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Richard Rowland Mosaics

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Design for blue tit mosaic
Cartoon drawing for hastings mosaic

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Design

The first step in producing a mosaic is to come up with a design for the piece.  

I start by sketching out some ideas and rough studies. These are a few of the scribbles, sketches and design studies for some of the works in the mosaic gallery.

Fixing, grouting and final touches

Once the mosaic is complete it is taken to the site and installed in position using high quality adhesives. It is given an initial clean and left until the adhesive is dry. At this point the mosaic is grouted and is again given a clean and left to dry.

When the mosaic has been fully installed and the grout has dried, it is given a final thorough clean to remove any residue of glue or grout as well as any soiling.

Finally the grout and, where necessary, the tiles are sealed to protect the mosaic.

 

 

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Once I am happy with an idea I produce a detailed design drawing from the sketches.  If the work is for a commission, I talk through the rough ideas with the client to decide which should be taken forward.  Normally about three ideas will be chosen.  Detailed design drawings will be made for each of these from which the client can make their final choice.

This is the design for the Blue Tit Birdbath garden table.

Building the mosaic

Most of my mosaics are made using what is called an indirect method of construction, which means the mosaic can be made in the studio, usually by gluing the tiles face side down onto strong paper, and then be taken to be installed in position later.  Because the mosaic is made face side down, the cartoon is produced from a mirror image of the design.

 

The small pieces of tile (tesserae) are individually cut by hand and carefully set into position to build up the mosaic image.

 

 

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Drawing up

Once the final design decisions have been made I draw up a full size cartoon from the design.  

This is the cartoon for the mosaic, Storm Brewing Over Net Shops - Hastings. Above the cartoon you can see the original design with a grid superimposed to aid the scaling up of the drawing.

Making a mosaic

The final part of the design process is to decide on the materials, style and finalise the colours to be used for the mosaic.  If the work is for a commission, I will discuss options with the client and offer advice to allow them to choose the right look for their mosaic.  If you compare the design above with the completed Blue Tit mosaic you will notice that the colour scheme was changed slightly during discussions with the client.

More information on commissioning work is available here.