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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Carole's Family Jewels - A Very Special Commission!

Y'all just won't understand how exciting this sort of project is for me, so I'm going to yammer on a while in an effort to explain it to you.

Carole found me at a 4th of July show in 2008 and bought a jewelry mosaic mirror. I recently sent out out a pitiful "HELP! I need money!!" email to all past clients and Carole responded, asking for an 8x10 mirror for herself, using her mother's jewelry.

When I got the UPS shipment, she'd also enclosed an order for an additional piece - a 5x7 frame for the amazing black and white photo of her mother on her wedding day. Mom, Janet, is surrounded by Carole's maternal grandmother, Frances, and paternal grandmother, Frances, and her best friend.

As is my custom, I asked Carole for some anecdotes and background history on the women in her family for inspiration, and she provided such helpful details. This helps me know what sorts of special jewelry pieces from my own stash I can use to bring forth certain themes.

No way on earth was I expecting to receive so much amazing material, in both quality and quantity!

As I kept unwrapping all the different pouches, I just kept gasping. I don't even wear jewelry much at all, but something about playing with all of this colorful, shiny, sparkly, pearly, gold, silver stuff brings out a very whimsical and feminine part of me.

One of the sweetest things in the collection was a small envelope with "Bill's Wedding Ring" written in blue ink on the front. It was stapled shut. Bill is Carole's 84-year-old dad, who lives with her now. What an honor to be trusted with things that are so personally meaningful and to be given full artistic license to use them as I feel led.

I've completed the 5x7 frame for the wedding day photo and I love it. Carole decided that her mirror would not be complete without some palm tree charms, so I eagerly await their arrival so that I can go to town on the 8x10 mirror.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ginormous Gazing Ball is Done!

It only felt like this piece took as long to craft as the Health Care Reform Bill.
Sort of hard to see it well in the yard due to the glare, so I offer the below shot:

It POURED here Saturday afternoon and all through the night into Sunday morning. If I had any guts at all I would've put this out in the yard to test drive it. I used waterproof adhesive and triple sealed the grout, so based on my good experience with the outdoor dog grotto still hanging tough down on Sullivan's Island, SC, I feel (fairly) confident this will endure the elements.

For some reason(s), I decided not to use any solid color shards. Going for the whole "garden riot in bloom" theme, Or something.

For some reason(s) I chose light pink grout. I was almost out of Antique White and while I had planned to use Mallard Green, it looked too dull for this piece. I don't regret the pink.

What would a mystical gazing ball be without unexplainable rays of light streaming from it?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tommy's Trippy Tip Cup Trio Triumph!

Mmmmm.....triple shot soy latte please.

This was a fun, albeit slow in the gluing on of the critters, project. (See two previous posts below.)

Realized I'd forgotten to glue a big old dog on the back of this one but by that time, I really did not care. No small Japanese figurines were harmed in the process, and that is all that matters here.

Hallmark mug or plate or the like, no doubt.

This cat is my favorite part of the whole project, I think.

You talkin' to me?

Oh - it's ON now Buddy!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Z's Garden Room Installation - Biggest Project Evah!

Well, I'm about to embark upon something I've wanted to do for years; create a pique assiette mosaic wall of sorts. Eventually I'd love to do a kitchen backsplash in my own home (which, um, I don't own yet), or maybe a restroom wall in a funky restaurant, but we'll see how I feel after I complete the Garden Room project.

Homeowner Suzan Z. shares her vision for the potting table structure with the general contractor. The lake overlook home in the Western North Carolina mountains will finally be complete at April's end, with the move-in date scheduled for the 29th. Been a long time comin'!

The Garden Room will be left open which is to say this entry way will not have a door. Likewise the window to the right. Around the corner from the stone column on the left is a huge family room with pool table, entertainment unit.

Fortunately, I will be able to create the installation at home doing it in pieces that can then be attached to the walls, table legs, shelves, etc. This is far preferable to doing it on-site, not only because the pottery pieces and chotzkies would be sliding down the vertical surface as soon as I applied them, but MY BODY WOULD DIE from all the standing, reaching, bending and kneeling. The Z's dog grotto project was a very Valuable Learning Experience in this very way.
Suzan drew out a rough version of what the potting table will look like. Approximately 8 feet across. I'll be covering the vertical back area, the faces of the shelves, and the legs. Probably more to be determined.

Here is the site as it looked a few weeks ago:

Let the eBay surfing for materials commence!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tommy's Trippy Tip Cups, Two

See post below this one for backstory, but two of the three tip cups are done. Yay. I would certainly fork over a larger tip than I had intended upon seeing something this darn cute and irresistible. (All tips tossed into these cups are matched by the owners of Tommy's Coffee Shop and Zeke & Earl's hot dog stand and given to the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society.)

I've included my plus-size model for scale. Strike that pose, Annie! (Please note how much of her belly and butt hang off the railing.)

Sadie loves the smell of Japanese figurines in the evening.

I'm ambivalent about the handles. I had planned to put a strand of beads along the outside but...well...it all just did not come together as neatly as I had envisioned in my muddled mind's eye. I'm of a mind to just leave them as they are. Wait staff are probably going to want to grab them and flip them over every night to pour out all the well-deserved loot, and they look fine.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tommy's Trippy Tip Cups

The current fun project on my table is creating mosaic tip cups for the (soon-to-be) three eateries at Cashiers Village. The owners of Tommy's Coffee Shop and Zeke & Earl's match every tip that the employees receive and donate the money on a quarterly basis to the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society.

I found three huge coffee mugs at Michael's and bought a bunch of great dog and cat figurines on etsy and eBay. The most time consuming part has been gluing them all on since the cup has to lie flat for at least 24 hours so the mastic can really set up.

(Disclaimer: those two black and white cats you see on the mug lips were not secure enough. After one popped off when I bumped it, I ripped the other one off too. Will have to rethink my choice of glue and how to stabilize them up there, clearly.)

I just love this white cat sticking out but I know it's only a matter of time before it gets whacked off, too. Hopefully after the grout has dried it won't be so precarious.

See what happens when you don't spay and neuter!

The ever-present Creative Director looking annoyed, as usual, that she can't be in my lap or lying smack on top of the pottery shards.