I have always felt it important to have good tools for the things I do. This includes good quality kitchen tools, garden tools and of course good quality tools for making mosaic art.
Good tools for mosaic making became especially important when the carpal tunnel in my predominant hand became very painful and kept me from doing what I love. When I first started making mosaics, I quickly identified the best quality pair of wheeled nippers for cutting glass. I took the time to become very proficient at cutting glass with my nippers and took a lot of pride in the fact that I was a purist in that I only relied on my nippers to make all the cuts necessary for my work.
Then in 2019 I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel after going through several months of pain in my hand, arm and neck. That was a game changer for me and I immediately sought out additional tools to take some of the burden off my hand. The first new tool I got was a glass grinder. The grinder allowed me to fine tune the pieces for my mosaics and relieved some of the work from my hand. I still cut all my pieces of glass but I no longer had to "fine tune" them with the nippers. The next tool I got is what is called a "cutters mate". This is a scoring tool that is attached to a base with an arm and it allows for strait cuts as well as curved cuts. It's awesome! Of course I needed running pliers to break the glass that had curved cuts, and so I got a pair of very nice running pliers that work very well for this. (I already had a pair of running pliers for straight cuts)
And, the last tool I invested in was a ring saw, though I don't use it nearly as much as all the other tools.
Bottom line, is good tools are important!
It's hard to believe I am still working on the fairy, but for the past 10 weeks I have been working on it exclusively.
The plan is to only work on this until I have it finished. No other projects before then!
I felt the need to take a break on her back in March to first make the Fuchsia and then the Mandala mirror. See my gallery.
Mostly because I was stuck on a section of the fairy I was not happy with and needed time to re-direct my plan. I also needed to feel like I could finish something in a relatively shorter period of time, and it was clear the fairy wasn't going to be done anytime soon!
Stay tuned...my plan is to have this finished by the end of 2020.
There have been many starts and stops to The Garden Fairy project
(namely nerve issues in my right arm and neck) and I am happy that I have been able to work on her again the past several weeks. As you can see, I have made some progress and I am happy with the results so far.
This piece measures 18" x 30" and is being done entirely of art glass/stained glass.
When I am working on a mosaic, it is very important to me to create the look I want. Whether it be the right color of glass, the right depth, or even the right shape of the pieces. It is all important to the overall outcome of my art. It is all about the details!
This is why I routinely lay down glass and then look at it to decide if it works. If it does not, I remove it and go at it again until I get it right. Sometimes it may just be a piece or two, but sometimes it is many pieces! Sometimes it is frustrating since this art is very time consuming as it is. When I have to take glass off, it sets me back. Two steps forward, one step back. Or one step forward and two steps back! Glass on...glass off.
All this said, I love making mosaic art. It is all part of the process and I am really in my happy place when I am working on a project!
I am currently working on the Garden Fairy, which was inspired by a photo I took in my own garden. The fairy is actually a statue surrounded by plants and flowers. The final, unframed, size of this is 20” x 30”.