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.
Robert Semple Elementary hosts an annual Art Day where artists are invited to visit the school, show and tell about their art, and offer hands-on experiences in making mosaic art. The students in Ms Masters’ classroom and Ms MacIntosh all participated in piecing the glass gem circles for the Tree of Life design I brought for them to play mosaic with. They also pieced the trunk of the tree with browns, reds, copper, and golden colored glass in many shapes resulting in a very pleasing texture and color combination for the trunk of the tree.
The event attracted many Solano County-based artists and it had a very joyful ambiance. The school had a lot of student-created art permanently installed on it’s walls and in the school garden. Adrienne Rockwell coordinated the epic event with grace and aplomb, juggling a thousand details and bringing order to chaos to facilitate a delightful and enriching experience for students, staff, and guest artists alike.
i want to be her when i grow up!
a young superman
me and my trusty volunteer helpers
before the kids touched it
in progress tree mosaic
the 7 year old !! students pieced the tree trunk and swirly bubble leaves
fantastic young imaginations
adding in a moon from a previous community art event
Every summer the Vallejo Community Arts Foundation (VCAF) hosts a two-week summer art camp for youth aged 11 to 14 years old. In 2014 I had the singular fun of teaching mosaic to a delightful group of 30 kids. They made their own individual mosaics (see below photo gallery). They also worked as a team to piece a large mosaic of pelicans (see above) which later on was sold on March 15th, 2015 for $3500 to benefit VCAF’s Youth Summer Art Camp Scholarship fund.
VCAF is taking applications for this year’s Summer Art Camp – click here for the online application.
Astoundingly high quality mosaic mural by elementary school students! Mosaic mural was designed, facilitated, and installed by me ( Sophia Othman of Moonfish Artworks) with some volunteer help from community members. It was pieced by grade schoolers and their families, teachers, and the Principal too!! here is a link to the TV spot about it and the newspaper article too:
The designs i printed out for the project were laid out on my workshop floor to figure out how the whole design would work and be able to hold so many individual mosaics (we ended up with 75 animal mosaics). i picked a marine animals theme for the mural to resonate with the existing painted mural art at the school. i chose creatures that are native to this area, in the San Francisco Bay and the Napa River, both swimmers and flying animals. The mermaid seahorses, and flying fish were necessary to add Magic, of course.
The design paper prints were used as a guide for piecing the mosaics when i (and four volunteer helpers of my own) facilitated the mosaic making event for the 60+ families that participated in piecing the mosaics. We had at least 140 people there in one large auditorium because each student had to be there with at least one adult family member. We had many families show up with 3 or 4 family members collaborating on piecing their small animal design that would eventually fit into the overall design for the mural.
For the 2014 Vallejo Open Studios I hosted an actual open studio and invited the public to help piece the words for the mosaic mural border. We produced 72 square feet of border mosaic for the Grace Patterson elementary school mosaic mural. Whew! What a day!
This mosaic mural was completed June 6th, 2014, with enormous amounts of volunteer help from community residents, students at the middle school, and staff and their family members. A profound thanks to all who contributed to the co-creation of this mosaic mural. The students will be able to see their beautiful individual and epic group work for decades to come.
Volunteers helped complete the work to install the enormous and gorgeous mosaic mural pieced by students at Hogan Middle School, in Vallejo, CA. This is a community-built piece that was designed with the school staff to provide hands-on art education and experience for the students in this school which has no visual arts program. The mural is on an outside wall facing the street and will beautify and inspire for decades to come.
Mosaic mural location is Hogan Middle School auditorium entrance at 850 Rosewood Drive, Vallejo, Ca. (510) 415-3916 call or text to let me know which shift you can make.
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.
This five part mosaic mural was installed at 420 Virginia Stree, Vallejo, Ca, as part of the Vallejo Art Windows project which fills empty retail windows with fine art. This mosaic mural was created with the help of many community residents of all ages who helped create individual small mosaics of fish, birds, stars, and moons, which were then incorporated into this cohesive larger design which now graces the recently beautifully renovated Virginia Street, a Historic Downtown Vallejo gem.
PARTY ON THE STREET
6:30-8:30PM Saturday October 5th was the kick off celebration of all the installations and I celebrated with other art lovers in front of this location with music and inflatable lights from my brilliant friend Stan who makes Gigantic Inflatable Lighted Lamps. www.ohyeahtoys.com
We were Dancing in the street!
The Vallejo Art Windows project kick off celebration included an art window walk, food, wine, and music and a fundraiser for Vallejo Children’s Summer Art Camp.
Custom glass mosaic Commission: art countertops for two cabinets in an outdoor kitchen/grill area in Los Gatos.
My clients were celebrating their 20 year anniversary and we got the mosaic done in time for the party.
28 square feet of mosaic made especially to fit this outdoor eating/lounging living space. The theme for the design was to reflect the idea of water and sunshine, to tie in with the creek that runs through this living space, and connect to the vibrant blues of the indoor kitchen which is on the other side of the windows seen here. We included vibrant shades of blue/turquoise, greens, and copper and gold accents to complement the cool colors.
Take a Class and learn how to create tempered glass mosaics!!
tempered glass mosaic before grouting
sophia and her happy client
blue glass mosaic countertop
natural sunshine on blue glass mosaic countertop
the prototype again
my happy clients ready for their anniversary party
tempered glass mosaic before grouting
getting ready to install the mosaic panel into a mortar bed
countertop mosaic ready to install into a mortar bed