Faux Mosaic

(This post by Neda)

Garage sales can cure artist block. This is a well-kept secret. Take last Saturday for example. While I was driving to run some errands, I stopped by such an unexpected treasure trove. Among boxes and boxes of old Texas Monthly issues and Lady’s Home Journal, I stumbled upon a small wooden box. Intrigued, I opened it. In it, there were more than 40 pieces of an antique (well, at least a few decades old) child’s matching game of animal pairs. Each picture was glued unto a 1 ¾ “ x 1 ¾ “ wood square (that’s 4.5cm x 4.5cm for those of us who are partial to the metric system).

Although I am all for nostalgic sentimentality, I decided to buy the whole set (for a measly $1) and sacrifice it in the name of creativity. Rushing back home, I took 35 squares and laid them on my drafting table. I kept the remaining few in their original box in honor of the unknown child who played with them once.

Using acrylics, pastels, markers, and images from some of my earlier collages, I painted 35 different ideas on small pieces of cardstock. I coated each piece with Liquitex acrylic medium and varnish, and then played around with each piece, moving them across the board in a way that made visual sense to me. Having dabbled in real mosaics earlier, I knew what effect I wanted to achieve: an idiosyncratic yet harmonious creation.
"Mosaic" - by N. Doany © 2007
Once the varnish has completely dried off, I glued all the finished pieces unto a foam board which I then glued over a thick cardboard for good support (I used the same Liquitex medium for glue). Some of the squares did not really fit seamlessly together so I dabbed a little bit of light modeling paste with my fingers, making sure to fill in all the “cracks” between the pieces. I set the “mosaic” board aside to dry overnight.

The next day, I painted over the modeling paste (which by now was bone-dry) and added some touches of color here and there to give a unified look to the “mosaic” board. Finally, I sprayed the finished product with an acrylic sealer.


Debi Cates said...

I'm a big fan of Garage Sale finds, too. But your idea of transforming these tiles has taken them from a quaint dust-collecting game, to a whole new level, so clever and beautiful to behold.

I love the way they turned out and thank you so much for sharing them and your process.

Rima said...

Doll Artist Sandra Street has sent this comment that I'd like to share with you - Her very lovely "Doll Diva" creations can be found at this address:
Go check them out.

From Sandra to Neda:
Hello Neda
Thanks for your compliments. Your faux mosaic
tiles are BEAUTIFUL!
Please check out my new blog. Secrets4you.blog.com
Its name is "Secrets of a Craft FreaK" This is where I post new photos, ideas, etc. I forgot the password for the blog that you
visited and could not recover it, therefore I could not
add new posts or anything.
I think that my mind was too cluttered with craft ideas, thrift stores, yard sales, etc. to remember the password!
Happy Hunting!