almost colours the mosaic in for you, try breaking it down into
mosaic and allows more movement and flow (opus and andamento are terms to
describe mosaic design and flow in a mosaic". Look it up. Grab as many
books as you can from the Library or spend half your life on Google, group
and Facebook etc.the more you see the more you will learn. If you can find a
mosaic teacher spend time to get the basics of mosaics under your tool belt.
It's not rocket science, one you have the tools, glues and methods flowing,
you can follow your mosaic mojo.

Don't follow the "mosaic flavor of the month"..try it of course, but don't
lose "yourself". It's ok to feel "gutted" along the way, that's the
learning curve when you don't hold back.

Check out the photo folders on this site and check out Google Images, it's
an awesome mosaic reference.

Please feel free to ask for advice or share your mosaic journey with the
group. There are many stained glass mosaicists, both professional and
newbies, on board and they will understand your "lingo" and enjoy the
banter. They will get "where you are coming from" and you will probably
bring refreshing ideas to us.

Mosaic art offers the artist the freedom to explore, to be extreme or not,
to run with traditional methods, traditional tesserae, or enter the brave
new world of modern mosaics...oscillate between then and now - it's all
there waiting for you.

Welcome to the group and thanks so much for taking time to introduce
yourself. Welcome to our mosaic world, it's exciting to have you in the
group. Sorry about the ramble, I have much on my mind at the moment, so I
just bashed this out for what it is worth.

I hope other members will chime in and share their experiences with you.
Best wishes, Sandy Robertson Group Moderator
Mosaic Addicts Yahoo Forum "MAG"

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You are here: Home Blog Sandy's Mosaic blog Moving across from stained glass artworks to mosaic art .....