Mosaic Birdbath Storm Victim

The mosaic birdbath I made last year for my daughter Mariel was damaged when high winds during a February 4th storm sheared off a massive tree branch that came crashing down into her yard in Pacifica. The branch, from a tree on the neighboring property, flattened a section of fence and damaged a backyard gazebo. Most importantly, no one was hurt.

It wasn’t until the debris was removed that the fate of the Octopus birdbath was discovered. I think the pedestal helped the branch split the birdbath into four pieces.

I’ve done some preliminary research. There are epoxy adhesives designed for concrete. I don’t know if I’ll need to drill holes in the pieces and add some sort of metal reinforcing rod.

I don’t know how it would look, but just for fun I might restore it and employ the Japanese art of Kintsugi – where broken pottery is repaired using resin with gold dust in it. I might work if I can’t properly cover the break lines. This would be a decorative, not a structural part of the repair. (But I always get these crazy ideas that I usually scale back.)

I pick up the bird bath pieces next month and now I have a spring restoration project. Hopefully I can make it like new…or better!

Koi Birdbath

I’ve finished another bird bath, this one is for my daughter Sarah. She liked the look of the colorful fish and requested some lily pads be added to the design. I found some great lily pad tiles from an artist on Etsy. Once again, this bird bath is grouted in black, not only to make the colors pop but also to hide the algae that inevitably develops in outdoor birdbaths.

Octopus Birdbath

I’ve made a new mosaic birdbath for my daughter Mariel.

It is designed around an octopus image that she liked. You can see the see the process below and even some rejected ideas like adding glass beads to be the suckers (too busy.) I learned from an earlier birdbath that I should use black grout which doesn’t show algae and makes the birdbath easier to keep clean.

Why these photos of California's coast are not what they seem (via Los Angeles Times)

Amir Zaki, “Built in 1872. Damaged in 1878, 1887, 1921, 1973, 1983, 1986, 1987. Renovated 1928, 1930,” 2021, archival photograph.
(Diane Rosenstein Gallery)

Amir Zaki’s pandemic photography on view in L.A., plus the CSULB art blunder, the Cheech opening in Riverside and more in our weekly arts newsletter.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Mosaic Side Table

mosaic side table

This is my latest mosaic project. My wife Rodi found this cast iron table at a garden sale. It had plenty of patina (aka rust) which we didn’t want to touch. It was missing a top. I used thin-set mortar to adhere Morjo™ marble mosaic cutting strips to a 9 1/4″ acetate disk. These 6mm strips are what professional mosaic artists in Europe use to make ancient reproductions and fine art murals. The sides of the strips have a honed finish and are not polished. The colors become more intense when it is sealed. The end result gives the piece an almost cork-like look.

Mona Lisa’s Last Visit

Crowd inside the Metropolitan Museum views the “Mona Lisa.” Photo: Margaret Leslie Davis

I remember it was difficult to get close enough to see.  I wasn’t that old, and I didn’t have enough size to muscle my way through the crowd.  She was high up on a wall, higher than you’d expect to see a painting in a museum.  And she was in a bullet proof case.  But somehow, her sly smile shown through the thick glass. It was unmistakable, it was the Mona Lisa.

Continue reading “Mona Lisa’s Last Visit”

Clean House to Survive? Museums Confront Their Crowded Basements

The Berkshire Museum drew protests when it announced a plan to sell art from its collection in 2017. Gillian Jones/The Berkshire Eagle, via Associated Press

With storage spaces filled with works that may never be shown, some museums are rethinking the way they collect art, and at least one is ranking what it owns.

Source: New York Times

Mosaic Bird Bath

I’ve never really thought of myself as being particularly artistic and I’m certainly not patient, but for some reason I enjoy doing mosaics.  A number of years ago after seeing a demo at the Getty Villa, my wife and I went to the Bay Area (closest!) to take a mosaic class.  We learned the basics such as how to cut the media and how to properly grout a project.  I’ve since gone on to make a half dozen or so mosaics as gifts to family or to keep for myself.  I’ve wanted to do some sort of outdoor mosaic and the opportunity finally presented itself when my daughter gave me a concrete bird bath that was sitting unused in her back yard.  Continue reading “Mosaic Bird Bath”