Large Scale Mosaics workshop – should my sister get my project? Vote!

Posted: February 4, 2015 in Mosaic General
Tags: , , ,
happy me with Gary Drostle!

happy me with Gary Drostle!

In late January, I traveled to Chicago for a workshop at the Chicago Mosaic School on Large Scale Mosaics given by visiting artist Gary Drostle.

Gary is an international award winning artist who specializes in large scale mosaic installations.  He has done gobs of amazing work and I’ve long been a major fan.  Three of my favorites of his: Electron Flow, Croydon Fishpond, and Shrapnel 1914 – War is a gun with a worker at each end.

I’ve wanted to mosaic my bathroom floor and walls, and the idea of maybe doing it for other people had percolated in my brain too.  This class was a great opportunity to understand all the nitty gritties on how to do large scale architectural work and learn from a master.

We had 2 projects, a personal small (12″x18″) treated as if it were big, and a group large (3’x5′) sign for Begyle Brewing.  If you visit Chicago, stop by to have a taste of their great brew (and see our sign installed)!

my sister's tattoo

my sister’s tattoo

For our personal work, we were told don’t worry about design, focus on technique. But, you still want something nice even if it is simple.  My sister has a tattoo on her wrist that I’ve always liked and I decided its’ design was perfect for my mosaic!

Our projects were made from vitreous glass.  I found some nice purples with shimmery bits and a mix of blues for the background.  We drew our cartoon on the paper, then rolled it up and only worked on small portions to simulate what would happen in real life on a big scale.  You glue your pieces to the paper face-down and the design backwards cutting off sections as you go.  A nervous moment occurs when you vigorously shake a section to see if any bits fall off!  The fun part came when it was time to fix the mosaic into cement on our board.  The sections are pieced back together, set in cement and adjusted.  Then the big reveal as you take off the paper and finally see what your mosaic looks like from the front!  (see detail pics below).

Several classmates asked if I was going to give this mosaic to my sister – since it had been inspired by her tattoo.  What do you think?  If she wants it – should I give it to her?     Vote and let me know!







My neighbour has built a new concrete shed and patio area….I’m now eyeing it as a perfect large scale candidate, perhaps they should be worried, they may wake up one morning to it mosaic’d!

  1. Crooked Tracks says:

    I voted for your sister before I read the comments. It is such a beautiful piece 🙂


  2. The finished mosaic looks beautiful!


  3. jm says:

    Sister deserves it !
    Very nice flow of pictures to understand how it was built.


  4. Diana says:

    I am so glad that you chose this workshop. That is so exciting that you got to learn from a seasoned professional whose work you admired. Of course, I want/need/must have that amazing lotus mosaic! After all, the one that I look at every day is a different color, so it is not the same at all! I remember being with you when I got that tattoo. Do you remember it’s significance? It was my “stop smoking tattoo”. It took a couple of tries, but I have been smoke free for 3 1/2 years now. A lotus grows out of the muddy yuck at the bottom of the pond and flowers despite where it came from.

    Do you have a picture of the large scale brewery sign that you worked so diligently on? Would love to see it!

    I think you should approach the neighbors about doing a mosaic on that shed- that would look so cool, and you could enjoy it from your place, too!

    Hey, everyone, vote for the sister to get the mosaic! Yes, a shameless plug.


    • I remember being with you when you got that tattoo too! 🙂 It is great you’ve been smoke free all that long now! I will send you a couple of pics privately from the brewery sign. There were some pic limitations, so only wanted to post my own project on this blog. Love your shameless plug – right now the poll is 100% in your favor! 🙂


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