Mosaic Diamond Wall Finally grouted!Kaffee Fassette. Photos of his beautiful chunky diamond mosaic pattern make up the liner on the inside cover of his book, Mosaics: Inspirations and Original Projects for Interior and Exterior Design --a favorite on our bookshelf, and one of the few that gets pulled down and thumbed through on a regular basis for instant visual gratification. Oh the eye candy!
Long before I met Jan and we began making our own ceramic pieces, I did a replica of a diamond patterned pillar Kaffee had done for London's Chelsea Garden show using broken tiles and chunks of broken pots. This one sits in our back yard. Hint: if you are planning on mosaicing a bowling ball, be sure to prime it well with Kilnz, adding a bit of fine sand in the mix to give your surface tooth. Otherwise you will be picking up the pieces years later and piecing it back together. Ask me, I know.
|Portion of Hand Wall in progress|
|Up close ungrouted|
|Near finished and still to be grouted.|
Now, I've grouted a number of walls around the studio like this by myself, but this time I expedited the process (and spared my poor neck) by hiring Jeff Silva from Jeff Silva Tile Co, Hollister. Jeff''s the consummate craftsman when it comes to tile. He did the floors, bathroom and kitchen in our Spanish house years ago, and our more recent remodeling project. While still on that job, I was giving him a hard time about how easy he had it in his business when it came to grouting. With honor at stake, and good business sense, Jeff took up the gauntlet and suggested I could always hire him as an assistant, whereupon a wicked little smile turned up on the edges of my mouth. "Great idea, your hired," I said with enthusiasm, while secretly saying to myself, "Aha, this will show him."
And so my new assistant, in his quiet manner took to slathering grout over unruly protuberances and depressions. We passed the time listening to oldies Rock and Roll and for two days worked side by side, top and bottom in order to finish the wall. Second morning on the job, Jeff showed up with a spatula in hand, donated by his wife, Cindy. I thought this was rather creative on his part, until he reluctantly admitted to discussing the "challenges" of this job with his wife who promptly pulled out a spatula from her kitchen drawer. Leave it to a woman.
Have to say, Jeff got darn proficient with that spatula. I tried but could never quite get the hang of it. So I stuck with the trusty Isaiah Zager method of scooping up grout with a sponge and pressing it into the crevices. Takes a few sponges to get through the wall this size, but whatever works best I say. Not sure Jeff will be going into the 3D mosaic business anytime soon, but he was paid for a good two day's labor and I plan to ask him back to assist me with the next mural. Cindy needs to come and see the wall. I owe her a new spatula.
|Side entrance Mi Tesserae Mosaic Studio|