Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kitchen Tiling Complete!

For those who do not know, we have spent the last couple of years restoring a 5 unit apartment building in a 1900 home. We moved in to the first apartment about a year ago after a complete gutting and rebuild. It is lovely. I always wanted to do a bit of tile work in the kitchen to make the apartment unique while staying fairly neutral in that it will be a rental unit eventually. After a few days of work (having to clean up constantly in order to cook or use the kitchen), it came out pretty well!

not the most comfortable place to work!

Left side of the kitchen counter

I will put up pictures of the finished kitchen someday soon!

(All tile was purchased from the ReSource (ReStore) in Barre, Vermont.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Houses of Women

This Summer, I invited a group of my favorite women together to play with the gems and jewels I have gathered over the years. I had some scrap wood from our home restoration project that happened to lend itself to the shape of a little houses. With one buzz of the chop saw I had all different sized wooden house shaped substrates; tall and skinny, short and wide.
Why not work outdoors on the porch!
So, the idea of mosaic houses seemed to reveal itself. People's houses are a fascination of mine and I have always found it interesting that in dream theory it is said that the image of a house is symbolic of the self. The attic is the storage of memories, the basement holds the deepest secrets, the bedroom one's sexuality, on and on.

So interesting, a group of woman. So individual in their life paths, unique in their creativity, yet when they arrived one by one I saw what colorful women I have chosen to surround myself with. Colorful in spirit and style, much like the mosaic tesserae I have collected. I knew they would make great art.

After much chatting we came over to the table to take a look at what we'd be doing. We were quite a mixture of artistic backgrounds, some professional artists and illustrators, some claiming to have not an artistic bone in their body (I knew this to not be true).  I gave a brief introduction to techniques, tools, materials, discussed various approaches to the project and set them free to find the path to their unique house.

The process was different for everyone. Different inspirations, whether a color of glass, a piece of vintage jewelry, or the shape of the house substrate. This was a non grouted technique so I had pigment available for everyone to choose to dye their mastic (tile adhesive) with. These were to be indoor only pieces. So many choices of bits and pieces to use, so many colors, ideas. A few of their works came together quickly, instinctively, others took longer, taking time to guide the process. So lovely the individual experience of creating.
In the end, an amazing collection of mosaic houses. Ah, the houses of women.