Early Work on La Sirena

This project really started when we visited Barelona in 2016.  Mosaics by artist/architect Antonio Gaudi are everywhere, and we got inspired.

This photo is a tiny detail of a 100-meter-long curbed concrete bench at the Parc Güell, but there is mosaic everywhere in Barcelona.

At the beach, we are cursed with thousands of pieces of abandoned broken ceramic tile, either dumped or washed up on the sand.  Surely a tiny portion of this could be used to create something special?

We started gathering this “beach tile” on our own, and then found someone who had been collecting it for YEARS.  Buckets of the stuff was suddenly available, and the project was born.

The long thin shape of the cinder-block wall suggested a horizontal swimming mermaid, and we had a LOT of pastel blue and green tile to work with!  So I went searching the Web for possibly useful images. (There are thousands of mermaid photos and drawings on the Web, so this was NOT hard.)

The design went thru lots of iterations, mostly to make it work with the available colors of tile.  Here is one example, giving her a yellow tail and having her approach a wall of coral.

I started work in May 2017, and that approach gave this result.  But the tail was just too flat, and the coral was impossible to make detailed enough to look good.  (Remembering that I’ve never done a mosaic before, and we’re trying to make the design match the tile, not the other way around.)

I decided that I really needed to have more control over the tail, which is going to be the most prominent thing in the whole piece.  So I bit the bullet and bought several panels of small glass pool tiles in different shades of blue.  That looks a LOT better!

And this is about how she stayed for the entire rest of 2017, as house project, travel and much more came first.  La Sirena lay out on the three tables in the backyard covered in black plastic until the new year.

NEXT PAGE: 20 Jan 2018

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