Thursday, November 1, 2007

Mosaic Mirrors

Many moons ago - or what seems like many moons ago - we used to do a lot of art/craft shows. For the most part it was a lot of fun. We had to produce a lot of pieces for our display. It was great to meet and talk to people who were interested in our art. And, on the occasion where we did make a sale, it was satisfying to have people pay real cash for our mosaics.

But it was a lot of work and the sales were far and few between. So we pretty much gave up doing the show circuit ... except for one show. We've done this for 4 years now - this will be our 5th. It's held in Provincetown - at the tip of Cape Cod - the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. We've always done well at the show, making enough to pay for a few night's stay in a B&B and a couple of great dinners with a nice bottle of wine. This time of year is great to be in Provincetown. The chaos of the summer is over and the town is settling in for a quiet winter.

So the problem is - what do we bring? The crowd that comes to a show like this is looking to buy holiday presents. Something nice but not too expensive. We still have a lot of smaller pieces from the days we did shows - mostly trivets - but nothing which includes our marble and rocks.

So we've been making a few things to bring to the show and it's been fun doing some non-serious pieces. Here are four mirrors.

This one uses one of Lynn Moor's mirror frames ( The inner rim includes polished kyanite. The outer ring is sodalite. And inbetween is satin spar selenite and marble.

This one uses one of those inexpensive Ikea frames. The inner ring of stones are pictured rocks. Moving outward - honey calcite, St Laurent marble, and Palace Onyx.

This one also uses an Ikea frame. The inner stones are white howlite, followed by blue calcite, brecia sarda and cararra marble, and a border of pure white tiles.

This one I like. It looks better in real life than the photo. The inner circle is a combination of Orsoni mosaic gold with Cararra marble. The outer circle is Cafe Pinta and Gray Black marble. The red square is Mosaic Gold and the inner fill is Pure Black marble.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hillary Sloate - MFA Thesis Exhibition

Barbiensis Pearlatum, detail, 2007, ceramic, glass

Natura Morta
MFA Thesis Exhibition
November 12 - 21, M-F, 11 am - 3 pm
reception, Monday November 12th, 5 - 7 pm
Dimock Gallery, 730 21st St. @ H St., Washington, D.C.
(Lower level of Lisner auditorium)

Foggy Bottom/GWU Metro
straight 2 blocks on 1 St.
right onto 21st, one block to gallery

Friday, October 12, 2007

Color Matching

When we designed the fashionable Mosaic Rocks t-shirt, we weren't expecting that we would change the habits of mosaic artists world wide, but look here. Dianne Sonnenberg has selected a color palette for her latest mosaic, no doubt, to match the colors of the t-shirt. How cool is that?
Well ... not really, but it is a happy coincidence. I can't wait to see how the mosaic turns out.
Check out Dianne's website at

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

30 Minute Mosaics

The past Saturday was the last day of the exhibition. We had over 150 people come to see the show and attend the artist demonstration. Michael & I did the demonstration. The topic was "various mosaic materials." Previous demonstrations were in a lecture format, so we decided to do something more interactive and get people involved.

We talked about different materials - glass, ceramic, vitreous tiles, smalti, gold, marble, stone - and then gave people 30 minutes to create a mosaic using these materials. We created a design (a leaf) on a large substrate and cut it into smaller 6" x 6" pieces. Each piece has part of the design with an L to indicate that light colored tesserae should be used in the space and a D for dark colored tesserae.

Most folks had never created a mosaic before. A few were mosaic artists. But all were engaged for 30 minutes gluing all sorts of items on the squares. It may not have been the more "professional" way to introduce people to mosaic making - but everyone had a lot of fun.

Here are the results:

Sunday, October 7, 2007

An Unexpected Surprise

Last night, Margaret Ryan and I were given recognition by the Massachusetts House of Representatives for our work on the Art of Mosaic exhibition. We had a closing party for the artists and friends of the museum in which Denise Provost, the Somerville state representative, presented us with this honor.
Here's the text of my citation:

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The House of Representatives

Be it hereby known to all that:
The Massachusetts House of Representatives
offers its sincerest congratulations to:

Bill Buckingham
in recognition of

Your outstanding contribution to the City of Somerville through your role as curator of the Art of Mosaic exhibit at the Somerville Muesum. Your efforts to publicize this beautiful exhibit and to involve students and members of the community were extraordinary. Your community joins me in expressing our most sincere appreciation for your contributions to our great city.

The entire membership extends its very best wishes
and expresses the hope for future good fortune
and continued success in all endeavors.

Give this 6th day of October, 2007
at the State House, Boston, Massachusetts

by: Salvatore F. DiMasi
Speaker of the House

Offered by: Denise Provost
State Representative

Here we are (left to right):
Bill Buckingham, Margaret Ryan,
Evelyn Battinelli (director of the Somerville Museum), and
Denise Provost (State Representative)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Life Imitates Art

Wendy Tanner recently submitted this photo for the 2007 edition of the Mosaic Yearbook. Wendy is an Australia mosaic artists who made this mosaic for a "friend" who frequents her studio. Here's her story:
I made this bench with concrete blocks outside my studio, and decorated it with a mosaic using pebbles at one end, gradually changing to broken tiles, using the same natural colours. In contrast, the red and yellow tiles, show a large diamond python (carpet snake) which had swallowed a small animal and hung around the studio while we were renovating it. Amazingly, the original snake turned up recently, to meet its mosaic mate!! This photo shows them both together.
The full story of the snake can be found here.
Also, check out Wendy's website.

Atlanta Mosaic

This is the type of mosaic that I love to see submitted to the Mosaic Atlas. Polly Price sent this photo of a mosaic on a railroad trestle in Atlanta (Hill Street, SE between Decatur St. and Martin Luther). It looks like it's been around for quite a while and I would imagine that hundreds of people drive by it every day but never even notice it. I wonder what its history is.

A larger photo can be seen here in the Atlas. Look on page 3.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Chicago Mosaic School

Matt Federico (left) holding his completed marble mosaic project at the Chicago Mosaic School. Maestro Judah approves.

This last month and a half have been crazy. Now that things are calming down, I'll be able to catch up with the blog.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Opening Reception - A Big Success

The opening reception for the New England Mosaic exhibition was a great success. We didn't have a scientific head count, but we expect that 300-500 people attended. I posted some photos on the exhibition's website. Go to the calendar page and click the link to view the photos.

I'm behind in posting new items to the blog - but they will have to wait until we get back from our trip to Chicago next week.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Getting Ready for the Opening Day

The Art of Mosaic - Somerville Museum
Somerville, Massachusetts
September 6 - October 6, 2007

Our "to-do" list is getting shorter and shorter. The museum looks great, the mosaics look great, and we're ready to open the doors on Thursday.

If you are in the Boston area, come see this exhibition which features 51 New England mosaic artists. (Who would've thought there were that many of us in New England?) The website for the exhibition is: This includes an Events Calendar as well as directions to get to the museum.

We also published a catalog with 64 full color photographs of the mosaics. It's only $6.95 (including shipping) and can be purchased on the Mosaic Rocks website. (Catalogs can be purchased at the Museum as well.)

Here's a sneak peek of the exhibition. Enjoy.

Friday, August 31, 2007

An Exhibition Coming Together

We spent Tuesday configuring the movable walls in the museum and Wednesday figuring out where we wanted to put each piece. We did hang Adam & Eve (by Shawn Newton) as a symbolic gesture. They had to be first, after all.

Now, it's Thursday morning. The blank walls are begging to be adorned with mosaic art.

Anne Hyland came to hang her "Garden of Delights." This piece is on 24 panels - each a square foot. Anne spent the better part of an hour and a half measuring and marking where each panel goes. Once the wall was measured, the hanging was relatively simple.

Margaret Ryan and her husband, Lawrence Paolella, planning something. Michael O'Connell is in the background hanging Lori Bradley's Forest Floor.

Michael and Lawrence working on Forest Floor.

Katherine Jaggie came in to help. Here she's hanging our wall of ladies: "Graces of Central Park" by Lynn Moor, "Venus" by Celoni Espinola, and "Carmen" by Gretchen McPherson.

After hanging her enormous piece, "Cycles", Leslie Wallace-Coon takes on a smaller and more manageable "Full Moon Gazer" by Margaret Ryan.

The walls are filling up. In the foreground are Jessica Regelson's Calypso, Thallo, and Europa". Next to these is Linda Dadak's "Iris".

"Che" (by Celoni Espinola) having a conversation with Ann Hyland's "Self Portrait".

More walls and a pedestal adorned with art. Lorie Reilly's globe, "The Brooding Jewel". Ora Avni's "Together Apart" is in the center of the photo.

The photographers - and proud curators - photographing each other.

At the end of the day with all the mosaics hung, we put together a list of everything else to do ... but that's for another day.