Welcome! I am a self-taught pique assiette ("broken from plate")
mosaic artist who has been creating whimsical and elegant pieces since 1998. This is a wonderful way to combine my love of color, vintage pottery, china and jewelry into one alchemical medium. Each one-of-a-kind piece reveals itself to me moment by moment. I'm not always sure where the piece will go when I begin, but the piece knows!

I especially love custom work and I welcome wholesale opportunities.

You can visit my rarely-updated-but-very-cool personal web site here, and my not-updated-since-forever portfolio over on EBSQ here. Both sites contain many of my past creations, sold and commissioned, that will inspire you to lofty and dizzying heights should you wish to commission your own piece. You can also go to my etsy store to BUY STUFF NOW! Please.

email me: lauraw217@gmail.com

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mosaic Dog Buffet! For The Dogs Who Truly Have Everything.

Quite a while back (like two years back?), Suzan, the Godmother to my furs, sent this fabulous, handcrafted dog buffet to my Leah. It was so tall she couldn't get her snout over the bowl at first, so we cut the legs down a bit. Even after the modification, she still couldn't quite figure out how to chow down at this odd, elevated angle.

Suzan suggested I use it as a mosaic base, which at the time, sounded like a totally awesome idea!

Christmas of 2007 found me, Leah, and FOUR CATS headed down to Sullivan's Island, SC, to celebrate with Suzan and Stephen. While there, my project was what we called The Dog Grotto. I did a small area in their front garden wall that has an inset water bowl for thirsty, passerby dogs.

I'm not gonna whine (much) but you'd be surprised how tricky it is to get those heavy Bauer and Fiesta shards to stick to a vertical wall without constantly sliding down on top of each other. You'd also be surprised how quickly you can whack your back while working on your knees on concrete for two days.

Last we heard, every single shard was still stuck on the wall. Considering it was my first outdoor, weather-from-hell-by-the-Atlantic project, I'm thrilled. And very relieved.

Anyway, I started the Dog Buffet to match the Dog Grotto, er....many cases of wine ago, let's just say. And it sat around my home, 3/4 finished, for months. And more months. After Christmas of 2008 came and went with it still unfinished, followed by Christmas of 2009, I finally hit my wall of shame and just GOT ER DONE. (Only because Suzan and Stephen were coming to town this week and it was nearly Easter of 2010, frankly.)

Leah always looks ambivalent, or frightened, when I stick a camera in her face.

Loathe me much, Leah?

The Universal Potteries Iris pattern is one of my very favorite to work with so it was nice to carry the theme over into this project, along with the same vintage Bauer and Fiesta colors that Suzan had chosen for the Grotto.

And God Bless Stephen for telling me a year ago to just paint the inside and back since I was totally overwhelmed at the prospect of covering and grouting all that additional space.

And here it is, being test driven by Monty the Lab Doodle, just yesterday.

Ralph is quite pleased. And quite adorable.

Zeke looks freakishly like my Leah. You can tell them apart because Zeke has a tail. And he is sane.

Merry Very Belated Christmas (2008), Suzan, Stephen, Zeke, Monty and Ralph.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Brown Trout Frame. Sort of?

The inspiration.

The outcome?

The victim.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What We Did While The House Passed HCR

I'm sorry, what?

Annie has done so much scent marking on the gazing ball stand that I suspect every dog in Cashiers Village will feel compelled to lift their leg on it all summer.

My lazy art interns.

The more I cover, the more there is to cover.

Looks nearly done, right? Not. Barely half covered. I might rethink that bowling ball idea, sweaty finger holes and all.

Annie pays rapt attention to the bloviating and speechifying hoping to hear how cats might benefit from the health care reforms being proposed.
(That's the just-completed brown trout frame she has mistaken for a La-Z-Boy.)

Clearly the needs of cat constituents have been ignored once again.

Art and politics are exhausting!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Fish Tales and Gazing Balls

Projects in Progress today:

Gazing balls! I've had two of these for, what - two years now, maybe? With the pending printemps, I am suddenly beyond-inspired to do them. I know lots of folks use bowling balls in this case, but aside from the obvious issue that they are heavy, the idea of a bunch of strangers' finger sweat inside a piece of my art sort of creeps me out.

Annie's thinking assorted vintage china flowers and every single color of Bauer and Fiesta that we own on this one. Just a riot blaze of blossoms and brightness!

Narcissus Annie seems to be quite taken with the dreamy looking cat in the ball.

I think if I have two done by Memorial Day Weekend when the Cashiers Village Hillside Shops open again, they will really be a magnetic draw out on the grass in front of my cottage.

I'm dying to do one for my own yard as well. Somewhere by the fish pond which I see out my bedroom window.

Four of my six goldfish survived the LONG, cold, SNOWY winter under the ice in the pond. I guess that's not too bad, but it still bummed me out. I am very attached to my fish. I even printed out a photo of the six from last October to determine exactly who I am mourning. Sort of surprised I had not gotten around to naming them, frankly. I'll do that tomorrow, in honor of the Equinox. And then I'll get two more, because six just feels right.

Speaking of fish...

Plan to finish up the first Brown Trout frame for Brookings' Cashiers Village Outfitters. Annie looks concerned, no?

This is the image I've been using for inspiration, but check out these beauties:

Brookings' very own Marc Hipp, fly fishing guide and instructor extraordinaire, and

Matt Canter, store manager and a very experienced and passionate guide and instructor himself. (Yes, all seven of the Brookings' guides are that good looking. Must be the fresh air and clean living.)

It's a Friday in Lent, after all. Gotta have fish!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Not Your Everyday Chalkboards

Last winter (before I changed my residence - my studio is now twice as large, thankfully!) I was asked to make two pique assiette chalk boards for Tommy's Coffee Shop at Cashiers Village.

Aided by Annie, the studio Creative Director, and the ever-present Velcro Dog, Leah, I decided to integrate as much of the coffee theme as possible.

I was lucky and managed to slice two small cups and a tiny creamer perfectly in half. It does not always work that way. Annie is inspecting a small plate from an English child's tea set that dates back to the late 1800s.

For the smaller board I used only the Universal Potteries Iris pattern and a bunch of neat cup handles. Sort of funky, but it worked for me!

And here it is today, used to announce the daily specials at Tommy's.

The larger board serves a few different functions. Sadly, after this photo was taken, a little workplace mishap occurred that found all four corners of the board needing repair.

I was lucky to have a few small chotchkies in my studio that worked perfectly. The board is now fully recovered and working hard hawking honey.

That would be Bethany, she of cinnamon bun fame, hiding behind the board.

Will grout for Temptations!

Monday, March 15, 2010

In Future Years, What Will Surely Be Referred To As My "Trout Period"

Quick! Name that frame!

Clearly a (very abstract) Rainbow Trout!

Framing a very realistic, carved, "found wood" Brown Trout by Jon R. Dennis.

There is a lot more color variation in this species than I would've guessed, but being the color freak that I am, I opted for the more saturated pottery and china patterns.

I was commissioned to make a line of trout frames for Brookings' Cashiers Village Outfitters to display biographies of several regional artisans whose works Brookings' is now selling.
I was asked to write the bios as well, so life doesn't get much better than when I am able to combine my love of writing with mosaic work!

For this more sedate piece, I donated my long-dead, paternal Grandmother's beloved Sasha Brastoff Surf Ballet pattern for the interior edge hoping to approximate the light blue, shimmering, silver belly of the trout. A cool, and very personally meaningful, china choice.

I also used some of my favorite contemporary Fiesta patterns because the deep color saturation and contrast is so attractive and eye-catching.

The frames are on sale at Brookings' at the Crossroads in Cashiers Village, North Carolina.
Watch this space for the upcoming Brook and Brown Trout frames!