Dragonflies have enchanted me all my life. Their iridescent wings, their magical flight patterns, jagged, powerful for such a small creature, and yet still elegant. They are formidable predators in the insect world, gorgeous yet deadly. They eat mosquitoes so they are an important part of the natural abatement for mosquitoes and other flying biting insects we don’t find very beautiful.
The greens grays and browns of this garden mosaic rock seat blend gently with a natural setting. The glass and iridescence add a touch of magic to the art piece. The pebbles add a grounding element to the mosaic’s design.
My first degree is in Geology, i have a lifelong love of rocks and the natural world. I chose to decorate a natural rock with a mosaic that is an ode to dragonflies and their iridescent beauty. I used glass tile in gentle green and gray and white colors, some with iridescence. I chose a design mimicking the layering of sedimentary rocks and how animal fossils end up petrified in rocks. The central green ceramic dragonfly was cut from a broken pottery plate i had been keeping to use in mosaic art. It has finally found a home as a utilitarian geological mosaic art piece. The rock serves as a soothing point of beauty in a garden and also as a small bench seat.
Mosaic Studio Tools
This rock weighed close to 200 pounds so i was able to work on it in my studio using a hydraulic heavy duty cart so. This way i could stand comfortably while i pieced the mosaic. A wet tile saw or ring saw is useful to make curved cuts in ceramic tile.
iridescent stained glass, vitreous glass, pebbles, shells, mirror, and small glass bead tesserae mimicking sedimentary rock layering.
In April of 2013 I worked with staff and students of Vallejo’s Hogan Middle School during two weeks of Spring Break to put co-create this beautiful and inspiring mosaic mural.
Title: Hogan School Community Mosaic Mural
Dimensions: 6 foot x 17 foot
Media: Public mosaic mural using glass, ceramic tile, mirror, stone. A group mosaic created by dozens of participants, youth and adults, working in short sessions over a period of a month.
Content: The mosaic spells out the school’s motto, Knowledge Is Power, which was chosen as the theme for the mural by the school staff involved in the project. A large portion of the tesserae (mosaic pieces) used for this piece came from donations from the community. The design element of shooting stars is to invite students to shine.
A master of invention and re-invention of the practical and personal kinds, my friend, Dan Schultz, has created an intentional community, Maitreya Mountain Village, up in Del Norte County, the northwest corner of California, deep in the woods on 180 acres of wooded land.
Daily life off the grid and on the land demands constant practical and elegant re-thinking and re-inventing of the stuff of everyday living, where your water comes from (a creek), where your electricity comes from (hydroelectric, solar, a generator), how to heat your sauna (wood from your own land), and how you will cook your food…. This picture is Cole, the community’s newest philosopher/volunteer/co-creator, frying up some eggs on their latest creative re-use project. Satellite dishes are plentifully free on craigslist and the mirror was scrap stuff donated from a glass company. They can get it past 500 degrees and even on overcast days it gets hot enough to cook.
Toxic byproducts = zero
Save stuff from ending up in landfills – thumbs up!
Doesn’t matter who you are — cooking with sun rays is cool.
Eco-Score the Planet: 1, people:1
Dan and they community members hold community events and workshops on the topics of permaculture, living of the grid, self-sufficiency, organic gardening, interpersonal relating, and sustainable home building skills. They also offer retreats on their remote and beautiful wooded land in structures built on site using sustainable techniques and materials sourced locally. Check it out, good for the soul.