Friday, December 28, 2007


Although I planned to alternate posts on soft mosaics (fabric, scrapbooking, and quilting) with ones on hard mosaics, here’s a look at another ceramic artist.

I thought you might enjoy viewing some of Cynthia Fisher’s highly detailed mosaics.
Cynthia first came across mosaics in a photograph in the Practical Encyclopedia of Crafts when she was 12 years old. However, she says it took nearly thirty years before she started making them. After filling her home with her creations, Cynthia decided to sell her works under the name Big Bang Mosaics.
“This medium is always challenging,” says Cynthia. Every time I start a new piece, I must solve new problems, such as how to make water look reflective or how to create perspective.”

WHO LET THE DOG OUT? Cynthia made this mosaic for a retiring Latin teacher. “It was fun making this 'beware of the dog' mosaic. I put in lots of Roman mosaic patterns - from the wave border to the Opus Tesselatum of the dog's body, Opus Circumactum of the background, and Opus Vermiculatum which hugs the body.,” says Cynthia. The dog is Echo, a Springer Spaniel owned by the Latin teacher.

TREE OF LIFE: Styled after Gustav Klimt's Tree of Life, this vitreous glass kitchen mural includes special rocks, marble pieces, and pretty bits in the branches.
Her advice to mosaic makers would be to jump right in and try making a mosaic. Get some good books and just do it!
Can’t wait to buy a book?

Here are some MOSAIC MAKING tips from Penny Carlson (you can see Penny’s gorgeous mosaics on my December 16th post).

If you are interested in creating a mosaic piece, your only limits are your imagination. If you are new to mosaics, I would suggest starting with something small, with a flat surface. A good beginning piece would be a silver tray. Although mosaics can look complicated the techniques can be simple and easy to learn.

Materials Needed:
* Vintage plates, stained glass
* A silver tray - or whatever you want to mosaic
* Tile Adhesive,
* Grout - Sanded
* Tile nippers, rubber gloves, blue paper shop towels
* Grout sealer

Gather the plates, stained glass your surface, adhesive, grout nippers and sealer. Breaking the plates and stained glass is simply done, by using the tile nippers to nip away at vintage china plates, stained glass, etc.

After you have your plates and stained glass broken, you begin to apply it to the surface you have selected with the adhesive. This can be in a pattern or random placement. Work on small areas at a time.

Apply the adhesive with a putty knife or a flat wooden craft stick to each piece of china - or apply the adhesive to the surface in small areas and lay the china on the adhesive.

Allow 24 hours after the adhesive has dried, then mix grout according to the package directions and apply with your hands wearing rubber gloves.

Wait about 5 minutes and then remove the excess grout with a blue shop towel. Let the grout dry for 24 hours, buff with a dry shop towel and then apply grout sealer according to package instructions.

You now have a wonderful piece of art that can become a family heirloom.

Note from Barbara:
* You can buy small bags of tesserae (pre-broken shards) at most craft shops or purchase bulk quantities from a wholesaler online. But breaking plates and tiles yourself, however, lets you create more intricate and unique pieces.

Ask a local tile shop or vintage boutique if you can buy their broken goods. Often, they will be happy to let you have damaged goods for free.

*** BLOG DU JOUR ***

I’ll be away for a few days but Mosaik, an amazing blog will keep you amused. You’ll find the best mosaics from all around the world. Donna is obsessed with this ancient art. Be sure to click on faqs to learn more about the “who, what, where and why” of this wonderful site. Have fun exploring.


Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

I have always admired mosaic artist like Cynthia. Her detail is amazing.

Gail McCormack said...

Another great introduction to a very talented mosaic artist. Thanks also for Penny's tips. I've never tried mosaics, maybe in 2008 I will?

Hi, I'm Kathryn Bechen. said...

Really enjoying the mosaic posts. :) Kathryn

Hi, I'm Kathryn Bechen. said...

Really enjoying the mosaic posts. :) Kathryn

fabulous fifi said...

What an education in the art of mosaic! Such amazing works.....thanks for the inspiration. Just one little problem though: now I want to try my hand at it....did I really need ONE MORE project?????

The Desperate Diva said...

Ok.Ok. I'm inspired now. I must go find the proper TOOLS and give this a try myself. I've always been known for "The Crafy One" in my family, however, this is something I've never tried.

I LOVE creating with my granddaughters. We WILL try this.

Thanks for the instructions and tips. It seems the ideas are so unlimited with this art.

Thanks again Barbara for more inspiring artist.

Siobhan said...

Lovely mosaics! :)

Sheryl at Friendship Cottage said...

Your lovely articles on mosaics inspired me to put a photos of mine on my site and may also inspire me to get down in the basement and do some more! Thanks for sharing. Sheryl

NeereAnDear said...

I think I am in mosaic heaven... the tree of life is one of the most stunning pieces of mosaic art form I have ever seen!!!... I used to do mosaics but its been a long long time... however you have inspired me to get my creative juices flowing and attempt this again

Thank you for another wonderful insight into the world of creativity... the possiblities are endless


Rosehaven Cottage said...

All this talk of mosaics has made me want to try my hand at the artform. I even emailed Hubby yesterday and said that very thing. He sighed... another mania, another mess. ;)

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Anonymous said...

Hi Barbara, these are absolutley amazing. The tree of life is outstanding, and what a perfect location! And Penny is an outstanding artist as well. Thank you for a lovely post, maybe one day we will be brave enough to attmept a mosaic too! Happy New Year Barbara! And to that gorgeous Westie! Jenn and Jacqui

Adla said...

Hi Barbara,
Loving the tree of life piece. It is stunning!
Sad to hear about Benazir Bhuto,such a tragic ending for 07 . May 08 be filled with more love and peace.
Wishing you a wonderful new year ahead :)

xoxo :) Adla

Siobhan said...


NeereAnDear said...

hmmm I thought I left a post on here about this wonderful artist and the amazing possiblities with mosaics but it seems that some of my posts didnt take yesterday...

I am inspired to pick up some broken china and go to work


cjan said...

I appreciate your taking the time to give us info on such neat Mosaic artists!they all make it look so easy. But to have a great finished product takes talent. I learned when I tried my first Mosaic. DH didn't encourage me to do any other projects.LOL

Hope you have a Great New Year!


Susan Tuttle said...

Wow!--unbelievable mosaics! I am in love with her "Tree of Life"--really something special!

Happy New Year!!!

Hope the book is coming along well.


Tara said...

Hi Babette! Just dropping by to wish you and your family a Happy New Year!~ xo

Anonymous said...

Mosaics for me was quite an endeavor..I love collage now alot cheaper..but have pretty china charms I have to solder and tons of china ! Denise

Barbara said...

What beautiful mosaics. I did especially like the tree of life in the kitchen.
Blessings for 2008 Barbara

NeereAnDear said...

Wising you a Happy New Year... If I sent more than one post about the mosaics... then sorry



NeereAnDear said...

I did want to say... THE TREE OF LIFE ... to me it is one of the most stunning pieces of art I have ever seen... Cynthia makes her mosaics look like paintings...exquisite!



hopetreestudio said...

Hi I just love that tree oh so pretty. Denise