Thursday, December 12, 2013

Magnolias and Mosaics

Recently, my boyfriend Chris and I took our first mosaic class with Yakov and Angele Hanansen at Unicorn Art Studio. The two have been doing large scale mosaics for over 30 years, and were kind, insightful, and extremely knowledgeable teachers. Both Chris and I have become addicted and can't wait to do more!

This piece was based on a drawing I did this spring (above) at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens when the magnolia trees were in full bloom, dropping their thick, fleshy petals onto the newly sprouting grass. Behind them, hillsides of daffodils glittered in the distance. It felt like a big quilt of different patterns, colors, and textures. I then turned that drawing into the design for the mosaic, below.

The process of translating a drawing into hundreds of cut pieces of stained glass is extremely meditative.

It forced my mind to think in new ways about drawing, because in a mosaic, everything must be considered. The color, size, shape, and direction of every piece and pattern is important. Intention is everything.

I had a lot of fun creating different patterns, and layering and weaving different marks and colors throughout the image.

Finally, the act of grouting was a very nerve-wracking, but exciting, and transformational experience. After working on putting the pieces together for many, many hours over 2 months, you have to smear the dark grout over all of your hard work. Then you wipe it off and see how everything has been transformed by filling in the gaps. I was surprised by how much the image changed!

Above is a little video I put together of all of the progress shots, showing the growth of the mosaic.


And now, finally, it is home, hanging proudly in our living room. I can't wait to start the next one!


Gina Hiatt, Ph.D. said...

That is awesomely beautiful, Evan! I want to see Chris's, also!

Evan Turk said...

Thanks, Aunt Gina! I can't wait for Chris' too! His has a lot of tiny pieces, so he's still working. It's beautiful!

Unknown said...

This is so beautiful, Evan! I really love it! I've seen some of Chris' progress shots; maybe he can do a guest post when he's done so we can all see it?!

Evan Turk said...

Thanks Audrey! :)

Chris posted his finished mosaic on the Dalvero Academy Facebook if you look back a few weeks! It looks amazing, you'll have to come over for dinner and see it! :)