Welcome! To the glorious summer time and the reveal of our creative challenge theme for this month over at Art Elements blog. This month: Sunflowers selected and hosted by Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads. Helianthus. In Greek myth the sunflower used to be a nymph. She was an ocean nymph named Clytie who fell in love with Helios, Titan of the Sun. It’s a tale of abandonment, revenge, and unrequited love worthy of a modern soap opera. In the end, she became a sunflower, turning her head to follow Helios progress across the sky, yearning for him still.
As I am inspired by myth, I started there. But the tale was too tragic; albeit a recurring motif in Greek myth. So I decided to honor a wild hare of an idea that was taping mean the shoulder for the last year: micro mosaics.
I have a few beads ( cue laughter) so I selected a sunflower palette. For the center of the flowers I am using an antique faceted jet button. For the “grout” and substrate I am using Apoxie sculpt. So – snap the gloves on and mix it up…
Bezels and palette – ready to dive in.
I sketched the petals into the apoxie and started… to be met with immediate frustration. I wanted the beads to sit up – so holes were hidden. Tried tweezers, which worked – but just too tedious. I started stringing beads for each line on 28 gauge brass wire – essentially making elements to inlay as opposed to individual 11* seed beads! Much better!
Tedious! Making modifications on the fly.
This is basically what I imagined.
The second bezel? Lets use larger beads! Lets use shaped beads… The palette had to change based on what I had on hand. The working time for Apoxie sculpt is 1-3 hours. For this process – earlier, softer consistency was preferred.
Looser in inspiration, larger beads!
So if the seed beads are smaller than I wanted to work with – lets make larger mosaic tiles. Christi Friesen has been doing some crazy cool polymer mosaics lately – and those ideas were percolating in my mind.
First I created and cured my printed polymer veneers. This was the palette for my next mosaic.
Polymer printed veneers – my mosaic palette.
I was working in a pine tray/frame. Painted and sealed first ( acrylic paint and gloss gel medium) I decided on the zoomed in image you saw at the start of my post. The cured veneers cut easily with Xacto knife, or even scissors. My Apoxie is grey – so rather grout like. ( Manufacturer says it can be painted after curing. I chose not to try that in this application.)
Layout, and progress.
For my first try – I am basically pleased with that. I love the gold leaf shimmer from that one veneer. If I were doing this again – I think i would do more layout and pre-planning. Have more carefully fitted and cut tiles. While the spontaneity of this was fun, and rather freeing for me – I can see so much room to experiment with this process.
The finished polymer mosaic.
Lastly – micro mosaics! I had all the polymer scraps… I had to try! These mosaics are “grouted” with TLS ( liquid sculpey) and cured to regular time/temperature. I liked these the best. I am still pondering why… was it that I didn’t love the Apoxie? That I had no time pressure here? That they were smaller/faster/less tedious? Whatever the reason – I may have to try these again. What are your thoughts?
Listed below is a complete list of this month’s participants – both team members and guests. Take a look at their creations! Enjoy!
And see you next month!