Thursday, September 23, 2010

More Mosaicons

After completing the anniversary mosaicon, I decided to start on one for myself. Two ideas were in hot competition with neither one willing to give way to the other.  So in my usual over-the-top fashion, I decided to do them both.  The first is a piece based on Leonardo da Vinci's Study for Leda and the Swan. The most complete drawing, which wasn't used in the study for the finished piece, is one of my favorites of all his known work. Fortunately, it's in the Dover daVinci collection, so I was able to use it as the focal point of this piece.  It doesn't hurt that I'm reading Fritjof Capra's The Science of Leonardo. The book is probably not Capra's best work, but I'm learning about da Vinci, and that's a good thing.

Homage to Leonardo
I've chosen to limit the palette for this piece to terra cotta and gold.  Because da Vinci frequently drew in red chalk, I thought the terra cotta would be a good choice. I have a stamp of a drawing and notes from his notebooks.  I made a mold of it so the writing and drawing would be raised.  In retrospect, I'm going to try doing a straight stamp and see how that looks.

I also tried doing a print transfer to tile.  Overall, it works pretty well, with a few surprises.  I think I'm just not master of the technique yet.  One of the transfers is of da Vinci's self-portrait.  The other is a detail from my favorite of his finished works, The Madonna of the Yarnwinder - or as I disrespectfully term it, the Niddy-Noddy Madonna.  I tried transferring both to terra cotta tiles.  They both worked fine, but I'm not satisfied with the colors.  Next up was transferring to white tiles.  Better, and I may use these.  But I'm going to try transferring to pearlized tiles.  Comparison photos I've seen show this as the best way to do it.

My First Cane
And I made my first cane for this piece!  Laurie Mika doesn't mention making canes in her book, although I suspect she may do so.  I wasn't all that gaga about the idea at first, but I can see where they open up possibilities that can't be done any other way.  Today's project was making pearl and gold checkerboard tiles for the da Vinci project.  They're not perfectly even and straight, but I love 'em anyway!

The Huntress
The next piece is based on an image I adore - Diana using the crescent moon as her bow. It's my favorite image from Disney's Fantasia and I was so lucky to find a similar image in some ephemera I recently acquired. In the process of researching the Goddess and the image, I discovered that Disney issued a pin of her in March.  I couldn't get the pin directly from them, but I did win one on e-Bay, the arrival of which I'm eagerly anticipating.

The ideas for the tiles haven't come quite so fast on this piece - or rather, I've had setbacks on this one that have slowed me down.  The large frame that goes around the recessed image was done in blue clay with the inner part highlighted in silver and the outside highlighted in gold.  I made a first version along with two random tiles and baked them as I always have.  They came out black.  The only thing I can think of is that I burned the clay.  I was so disappointed I almost quit.  But I tried a second time and it came out right, which reinforces my belief that I overcooked the original set.  Thus far, my favorite bit was using a small face mold I have to make a full moon from pearl clay.  I highlighted the eyes and lips with interference gold, which came out better than I dared hope. I'll get back to this one soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment