Confetti Mosaic on Wall

For those who are not familiar with southern Arizona, all homes have block walls of varying heights “fencing” off the back yard.  Here in the desert southwest we are able to be outdoors year round, now I want you to know I am not bragging, I often feel homesick for the New York Tri-State region and if the cost wasn’t so prohibitive, that is exactly where I would be living.  But here I am and ever since I moved into my home, my feeling was the wall is just another place to display artwork.  I have thought of creating some mosaic work on the backyard walls for some time now.  

Ella's Crimson Flower Stained Glass

I designed a pattern that I call Ella’s Crimson Flower; first I made a stained glass panel (which is still sitting on the workshop table awaiting solder), then I couldn’t wait to get my hands into the Opus style of mosaic.  I adapted the pattern to a mosaic pattern using the Tile Creator Software I had recently purchased.  I worked almost non-stop on tiling until one day this Spring, a friend helped me affix it to the side wall of my yard.  Well, I now know that I must smooth the wall first, the mosaic has some bumps and waves in it, but for a first effort, I am not dissatisfied. 

Ella's Crimson Flower Mosaic

After Ella’s Crimson Flower was complete, I decided to use some scrap glass to create confetti like mosaic all along the top course of blocks on the wall.  I have been working for several weeks on the confetti mosaic and today, I completed affixing the glass to the wall.  I still have to grout the entire top course, but I wanted to share some pictures of the not yet completed result.  I have to say I love it, it feels so happy, like a party!  

Confetti Mosaic

Several of my neighbors had suggested I mosaic the top course of the outside of the wall also – that too, is completed.  I just hope the Homeowners Association doesn’t site me for beautifying the otherwise ugly wall.  Who knows, maybe I will get some more work – I have already been commissioned to mosaic one neighbor’s wall.

My mind is already planning my next Opus mosaic; in fact I have begun working on it.  It will be two purple irises, and after that I would like to replicate Van Gogh’s Starry Night (http://www.vangoghgallery.com/painting/starryindex.html).  Oh, the possibilities are endless, and like I said before, I am happiest when I am creating.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Mosaics

Living here in the Desert Southwest, there are many reminders of the deep devotion the Mexican population has for Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I, actually have just learned that Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Americas.  Click on the link if you are interested in her story. 

http://www.sancta.org/intro.html 

I have been so inspired by this story that I have created several mosaics of the Madonna.  This particular mosaic was made for my gardener; he purchased it as a Christmas present for his wife.  I then replicated the mosaic design in another frame as a gift for a dear friend who just had surgery.  Her mosaic now hangs in her home just outside her bedroom.

 

After creating the full figure of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I wanted more detail in the facial expression.  I then drew a pattern of the Madonna from the waist up, cut the glass and created the following mosaic which is now hanging in my home.

Why Stained Glass and Mosaic Art?

A long time ago, I had purchased an old Victorian Home in northern New Jersey.  This home once had a stained glass transom window in the dining room, but at the time of my purchase there was an ugly huge air conditioner hanging from the wall where the window had been removed.

Many years were spent restoring the old beauty back to her original glory.  Much time was spent searching for a replacement stained glass panel –  but no such panel was to be found.  A trip to several local Stained Glass Shops in New Jersey were helpful, but, oh, the cost to have a panel created that large was quite high.  I had almost given up hope on ever replacing the stained glass, which by this time was replaced by a simple plate-glass window, when my son’s girlfriend, Diana suggested I join her and her Mom in Stained Glass classes.

I took classes and when the five beginner classes were finished, I continued to attend evening “workshops” in  The Glass Gallery in Nutley, New Jersey.  I created several obligatory pieces and then moved on to designing a panel along with the help of Patty, the proprietor of The Glass Gallery.

Grandma's CameoThis window remained in the dining room of that house until I sold the home.  The new owners of the property did not want to purchase the window so it is now displayed on the fireplace mantle in my home in Arizona.

Once I created this particular piece of glass, I was hooked.  Here was yet another way I could express my creative side in a totally different medium.

I have a small business here in Arizona designing, creating and teaching both arts – stained glass and mosaic art.  Please visit my website at http://www.mamzelle-du-m-stained-glass.com/

Stained glass led me into mosaic art.  To my way of thinking it is just another extension of stained glass, that is, when creating  mosaics using scraps of glass.

I have created garden stepping-stones and mosaic “pictures” in rustic frames; and I am currently working on tesserae mosaic tile murals on the wall in my backyard.

Cactus Flower Mosaic Wall Art

Having always been a tactile person with a bent for creativity, stained glass and mosaic art has allowed me to express myself in a way charcoal, pencil, paint and paper has not.

So Here I Am, Hello World!

Okay, so this is my first attempt at a blog.  I’m really not sure who my audience will be, who will be interested in what I have to say, or the project  I am currently working on – but here I am giving it a try. 

Two and a half years ago, I retired from a 25 year-long career with the railroad and decided to move West.  I’m still  not sure if this move was the right one for me, but with the economy the way it is, I have no choice but to stay put.   So I find myself in the Sonoran High Desert of Southern Arizona, this place has a certain wild beauty to it – the sunrises and sunsets are magnificent and the night sky is so full of stars you think you can reach up and grab them.  Thankfully, I have not encountered any snakes, but I must say I have had several scorpions in my house as well as a brown spider.

I was born and raised on the south shore of Long Island, New York so Arizona is a completely different world for me.  I have seen many coyotes walking in the desert outside my breakfast nook window, lots of quail and their families, loads of hummingbirds and hawks.  I love the colors of the desert, especially in the spring time.  Right now the cactus are in bloom.  It truly is beautiful – but if truth be told – it is quite lonely.  And this loneliness has encouraged me to start a small business creating custom designed pieces and teaching the art of stained glass and mosaic art.   

My intent with this blog is to tell about some of my adventures and absolutely the work I am doing when the adventures begin to pale.