Glass, gems, pebbles | 13" x 26"
Pods is a 3-D spiral mosaic exploring the birth of plant life in nature. It shows the persistence of life, growing out seemingly nothing under the harsh condition of a rocky substrate. The delicate curves of the plants contrast the formidable strength of the background, exemplifying the beauty of nature.
Creation of Pods Mosaic
I started Pods after I had made several mosaics but was just starting out a professional mosaic artist. I had already made the Pink Aspirations mosaic which was my first successful 3-D spirals mosaic. I had the vision of these flowing curls of glass but the process of figuring out the right way to make them took about 7 unsuccessful tries before I finally made it work. When it did I was thrilled and immediately set to work on this artwork which I had sketched out several months earlier.
I wanted the shape of the entire piece to be elongated so that I could create flowing tails. I wanted them to kind of look like fantasy sprouts. I know it doesn't sound that charming, but this is what intrigued me. I wanted to have elevation in the pods themselves, so after laying down the framework and glass for the tails, I used mortar to sculpt a softly rounded almond sort of shape to mosaic on top of. I then finished the glass on the edges, then proceeded to cut a ton of circles out of clear glass. I used aluminum to back the clear glass for extra shine and texture and accented the mosaic pods with gems. I spaced them out so that the grout would be part of the design.
For the background I wanted, as in most of my mosaics, to keep it simple and beautiful, but not distract from the foreground. As with the other mosaics in the Earth series that focus on plant life, I wanted it to reflect rocky earth so I used basic radiating circles with a variety of pebbles as the center point. Note that I also used iridescent glass in the foreground and more matte glass in the background to accentuate the contrast, both aesthetically and metaphorically.
I am very happy with the way this mosaic turned out. At the time it was the most difficult piece I had worked on, so it was exciting to have everything come together just as I had seen it in my head. Shortly after this, I did discover that Sicis glass works a lot better on the 3-D spirals mosaics rather than stained glass, but we all learn with every project!