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Mundubbera Mosaic Project 2014

Mundubbera Regional Art Gallery
Mundubbera Regional Art Gallery
Address: Lyons St, Mundubbera Qld
Phone: 07 4165 6169

OzMosaics:   Mosaic Workshop 2014
Create a Mosaic Mural featuring the Mundubbera Grevillea.

ozmosaics mosaic mural mundubbera-1

Thanks go to everyone involved in this project, too many names to list here.  We are always made so welcome in Mundubbera and it's a joy to once again be involved in a community art project.

Project:     Sandra Robertson (mosaic artist) working with community participants to create a mosaic mural to be installed on the entry wall to the Mundubbera Regional Art Gallery.
Size:          1.5 x 1.0 m
Design:     by Sandra Robertson -  OzMosaics,  based on the Mundubbera Grevillea and info from Gallery Committee.
Substrate:    Border Mosaic and base  - Cement Sheeting .      Central motif, raised 2cm: Light Weight Mosaic Board (supplied by OzMosaics)

Tesserae:  Dynasty Smalti glass, Vitreous Mosaic tiles, wine bottle using Sandy's special mosaic effects, ceramic tile (All materials supplied by OzMosaics)

Adhesives:  Laticrete thinset & epoxy paste (supplied by OzMosaics)
Waterproof Membrane:  Laticrete Hydroban (supplied By OzMosaics)
Grout:  Laticrete Permacolour - Raven and Midnight Black (supplied by OzMosaics)

Tools: Leponitt Mosaic Wheeled Cutters, Nippers, Glass & Tile Scoring Tool, mixers, sponges, notched spreaders, gloves, safety glasses (provided by OzMosaics on loan)

Health & Safety:  Safety glasses and special mosaic safety tips from OzMosaics

Time frame:  Drive up Thursday, work with participants Friday to Monday to complete the mural, ready for installation by Counci.

Installation:  Screw to brick wall at 6 screw points, set out on outer mosaic frame base board.

Mosaic Methods:  Outer frame border - paper faced mosaic method with inserts of Dynasty smalti black blocks.
                                 Inner mosaic mural:  direct method to Light weight board, with special cutting methods and tips and tricks for shaping and making sections in advance.

Aim:  To produce a beautiful mosaic for the gallery entry, made by community focussing on fun, mosaic skills and connecting through mosaics -  using mosaic methods to enable fabrication of the mural over 4 days.

Funding:  Arts Queensland  RADF Regional Arts Development Fund

Thanks to Council for engaging OzMosaics for this project and all the assistance in preparing for the workshop.

ozmosaics mosaic mural mundubbera-2


Sandy's mosaic overview of the mosaic project:

Sandra and David Robertson (Team OzMosaics!) set off on the 5 hour drive from Studio OzMosaics in Brisbane to the country town of Mundubbera in Queensland, on Thursday 28th March 2014.  As usual, we enjoyed the beautiful country scenery and Sandy took hundreds of photos!

On arrival in Mundubbera late afternoon, we quickly settled into our comfortable accommodation at the Caravan Park and drove around to the Mundubbera & District Historical Museum.  Well worth a visit!
We unpacked a very loaded car full of mosaic materials and set up in the spacious Shed.  We appreciated the tables, urn and space to make the mosaic mural.  Everyone was very helpful and keen to help us get set up for the Friday morning start of the project.

Arrived very early to have all ready to go and everyone got stuck into adhering paper faced tiles (with smalti block raised inserts) to the base board.  The participants learnt to mix thinset, use notched trowels to apply the thinset to the cement sheeting (which had been prepped with waterproof membrane in Brisbane, to allow curing time ahead of the project).  After the tiles were set up, paper facing was removed and Sandy showed some of her mosaic tips and tricks to keep things lined up easily when doing this method.  Everyone helped to grout the outer "frame" section and polish and clean up the grout.

Next came instruciton on cutting smalti glass bricks, how to shape the cuts to go around curves and then "down the straight";  cutting vitreous mosaic tile and after a while many yellow and lemon "curls and swirls" were made and set aside to adhere to the central mosaic grevillea motif.  Special mosaic techniques allowed this process -making sections ahead of time.  A very busy day and everyone looked forward to the next day.

Saturday:  A really, hot, hot day!  Luckily with two fans and the shed doors up we managed ok, but the heat was hard on the cement adhesives.  We had to mix and bag very small amounts often and in normal circumstances, I would have called a mosaic halt until it cooled down, due to the adhesive hassles, but we soldiered on and all was well!  That night a big storm cooled things down a little and everyone was very grateful for the rain of course.  It was another busy and happy day, all working together.  Sections were placed on the light weight board panel, which we have previously transferred the mosaic design outlines, very easily, with an OzMosaics tip.  Originally, I planned to use the mosaic mesh method, but decided in the time frame we had, to do the direct method and specialty preparation methods.  This worked very well. I was very proud of the work done by all the participants and enjoyed the conversations around the work tables.

Much time was spent cutting mosaic glass tiles into half and quarter cuts and some angles to backfill the centre panel, to show case the grevillea.  Much discussion resulted in very interesting andamento and it all worked very well.  Cutting and gluing down the background was a big mosaic effort, using thinset as adhesive in the heat.  Well done everyone!  The mix of black, gold streaked brown, reflective surface black tiles, greena and gold streaked tiles, was approved by all!  It was good to see everyone working hard together and enjoying the process and I know there would be a few tired arms, backs and legs with such a big effort.  I could have raised the mosaic on boxes, but it is hard to accommodate everyone's height etc, so we all agreed to "let it be" and get on with the backgound.  The lovely curves around the grevillea bloom look so lovely, as do the strong lines achieved by Opus Regulatum and vermiculatum etc etc!

Sunday:  By now the first layer of lemon and yellow curly fronds were glued to the central panel and more background applied.  I put some treated wine bottle and beer bottle glass to demonstrate how the 3-D Grevillea stalk and leaves would be achieved.  We could not glue this down until evening, as the background tiles had to set up.  The background was grouted in the afternoon and everyone was happy with the results.  Sunday evening arrived and two ladies stayed back until 10 pm (also on the Saturday night) to work on the mural.  By working evenings, it allowed people to help who were not able to attend during the day workshop sessions.  People could come and go as they wished and Sunday was a very busy day at the Shed.  We also started another mural "The Mundubbera Big Foot" and I showed how to make light weight board out of polystyrene, how to reinforce and apply the mesh/thinset.  This was exciting and I also showed how to enlarge patterns easily.   Two young children arrived on the scene and another local artist and together with others the Big Foot started to emerge.  I look forward to seeing the final mosaic as it was still under way when we left on Monday; by keen mosaic enthusiasts!

Sunday night:  The stalk and leaves were applied over the grouted background.  This takes time and thanks to Roslyn who did such a great job - great teamwork indeed!!  Loris kept working hard on the Big Foot.  A huge strom broke over Mundubbera and the power went out a few times.  Lucikily we had a small desk light to try and work by (not easy with dark tiles and Midnight black thinset!) as the solar power takes a little time to come back on and then it would go off again!  Once more, we were not complaining too much as the rain was gratefully received, it was an amazing storm though.  It cooled down a little after the big storm and once the Shed door were open again and the lights back on we worked until late.  We were grateful for the fridge and cold water.

Monday:  Very early start again, Dave as usual always in the background, helping to tidy, sweep, mix, remove rubbish and whatever needs doing.  Thanks so much Dave.  We had a huge job to get everything packed up to depart on Monday afternoon back to Brisbane, but in the meantime had to finish grouting the smalti (on Sunday night another lighter lemon frond layer was applied) which was by now quite 3-D.  The stalk and leaves had to be scrubbed up and cleaned, this was lovely to see it revealed from under the layer of black tihinset applied on Sunday night.   It was good to have company as people arrived early and helped with the scrubbing of the background and general clean up of the mural.   We glued the central panel to the backpanel and it lined up very well!  Once this was setting up, we filled in the gap between the lower and upper level and polished with vinegar and water to remove grout haze etc.  Next came the final gloss sealer, which really enhances the tesserae and grout.

Dave dug out tiles in the outer frame section,  to allow for the screw points at installation time.  We were going to assist with installation but Council were happy to install after we departed, which was good as it allows the mosaic time to rest on a flat surace and cure well over a couple of days.  

We arrived home in Brisbane around 8.30pm.  On the drive home from  Mundubbera I photographed a stunning rainbow, which seemed fitting after such a project.
mosaic rainbow ozmosaics
Dave and I look forward to returning to Mundubbera to see the mosaic installed at the Art Gallery and to catch up again with our mosaic friends.  

Whilst we were at Mundubbera Dave found time to visit the school and see the Centenary mosaics installed.  Here are some photos.  
mundubbera school mosaic ozmosaics-1mundubbera school mosaic ozmosaics-2mundubbera school mosaic ozmosaics-3mundubbera school mosaic ozmosaics-4
mundubbera school mosaic ozmosaics-5mundubbera school mosaic ozmosaics-6

Thanks again!
Sandra Robertson
Mosaic Artist
Mosaic Instructor
Studio OzMosaics


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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.

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