3 More for Degarmo Park!

Here are 3 more panels for the Degarmo Park bench/planter project. Three out of 24 panels that is. These are out of order, but they will wrap end to end around an oak tree planter that they have yet to build. I'm not looking forward to mosaicking in the snow.


25+ artists selling art near CSUC!

Including me! I harassed the New Works people until they included me in this fine showing of local artists latest works. I have quite a few new ones in this exhibit including my "Monkeys" mosaic, "Tree Spike" mosaic and my "Winged Vagina" tile. Come see! It lasts all weekend.


Bench panels ready for install!

Here are 3 of 24 panels ready to be installed in Chico's Degarmo Park. They are going to wrap around a circular bench seat/planter which has a baby oak tree growing in the center. The ones shown here are not in order, but once installed they will all run together as one. All of the wildlife, both flora and fauna, are handmade porcelain tile surrounded by broken commercial tile. The project is over one hundred square feet including the top of the bench seat which will be composed of hundreds of handmade sky blue circle tiles, clouds and bird silhouettes.

Auspicious Visitor!

I've been negotiating a mosaic project in Malibu for several months now. It's a huge project involving eight large animal sculptures. One of the sculptures is a Western Toad. A few nights ago, I was headed out to my backyard studio to get something when I spotted this little guy on the patio. At first I thought he was a toy my kids had left on the ground. I've lived in this house for over seven years now, and never once has a toad stopped by. I figured it was good luck. I closed the deal within days of this visit.

*For Ivy*

This is a tile I made for my friend of 18 years. I'm the bull, she's the alligator.

Bellflower Mosaics Installed! Yay!

There are five panels in all, and it took only 2 days to install and grout them. See all of the pictures on my website:www.robinindar.com. This project can be found under the "Commercial Mosaics" section.


Best new festival food!

Mango on a stick! Hands down, this beats all for best festival food. I can't believe I've never seen this before! They didn't even have to deep fry it! Thank you World Music Festival for opening my eyes.

Sold out of eyeballs!

If you look close, you can see the little orange and black bowl that Gibby made in which I placed a bunch of porcelain eyeballs. They were a surprising hit that day, and I sold out of them! Don't worry, I'm making more.

World Music Fest entertains me!

I was offered a nice shady place near the 'kids stage' so I heard a lot of hip hop and grunge while I got some work done on the Degarmo bench mosaic.

Finished the apple branch mosaic!

The belle fleur apple branch mosaic is complete! I've cut it up and layered the pieces in a plastic tub for a later installation. Now onto the fifth mosaic in the Bellflower series: the actual bell flower. I went with a close up of a cluster of the pretty blue flowers on a rocky cliff. Pictures soon!


My work-space...not for the barefooted.

This is the area I continually tell my kids is off limits to bare feet. This is also the area you can routinely see my kids running through in bare feet. As they walk or run through they usually say "I won't get cut! I'm fine!". I've cordoned it off with rows of folding chairs, an ice-chest and boxes of tiles. It's located on our back patio which has a tin roof to fend off the random rain storms that happen without warning in Chico-even if they only last 10 minutes or so, they could totally ruin a glue-on-mesh mosaic. If you're wondering, I use Starrett nippers and Weldbond glue on fiber-glass mesh.

Workin' on an apple branch...

Here is a detail from the fourth panel out of five. It is of the belle fleur apple, a whole branch of them. I thought having an all-blue background was going to make this one faster to complete. I was wrong. It's actually quite detailed. I also thought this one might turn out a tad ho-hum but the colors are really popping on the apples, so I'm glad.

Train Depot Mosaic finished!

This is number three in the Bellflower series (3 out of 5). I added the L.A. mountains in the background by request. I really like the colors in this one. All of the signs are handmade tiles so they're nice and legible, and I added a smattering of iridescent tiles in the sky for a little twinkle.


Happy Birthday Limey Steve!

Steve is the awesome drummer of my band and he puts the limey in Limey Tee's, his tshirt/printing shop. His nice accent and love of fine English cheddar inspired me to make him this for his birthday.

Details, details...

I hand made the clock face and the Bellflower sign. Did you know that writing the Roman numeral four has other options besides IV? I did a google image search for Roman numeral clocks and one person wrote "Roman numeral FAIL!" but apparently it's acceptable to write it IIII. Anyhow, I set the clock to read 11:11 which is my husbands and my anniversary. Awww...

Finished the clock tower mosaic!

Two down, three to go! The Bellflower clock-tower may look easier than it was. My first thought was "all black with a colorful sunset, not a whole lot of detail," so I figured this one would go a little quicker than it did. There's actually quite a bit of nitty gritty detail here. And sunsets are just plain hard. The stained glass I used for the sunset is slightly thinner than the black porcelain tiles too so we'll have to pay attention to that during grouting.


Finished the downtown Bellflower mosaic!

This is one of five panels I've been commissioned to do for the outside of a live-work loft in Bellflower, CA. I'm now working on the second one which is of the town's clock tower.

Storing your mesh mosaic for travel

Get yourself one of those handy under-the-bed-sized plastic storage tubs or whatever will fit the pieces of mosaic the way you've sized them. Lay down some plastic sheeting in the tub cut to size, and gently lift your mosaic-on-mesh piece up to see that all of the pieces are in fact adhered. If any pieces come loose or were never actually glued, then simply lay the piece back down and glue the piece back on. When the glue is dry and all the pieces are secure, lift the mesh-mosaic sheet up, and gently place it in the plastic tub face up. Lay a sheet of plastic over that and continue to layer each sheet of tile with plastic in between. Believe it or not, I fit my entire 5' x 6' downtown mosaic into the tub shown here. I packed plastic bags into any free spaces, slapped the lid on, and I'm on to the next mosaic panel!

Labeling each mesh mosaic piece for later install

Once I cut all of the mosaic into pieces, I labeled each one using 3" x 5" index cards and low-adhesive painters tape. I labeled them from left to right and top to bottom so the installer will have a clear idea of which piece goes where.

How to mosaic onto Mesh Part 4

Once your mosaic is finished and the glue has dried, cut along the previously established guidelines (Sharpie lines) so that your mosaic is a bunch of large puzzle pieces. Each piece should lift easily off the plastic.


Mosaic on Mesh Downtown scene

Here is another section of my downtown mosaic on mesh in progress

How to Mosaic onto Mesh Part III

Here is a section featuring a woman shopping downtown. Once you have your image under plastic pulled tight, and mesh laid over that, then you can begin nipping tile and gluing it onto the mesh. I printed out 8" x 10" sections in color to refer to because in certain parts it's hard to see what's going on in black and white. I use Weldbond glue, fiberglass mesh, and frost-proof porcelain tiles and stained glass because this is going on a buildings exterior and you need to use exterior grade materials. I used a black Sharpie pen to outline on the mesh where I will be cutting the mesh into pieces. That way I know not to put a tile over the line so I can cut it out later. From what I hear, the pieces should not be larger than 18" or the weight of the tiles will pull the mesh down if you're adhering it to a vertical surface.

Mosaic Basketball is finished!

Here is the finished garden sphere or gazing ball. You wouldn't know it's a basketball, but then again, I did end up using orange as the main color...It's surprisingly light after using so many solid cement bases. Hollow sphere's are nicer on the back should you choose to move it. Can you see the beer bottle caps in there? They usually fade in the sun and rain so I'm going to try coating them with clear nail polish to see if that protects them at all.


Always make your son feel included!

Even if they like to walk around your mosaic in bare feet and distract you with a barrage of magic tricks and name that tune games, you can't help but love their presence.  Here, Jackson is doing some avant-garde measuring...from here to...somewhere.

Handmade tiles for a mosaic

Sometimes in a mosaic I want to maintain a realistic look and the tiny details might get lost if I resort to only using tiny tile pieces.  When that is the case, I just make my own tiles.  For the downtown scene that I'm currently working on, I've decided to make many of the small signs myself so the words are still legible from far away.  For the Nubel Theater I made five individual letter tiles.  Unfortunately in the first glaze firing they came out a little too orange so I'm adding another coat of a yellow orange mix on top.  These glazes are different than the first try so they should be more golden.

How to Mosaic onto Mesh Part II

Once your image is under plastic (wrapped tightly so there are no ripples) roll out a sheet of fiberglass mesh.  I bought this 38" tall roll online.  It's cheaper to buy in bulk, like most things.  I had to lay out the mesh in three pieces so the whole image got covered.  Make sure the mesh seams don't overlap and that they meet squarely.  You'll find that you can see your image right through the mesh and so you can follow it as your guide.  In the above photo, the mesh is covering the left 2/3rds of the image.

How to Mosaic onto Mesh

First, you will want to enlarge your image to fit the size of the mosaic you want.  I'm going to be creating a mosaic that is 5 feet wide and roughly 6 feet tall and arched at the top.  My mosaic is going to be of a downtown scene.  It's way more affordable to enlarge to this size in black and white and I'm really only using the image as a guide.  Tape the enlargement down and cover it with clear plastic like so.


Mosaic Basketball!

I love making mosaic garden spheres, but sometimes the base can be expensive and ridiculously heavy.  I've done a few bowling balls, but the adhesive isn't always a correct match and can crack off and it's still going to be crazy heavy.  Enter the old, relatively useless basketball found down by the river.  I cover it with two layers of fiberglass mesh and thinset and then it's good to go! Here is my psycho creation before grouting.  Pictures to come soon of the finished product.  All of the half sphere bump-outs are handmade by myself and who doesn't love glittery orange glass?


Afraid of Worms?

Don't be.  Especially not the porcelain ones.  I've made this crow and these earthworms for the Degarmo bench to be created later this year.  I'm busy making and stockpiling all of these fun wildlife creatures in the meantime.


Butterfly tiles flying in

Here are some of the new tiles I'm making for the planter seat in Degarmo Park.  These, I think, are the most recognizable butterfly in NorCal: the monarch butterfly.


Bench beautifies school

Finished the PV High memorial bench for Anna yesterday.  It looks so good!  I worked with several students and family members, making tiles and two mosaic doves.  Then we had Limey Tee's (local screen-printer) make Anna's art into glass sublimation tiles.  Sublimation tiles put the image underneath the glass and it's bonded with heat so it lasts forever and can't be scratched off. Now there are three different pieces of her art, full color, on the bench surrounded by mosaic.  We made guitar tiles, word tiles, polka dots and stars.  I think it was a rather healing process in which to grieve and make something beautiful from something so sad and tragic.  The picture above is of Reta, the art teacher and me after we finished grouting.


Piece Meal Art Show

My first solo art show in Chico!  I've made so many new pieces for this show.  It's pretty exciting to see a whole room of just my stuff.  And they have great lighting and ambiance.  My band is going to be playing an acoustic set at 6PM.  I hope y'all can make it!   You HAVE to see my mosaic pair of boots at least.  The reception is Friday Feb 5th, 5-7 PM in the Humanities Center Gallery at CSU Chico.  Email me for directions: robinindar@yahoo.com