The Ballerina Mosaic, Two Faces: Each Piece Has a History.

The Ballerina Mosaic has two faces, set in a vintage, two sided, vanity mirror. My guess is that the mirror is a Hollywood Regency mirror, circa 1940s to 1950s. There is an identifying mark on the inside of the base, GIM 897. The gilded frame, pedestal and base sport a floral design.

Although the mirror glass is in good condition, the patina on the frame, pedestal and base attest to a past history. Someone, some place, some time ago looked into this mirror. Although, I am giving the mirror a new life, a new purpose, there is always a past history.

The design for the ballerina came from a series of quick sketches that I did of dancers with a focus on ballerinas.

From the sketches, I reduced the figure to a simple form, a symbol for the ballerina.

The work on the mosaic starts with placing the ballerina onto the mirror and then the selecting, cutting, fitting and placing the glass begins. The first mosaic is a series of cooler tones, blues, offsetting the ballerina in white.

The second ballerina is set of vibrant yellows and reds offsetting the ballerina in black.

One Mirror, two faces.

Norfolk’s Horse: Each Piece Has a History.

This vintage silver plated tray, like many of my other finds, was sitting on a shelf in a thrift shop, along with other trays, neglected. It was tarnished, showing its’ age. Despite the visual signs of usage, the flat surface of the tray could be cleaned and polished to act like a mirror. The rim was wide, making an elegant frame for a mosaic.

After the tray was cleaned, I did several studies before starting the work on the mosaic. I didn’t follow the color schemes, but settled on the horse image. And then gave a name to the tray, Norfolk’s Horse, after the mark (Norfolk Rogers)on the back of the tray.

After the tray was cleaned, the image selected, the process of building the mosaic begins, piece by piece. Swipe left or click on the arrows, to see the mosaic evolve, from a clean surface to a finished stained glass mosaic.

Norfolk’s Horse in my old studio, in Chicago, sitting on the shelf with a few of his friends, enjoying the sunshine.

The Butler’s Tray: Each Piece Has a History.

I found this Butler’s tray at a thrift shop, close to my old studio in Chicago. The store, called the Ark, now closed, was a wonderful place to find vintage objects, tucked away on old shelves: silver plated and brass trays, elegant serving bowels and dinner plates, vanity mirrors and more. Great objects to house and frame a mosaic.

This butler’s tray has a history. It is an example of a vintage tray that is marked, tarnished and scratched, establishing a prior use. The manufacturer of the tray was William A Rogers, founded in 1890 and was absorbed by the Oneida Company in the late 1920’s. The history, the scratches, and tarnish make the tray one of a kind. 

Once cleaned, the process of crafting the mosaic begins. Glass, piece by piece, is added, bringing life to the mosaic. Swipe left or click on the arrows to see the mosaic evolve.

Once finished, the butler’s tray becomes part of the mosaic, adds its’ own unique touch.