A few years ago i completed a custom glass mosaic backsplash as a commission sourced through ArtisZen owner, Sean Guttierrez. The homeowner, Mrs. Heinz, was remodeling her kitchen and was open to adding a custom mosaic. The inspiration for this mosaic came from her favorite colors and a gorgeous fabric whose design she treasured. I developed the elements of the fabric design into a mosaic design so that there were discrete pieces of each design element that could be translated to glass.
This glass mosaic kitchen backsplash was an intense experience in working with a new technique. I had been introduced to the concept of appliqué anadamento in mosaic in mosaic classes but i had never expected to use it to the extent i did with this mosaic.
An example of Appliqué Mosaic Andamento is the birds in this design – each part of the bird or subpart is composed of one discrete piece of glass shaped exactly as the element it’s meant to represent. so the beak is made of one piece of glass shaped like a beak. The wing is made of of individual and tiny perfectly shaped pieces of glass shaped like feathers. This way of piecing mosaic is called appliqué technique which borrows its name from the quilting technique of the same name.
More mosaic appliqué applications! The roses were also designed so that each petal was cut as a whole piece of glass and so the roses were not made up of broken random shaped glass. Similarly for the rose vine leaves – they are also done with appliqué mosaic technique but this time with two halves of each leaf cut exactly to the shape it represents so that the grout line left between the pieces becomes the central veining of the leaves. This is a very time consuming way to make mosaic but it provides a unique elegance to the andamento.
Here is the original inspiration for the design, on the bottom right of this image is the fabric the client said she adored, and the color scheme that brought her joy. in the top right are my sketches of birds and rose vines in bloom inspired by her original idea. The mosaic in progress on the left.
The background of the mosaic backsplash was pieced with iridescent white glass. Each piece ends up with a slightly different angle to the light so the viewer sees a subtle iridescence scattered throughout the mosaic backsplash. The iridescent glass adds a gentle pink warmth to the whole piece which brightens the mood and is soothing to the eye.
I love to design from forms in nature and this was a lovely project to engage with from a design perspective. Here is the final in-situ installed roses and birds glass mosaic backsplash.