A wall. A looooong, blank, cement wall.
My current art commission clients looked at the plans for their new retaining wall and they saw it covered in mosaic. LUCKY ME! They bestowed the design-and-creation job on me.
When they saw their wall in their minds’-eyes, they saw a shell; a really, really big shell. A big, orange-y shell.
Once I caught their vision, I saw a fossil shell. An ammonite, to be precise. Central Texas limestone sedimentary rocks are rife with fossils from the Cretaceous Period, and these include ammonites.
Here is the black-and-white sketch I made to involve a more than 30-foot section of the wall in the design, without covering most of the surface with mosaic. (The wall is 8 feet high.)
Can you see how the top sketch reveals two ammonites in glimpses “through” the solid wall?
The bottom sketch in color was an unused alternate design (now wrapped around the legs of the cat tower in my studio), but its colors are the ones I’m using in the wall mosaic. The three blank-ish spaces in the design are waterfalls cascading down the wall into a pool.
I am creating the mosaic in McIntyre tile which is frost-proof and available in bright glazes perfect for the effect my clients want to see. Adhering the tile tesserae to fiberglass mesh sections in my studio allows me to build the mosaic in manageable sections which will then be carried to the wall site, adhered and grouted.
No, the style of this wall mosaic with its broken and nipped flat tile in bold colors is not at all the style of my gallery art (see my last post for examples), but I enjoy working for clients and problem-solving for them in a way that is pleasing for all of us.
So, I come back to the question, ‘What do YOU see when you look at a wall?’ and I wonder what is your answer.