Sophia Othman

Mosaic art & Concrete Sculpture

Posts from the ‘Public Art’ category

The mosaic mural layed out on the studio floor in prepartion to cut it apart into pieces for installation
teal and green glass mosaic butterfly large mural iridescent teal stained glass COVID10 art by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist mosaic studio dog

Two views of same butterfly mosaic to show reflection and iridescent stained glass

The Piedmont High School graduating class of 2020 wanted to leave a positive mark of hope and beauty.  The design theme we developed for the project was of a swarm of huge glass mosaic butterflies flying off into the future.

Blue and green large butterflies with words Gift of class of 2020 mosaic mural design rendering by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

Butterflies as symbols of transformation through the COVID19 pandemic & 2020 California Wildfires – students grow through adversity and fly into a brighter future

The students are all graduated and on to new wonderful endeavors.  They wanted the mosaic mural to represent transformation and evolution through the time of COVID19 and a brutal wild fire season in California.  So positive transformation out of calamitous change was a fitting healing design theme for responding to the fires as well.

COVID19 art project Gift of Class of 2020 Piedmont High School glass mosaic butterfly mural by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

A ribbon of cut mirror mosaic gracefully ties the butterflies together and provides a frame for the words.

full scale print drawing of butterfly mosaic mural elements by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

butterfly glass mosaic mural in progress by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

Glass Butterfly with iridescent lime green & teal & turquoise glass

The mural will be installed on it’s concrete wall in March, 2022.  Here are images of the mosaic making process.  My dog, Jasmine, enjoys modeling for me.  Here she is a butterfly dog.

graduation art project class of 2020 butterfly glass mosaic mural in progress by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

Glass Butterfly Mosaic – dog butterfly

mosaic butterfly dog graduation art project class of 2020 butterfly glass mosaic mural in progress by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

Jasmine is the CMO – Chief Morale Officer for my mosaic art studio

teal iridescent glass mosaic butterfly large butterfly mosaic mural COVID19 art

This stained glass is iridescent at one angle and a gorgeous teal color without iridescence at other angles – magical

large mosaic butterfly green spiral iridescent wings by bay area mosaic artist sophia othman

This mosaic butterfly has long trailing swallow tails

green iridescent glass butterfly mosaic COVID19 art by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

Detail of the smooth glossy glass surface and iridescent glass

cobalt blue glass mosaic butterfly large mural iridescent blue stained glass COVID10 art by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

Iridescent cobalt blue mosaic butterfly

cobalt blue glass mosaic butterfly large mural iridescent blue stained glass COVID10 art by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist art studio dog

Iridescent cobalt blue mosaic butterfly – Jasmine dog supervising

mosaic art studio dog cobalt blue glass mosaic butterfly large mural iridescent blue stained glass COVID10 art by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

Iridescent cobalt blue Cobalt blue iridescent mosaic butterfly – Jasmine dog taking a break

turquoise and lime green glass mosaic butterfly large mural iridescent green stained glass COVID10 art by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

Iridescent green butterfly wings and a gorgeous turquoise to frame it.

COVID19 art project Gift of Class of 2020 Piedmont High School large glass mosaic butterfly mural by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

I love the iridescence on the lower wing and the sharp contrast of lime green against dark turquoise

Here is how it all begins with a printed full scale design on paper.  Here are a few pics of the process of making mosaics – the mosaic mural is entirely pieced in the studio before installation.

full scale print drawing of butterfly mosaic mural elements by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

Adjusting the full scale print before cutting glass for the mosaic

how to make mosaics with fiberglass mesh COVID19 art project Gift of Class of 2020 Piedmont High School glass mosaic butterfly mural by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

Fiberglass mesh is used to glue the glass mosaic pieces onto

Here the entire mosaic mural is sectioned up into small sections like a puzzle for transport to the installation site.  I have 2 sections side by side and another layer on top for each wood board.  The wood protects the glass pieces from bending and breaking during transport to the mosaic mural installation site.

how to pack and transport mosaic mural sections COVID19 art project Gift of Class of 2020 Piedmont High School glass mosaic butterfly mural by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

Sections of the mosaic mural packed carefully and labeled so that they are easy to locate on the installation day.

Large mosaic butterfly with iridescent lime green stained glass tile.
The Fairy Garden Mosaic rock sculpture installed in the memorial garden

Joy was a beloved teacher at this school in Napa.  Students and staff honored her with a work of garden art to honor her fascination with fairy imagery and her love of gardens.  

In progress handmade ceramic tile for the memorial mosaic
A sweet memorial mosaic for a beloved teacher
In progress memorial mosaic concrete sculpture rock
The mosaic memorial rock sculpture in the studio ready to transport to the installation site.
In progress rock concrete sculpture
My dog Jasmine is part of the studio production team
Handmade ceramic tile ready to be glazed.
colorful glass mosaic mandala on green concrete bench shaped like a peacock feather with handmade ceramic tile by bay area mosaic artist sophia othman
Peacock Concrete Benches in dappled light - a place to sit and find serenity

Peacock Feather Mosaic Concrete Benches – public art sculpture installed at the SolTrans transportation centet in Vallejo, CA.  Featuring mandala mosaic peacock feather motif using handmade ceramic tile.

pair of concrete mosaic benches shaped as peacock feathers appear to float by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist
The feather concrete benches appear to float.

The visual design was inspired by metal filigree grates at the sculpture site.  There are four pink blooming Crepe Myrtle trees set in a square with peacock feather design filigree metal grates at their bases. You can see the metal grates in the background of the pics.  

The conceptual design themes invokes in this sculpture are:  stillness, movement, serenity from beauty, and compassion.  The feather benches appear to float and inspire us to move gracefully through our day. 

detail of concrete mosaic bench shaped as peacock feathers with dog sitting on them by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

Design Development – When coming up with a sculpture idea for the site, a pair of benches seemed ideal for this tranquil verdant spot.  A bench would allow travelers to have a brief moment of serenity and stillness to commune with nature and beauty.  A moment seated on the benches allows a nourishing pause in the bustle of daily bus travel. 

colorful glass mosaic mandala on green concrete bench shaped like a peacock feather with handmade ceramic tile by bay area mosaic artist sophia othman

Design Concepts – Stillness & Beauty.  The mosaic design of a colorful tile mandala adds beauty to the bench and again invokes the idea of stillness in a visual form – mandalas are visual tools to focus meditation.  The mosaic mandala uses handmade ceramic tile. 

green peacock feather mosaic concrete bench detail

Design Concept – Compassion & Beauty.  Peacocks are the national bird of India and are associated with beauty and compassion.  Peacocks are associated with Kwan Yin, goddess of compassion in China, Tibet, and Japan.  

man sitting on on concrete bench shaped like a peacock feather with handmade ceramic tile colorful glass mosaic mandala on concrete bench shaped like a peacock feather with handmade ceramic tile by bay area mosaic artist sophia othman by bay area mosaic artist sophia othman
The Thinker -sitting on peacock feather concrete bench

I chose the placement of the benches so two people can sit opposite each other and both get up at the same time without bumping into each other and to allow easy access by wheelchair.  The inner curves of the feather concrete benches face each other to encourage people to sit and converse companionably.

pair of concrete mosaic benches shaped as peacock feathers with dog sitting on them by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

My peacock feather benches were part of the SolTrans Diversity Sculpture Project.  Several other sculptures were cooperatively built and installed by a team of ethnically diverse artists. The artists who participated in this project were:  Tom Arie Donch (lead artist), Kahalla Bandy-Pasibe, Melissa Berrios-PennyGene Buban, Lorenzo Crockett,  Sophia Othman, and Liberty Pierson.  In this video Tom Arie Donch, team lead artist, talks about the project.

detail of concrete mosaic bench shaped as peacock feathers with dog sitting on them by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist
Inspecting the installation.

Production assistance by Tom Arie Donch, Melissa Berrios-Penny, Gene Buban, Lorenzo Crockett, Liberty Pierson, Omar Othman, Siram, and Wes Horn.

detail of concrete mosaic bench shaped as peacock feathers with dog sitting on them by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

Last but not least – credit to my Art Studio Dog, Jasmine, CMO – Chief Morale Officer – she brings joy to everything.  Here modeling the use of the mosaic concrete benches as a playground feature. 

“Our Oak” Finally Installed

Oak Tree & Native California Animals School Mosaic Mural

Third Grade Students Work in Teams to Piece a Mosaic Mule Deer for School Mural

Well, it is finally up on the LRC (Learning Resource Center) wall!!  The Oak Tree of Life Mosaic Mural is installed and ready for students to come back to school in September and see their gorgeous and epic handiwork.  You can really see in the mosaic that an entire school participated in it’s creation.  The handmade ceramic tiles all look unique and you can tell each was the creative effort of one student.

Brief Backstory

The mosaic mural is a parting gift dedicated in honor of the school’s retiring Head Of School, Lucinda Lee Katz.  We estimate that over 600 students (Kindergarten to Eighth Grade) and staff were involved directly in the making of the mosaic.  The project started in December, 2017 and was permanently installed on a wall of the Learning Resource Center building (LRC) on August 2nd, 2018.    For more about how we designed the mosaic and which grades created which mosaic design elements read this post. 

Here are some photos from the installation process recently completed.  

Marin School Oak Tree Of Life Mosaic Mural Installed On Library Exterior Wall includes california native animals poppies butterflies mule deer doe fawns quail gray fox gray squirrel barn owl red tailed hawk opossum hare rabbit moths bees

Oak Tree California Native Animals Mosaic School Mural 10’x10’8″

Mosaic Mural Completed Installation in August 2018

These photos of the installation process showing the progression from bare cement board frame and how we install one mosaic fiberglass section at at time like a giant puzzle.  The metal frame and cement board backing was fabricated by Don Carlson, who has been incredibly supportive during the installation process.  

 

The Library building with the mosaic frame ready to go


A blank canvas ready for mosaic fiberglass sections. We are going to build a mosaic puzzle.


The first two mosaic sections are up!


The third mosaic section is up, only 31 more to go.


Notice that all three sections of the mosaic Mule Deer Doe are now installed.


The bottom third of the mosaic is installed.


This scaffold, loaned to us by Don Carlson, was essential to getting the job done.


Hanging around with an opossum halfway up a mosaic tree


The last two sections are left to be installed. I love the soaring red tailed hawk.


One last “keystone” fiberglass section to install with Carol Bevilacqua and Siram.


school mosaic mural installation images from beginning to finished product showing fiberglass mesh mosaic sections

The install team is tired but happy. Siram and Carol Bevilacqua helping. Grout is next!


school mosaic mural installation images from beginning to finished product showing fiberglass mesh mosaic sections

School Mosaic Mural Grouted – Install Completed – Library Building


school mosaic mural installation images from beginning to finished product showing fiberglass mesh mosaic sections

School Mosaic Mural Installation Process – Grouting All Done – One Happy Mosaic Artist!

Read more about the design process and our inspiration for this mosaic.

 

Installation team included Siram and Carol Bevilacqua.  Mosaic production assistance by Siram.  

dragon mixed media mosaic mural school art project lead by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

The students helped glue and staple mixed media materials to create a wonderful dragon mosaic.  

dragon mixed media mosaic mural school art project lead by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist
Raw clay dragon head ready to dry out before bisque fire.

Texture tools were used to add dragon skin dragon scale roughness to the clay dragon head. 

dragon mixed media mosaic mural school art project lead by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

Red underglaze added to the bisqued handmade tile – ready for clear glaze and glaze fire stage. 

dragon mixed media mosaic mural school art project lead by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist
Dragon head and limbs are created with handmade ceramic tile.

Cone 5 Stoneware fired dragon handmade ceramic tile.  A blood red rich color.  The metal, vinyl, mylar, paper, fabric used for the mixed media mosaic collage are visible where the head attaches to the neck of the dragon.  

dragon mixed media mosaic mural school art project lead by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist

This mosaic project was mostly completed during two class sessions during Robert Semple’s Art Day in 2017.  Handmade ceramic tile, pre-cut mosaic elements, and painted wood panel were prepared ahead of time.  The students completed most of the dragon except where the legs attach to the body.  See next image for completed dragon.  The panel now hangs in the main office of the school where students can be proud to see their work displayed. 

dragon mixed media mosaic mural school art project lead by sophia othman bay area mosaic artist
Dragon Mosaic Mural School Art Project
sophia othman bay area mosaic artist prepares for a day of community mosaic art making
Preparing for Art Day mosaic making activities at Robert Semple Elementary School April 2017

Production assistance by Siram and Anne Marie Sacks and 4th grade students of Robert Semple Elementary School.