Anatomy of a Custom Mosaic Backsplash
One of our favorite types of mosaic projects is to create custom kitchen or bathroom mosaic backsplash, mural or bath insert. We work either directly with the homeowner, or in many cases, with their interior design professional. People generally find us through our website or by referral, and we work all over North America. It starts with a contact from someone wanting a unique element in their home, but also something practical for cleaning and maintenance. Mosaic is ideal for this kind of application.
We generally will need the following information to get started:
Size of the space
What kind of surface covering is adjacent to the mosaic
The general style of the home
Ideas for design (botanical, still life, abstract, landscape, etc.)
Level of detail desired
From there, we work up some design sketches and quotes for several options with a timeline and various materials options. We work back and forth via the internet or over the phone with the client or the designer until the design is exactly what the client wants. This is then colorized so that the client will be able to see the different color options which we can also overlay into a photo of the space. After this colorized version is approved, we use it to create a full size pattern which we will use in piecing the mosaic. Below is a colorized design sketch for a large mosaic mural for a kitchen in La Jolla, CA
We will then start the piecing process, sending photos along the way to the client and designer. This way, if they see anything they would like adjusted, we can make those changes. We believe in giving the client something they will love each and every day. Most of us spend a lot of time in our homes and it should be a source of pleasure.
For smaller mosaics, like a backsplash behind a stove, we will generally grout and adhere the mosaic to 1/4" cement board to be installed directly to the wall onsite. Many clients will frame the mosaic with a stone or tile molding which ties into the remainder of the backsplash area. For larger murals, we are available to come to the clients site and install the mosaic, or it can be installed by a tile professional. Below is a photo of the La Jolla kitchen after installation of the mural as well as some samples of other kitchen projects.
Orange County House of Design 2009 Mosaic barfront and backsplash
Gumbo Pot Mosaic Backsplash
Floral Kitchen Mosaic Backsplash
Florida Residential Mosaic
Browse through the Gallery section for more projects and details!
It's interesting how creativity works... The winter months tend to be a bit calmer for us, workwise, and I find that my creative mind takes a bit of a break too. For about two weeks. Then I have a bit of time to feverishly come up with some new artwork so I plan new pieces, both mosaics and paintings. At this moment, we have three new art mosaics on the studio tables and 5 new oil paintings with base coats on and drying in the studio. Then, all of a sudden, we're too busy to finish any of them, and back in the middle of chaos. Not to say that chaos isn't wonderful and very enjoyable all on it's own. It's fun and we get to meet some of the most terrific people in our business. It's very satisfying creating something that people will enjoy for a long time to come. That said, mosaic art is extraordinarily time consuming. It can take an entire day to piece one really detailed square foot of mosaic so you don't take free time lightly.
Time management is one of the big issues, I think, with most people who make their living outside traditional employment. When you have work, you work on the job (or jobs) at hand. There is, after all, the mortgage to pay... Then, when you ship those mosaics out the door, all the paperwork is waiting for you. Sometimes not so patiently. There are so many administrative and marketing tasks to do in the down time that it never seems like we have time to do art just for the sake of art. I think that's truly one of the biggest challenges of an artist. That time to create just for the joy of it; to develop as an artist, at some point, has to take priority over all of the other tasks. It's the only way that you can really evolve and if it has to happen on the weekends and evenings and you don't get much sleep, so be it! It's worth it.