05 February 2017

A decorated circle mosaic

I had fun decorating some bisqued circles- about 10cm in diameter. beautifully glazed at the Knysna Pottery House and then I went a bit off tangent and did an intricate background glass mosaic which took ages to do.  Base is made with fibre cement board, waterproofed. It can withstand being outdoors in warmer climates. (Not sure about icy places)

So the next one will be an easier design and as a result, more affordable. I obviously needed some therapy!

14 September 2016

Red Orchard Mosaic

Red Orchard Mosaic

Outdoor wall panel mosaic
5- 6 weeks work
Recycling ceramic casualties
Broken porcelain shards
Ceramic inserts- leaves and animals

Craig drilling some holes in the corners for me, Getting ready for final installation at a Pezula  garden- outdoor barbecue/ braai area. Find us on Instagram as #knysnapotteryhouse and on Facebook as the Knysna Pottery and Dye house

25 April 2015

Outdoor Garden Table


                                     with small leaf tile impressions and pink grout

galvanized and powder coated metal table frame by CX steel, with
9mm waterproofed fibre cement board and mosaic leaf tiles

small leaf tiles in varying sizes

grout a bit  too pink?

lighter pink grout

02 June 2014

10 September 2012

How to Mosaic on Mesh

Sometimes,  it is easier to mosaic on mesh first, rather than directly onto the substrate.
I buy my mesh from a Tile shop. Then, once I have my design idea drawn onto the mesh, I apply a watered down  glue to the back of the tile and stick down on the mesh. Except it’s not that easy. All sorts of things can go wrong. The glue might block the holes of the mesh, the mesh gets stuck to your work surface. If the weather is wet the glue never seems to dry. If the completed mesh squares get wet, or are kept in a humid environment, the glue stops working and the pieces fall off. All of these things have happened to me, and were accompanied by lots of swearing and worrying about the commission being a big flop.
Then I would go to sleep and in the morning I would have the solution.    To read the whole post please go to my new wordpress website with blog posts: How to Mosaic on Mesh        

10 July 2012

A Good 'How to Mosaic' Book

Tracey Boomer and  Deborah Morbin visit the Knysna Pottery House quite often. They were inspired by some of my mosaic projects and they also bought some handmade tiles, for use in projects in their latest Craft book: Mosaics- Decorative Ideas. some of the tiles where used whole, others broken up.

Look- they even have my fishy mirror idea on the front cover! Inside the book, they show step by step instructions to recreate various projects, for those who need some help on what to mosaic, and how.

The book is on sale in most good  South African bookstores, as well as at the Knysna Pottery House (R150)

                                      The cover of the book shows my fishy mirror idea on bottom right corner

My piggy tiles used in this bread bin project. Lots and lots of other ideas .

29 June 2012

How to Mosaic Using Ceramic Leaf shapes

This is how I made the leaf mosaic pieces. 

Press leaves into a smooth slab of clay.- Thickness should be uniform.. Mine was about 6mm thick in this case. I have used wild geranium, nasturtium, bouganvillea and cluster fig leaves.

Then, when the clay has firmed a little more, cut around the shapes with a pottery knife (or an ordinary kitchen knife- that works too)
Leave overnight. Do not pick up the pieces or handle them while the clay is soft.

The next day, once the clay is past the floppy stage, you can lift them and carefully remove excess 'between bits' for recycling.
Use a damp sponge to clean up the edges, leaving the leaf on the surface, to protect the leaf imprint in the clay from being wiped off.

Peel off the leaf and gently wipe edges one more time.

Now allow them to dry. Not too fast or they will start warping.
They are fired 2 x after this, you can apply the colour pigments or underglazes at this stage or at glazing stage, it depends on the effect you want.
The lovely "surfboard" shape of the leaf is wonderful to work with- look how they fit snugly together on the board while they dry. So easy to work with and put into position.
Craig's Table

My table top in progress

Sally, my mosaic student did well with her 2nd mosaic project

One of my first leafy table tops

mosaic seat in progress, with red leaves, a cat and
other bits and pieces

Green glazed leaves over a brown pigment in the veins of the leaf detail on table top

An easy mosaic project, using leaf mosaic pieces in dove grey, blues and mauve

'mosaic lessons' and various mosaic things decorating the outside of the Knysna Pottery House

an owl and a hare with various odd leaf tiles that no one wanted

More chair seats using leftover leaf mosaic pieces

Sally, my mosaic student, doing a fine job of an umbrella stand for her mother, who is the owner of one of my first leaf table tops. So this umbrella stand will match it nicely.

08 June 2012

Winter, mosaic artist in hibernation

I really should update this blog more often. I only like to do that when I actually have something new to show- but I have no new  mosaic projects for a good few reasons. It is winter, it is cold and my enthusiasm levels are low.

I would like to start a new range of really small ceramic things- buttons, inserts, miniature art. The Knysna Pottery House is going full steam ahead, with many projects and commissions and a new pottery teacher on the team. I am temporarily without transport, so am stuck at home for a bit.

My grown up sons have left home,  I still have my kiln and slab roller at home, all I need is some clay, Plaster of Paris for the moulds, and  some enthusiasm. And of course a market to buy the new range.

I have been decorating ceramics- doing quite a lot of houses and landscapes on buildings, painted on large platters and I have enjoyed that for a while. I discovered I can do a good portrait as well. But who on earth would want a portrait of themselves on a tile or a plate- except the Queen of England maybe?

 Recently a SA artist became famous overnight because he did an "artwork" depicting our president with his rude parts exposed. Oh- the hoo ha that created. Maybe I should do an artwork of  Prez. Zuma and his multiple wives and children, grandchildren- - also shocking in some way- and get free publicity?  Ha ha! No way- you have to be absolutely crazy to attract that kind of hate and negative media attention from all the verkrampte (conservatives) in this country. I am certain the artist got a few death threats. Please note- I have not named the artist or the artwork- as it deserves no more attention.

So here are a few of my ceramic plates.

Noetzie beach, Knysna

Palm trees

Thesen House, Knysna

2 large carved vases and a white mosaic mirror by Ruth

Some old houses in Knysna.

04 April 2012

Coffee table with purpose made handmade tiles and glass mosaic tiles

Step One- the galvanised metal base

Step 2: Cut the fibre cement board to size 

Step 3: Attach fibre cement to metal base using a pop rivet gun

Glass has been glued over cut outs in sides and top.
Then the handmade tiles were made especially.
This corner had to be re-done as the original got accidentally broken

Went to the Tile House to buy glass mosaics tiles on special-
R45 per sheet

Start arranging the glass tiles- play around with designs

I used clear silicone to attach the glass tiles to the glass sheet

Making progress, and thinking about grout colour

Drying. Tomorrow I will grout the table and add a photo of  the final result on this blog post