Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Mixed Media Mosaics

I created this mixed media mosaic as a gift for my neighbors. I have a ceramic kiln and have been experimenting with creating tiles. A few months before working on this smaller flower 12"x12", I created a larger version of my popular lotus designs as an 18"x18" piece. I really liked the effect of mixing ceramics with glass and thought that a mixed media mosaic like that would make a lovely gift.

Above you can see the mosaic outside in the bright Colorado sun. I love bringing my work outside for photographing because mosaics look particularly wonderful when they are showered by sunlight from all directions.

Below are a few process photos.

In the photo above are my glazed tiles loosely arranged on my copyrighted pattern of my lotus design. Here I also showed some of the experimental center tiles I created. The one in the center of the flower is the one I decided to use.

For the background of the mosaic, I decided to use stained glass. When choosing the colors in which I would glaze the flower petals and center, I considered what glass I had in the studio that would work nicely with my glaze choices. When I pulled the tiles from the kiln, I knew that this glass would look fantastic with the tiles. In this photo, you can also see the hand tools, I use to cut all my glass (I teach this in my Online Mosaic Classes). 

 

I grouted the mosaic in black. This created a nice contrast with the light/medium colored glass and tiles as well as the big bold shapes in this composition. 

And here is one of my son's holding the mosaic, always helping mommy =)

 


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Kasia Mosaics Online Classes

Learn Kasia's unique approach to mosaics through one of these fun project oriented classes that give full insight into stained glass mosaics from start to finish covering precision glass cutting for mosaic, arranging patterns, using the front-mounting tape technique, gluing, grouting and much more. Check out the Kasia Mosaics Classes website for more information: https://www.kasiamosaicsclasses.com/

All classes are available for streaming worldwide and are open to all levels, including complete beginners. Plus there is Bonus access to Kasia's private facebook learning group where students from all over the world come to share their projects, inspire one another and to ask questions. Kasia checks in weekly and enjoys seeing the beautiful work created by all.

Students have lifetime access - the class never expires. Additionally, Kasia adds occasional tutorials from time to time. This makes the classes unique because it is prerecorded and very well organized into Parts and Lectures - its like a College Course for mosaic artist but it keeps evolving with time. 

The full set of project templates that comes with each class is a part of a unique teaching technique that makes learning easy and fun. But the concepts covered in each class are not specific for only the class projects, they are the core foundation for anyone who is interested in the techniques used to create Kasia's fine art mosaics. Following completing just one of the class projects, students can graduate to creating their own mosaics while others fully immerse themselves in the extended course and create every project Kasia shares in the class.

Sign Up Here: https://www.kasiamosaicsclasses.com/

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Artemis ~ New Vinyl Stickers

This was a limited sticker run - only 50 were available and have Sold Out. Click Here to See Other Available Stickers

    • Sickers are ready for shipping.
    •  This is a 3"x1.95" thick vinyl die cut sticker of the "Artemis" a mosaic sculpture created by Kasia Polkowska & Kyle Cunniff.
    •  The stickers are perfect for any surface.
    •  Stick it on a water bottle, growler, car, bike, helmet, other gear, laptop, etc. 
    • These are durable, dishwasher safe and weather resistant. 
    • A UV laminate protects these from the sun and scratches, keeping them from fading.

    Monday, October 21, 2019

    Reflection of Innerself II

    Reflection of Inner Self II, a solid sculpture covered in a hand-cut stained glass mosaic, 7ft x 2ft x 2ft, 2019 ~Available

    My sculpture, Reflection of Inner Self II is currently on display in Alamosa, Colorado on Main Street as part of the 2019/2020 3rd Annual Artscape an outdoor art exhibition.


    I carved the form from layers of polystyrene using a combination of tools: a hotwire bow and a sheerform. I worked based on my digital sketch though I wasn't too focused on copying my sketch exactly as I really enjoyed experimenting with the form and manipulating its shape with my hands. 


    The exterior of our home may rarely reflect our true self. This colorful house is an expression of personal identity. Wouldn't our neighborhoods be more interesting places, if for instance, each house would be uniquely representational of some aspect of its inhabitants' personality? Wouldn't it make things more interesting if you could learn something special about your neighbor just by looking at the exterior of his or her home, a true extension of their complex inner-selves?  

    The mosaic coming together,

    Hand Cut Stained Glass Mosaic
    Gluing
    Grouting
    Installation in Alamosa, Colorado 
    Different Views

    Friday, October 18, 2019

    Summer Solstice

    Summer is full of wildflowers. It is almost impossible not to be inspired by the beauty of even a single flower. I love revisiting the theme of the Lotus, symbolizing rebirth, enlightenment, self-regeneration and purity - much of what I feel is also symbolic of our journey here on earth. Each summer I find much inspiration in its beauty as well as comfort in it. Nature has so much to offer in that aspect of what the human spirit needs. 

    Summer Solstice, framed stained glass mosaic, 20″x20″ ~SOLD
    Summer Solstice is a mixed media piece. The center of the flower is made of hand cut stained glass circles. The petals are handmade ceramic tiles that I shaped, fired, glazed and re-fired in my studio. The background is a hand cut and arranged stained glass mosaic created by me. It was custom framed in my studio to highlight the warm feeling that radiates from this art piece.

    The mosaic arranged and ready for gluing.

    Grouting - here you can still see the grout haze.

    I created this piece back in June. Currently, it is the last 2d mosaic art piece that I've created to date. I mention this because I've decided to take an extended a break from creating my 2d glass work, an art form that I've dedicated myself to for the last 12 years. I plan to focus on mosaic sculpture as well as revisiting my love of painting while also nurturing my growing baby, a second for me. Once the baby arrives in March, I will have a very limited time for work but I hope to eventually carve out some time for painting again. You can see my last few available 2d mosaics here: https://www.kasiapolkowskashop.com/


    Saturday, May 25, 2019

    Artemis - A Mosaic Owl Sculpture

    Artemis is a collaborative sculpture between artist Kyle Cunniff and myself. Kyle sculpted the form while I created the custom hand cut stained glass mosaic as well as the custom handmade ceramic tiles to adorn the sculpture.  This 7ft tall mosaic owl is part of the 21st annual Art on the Streets exhibit in Colorado Springs. It is located on 528 S Tejon St at the intersection of Tejon St and E Moreno St. The sculpture will be up for viewing till the end of May 2020. It is for sale via the City of Colorado Springs

    Artemis installed in Downtown Colorado Springs
    This new sculpture is inspired by the owl's prevalence in pop culture. Owls seem to have burrowed themselves into many aspects of our lives - fashion, design, art etc. These mysterious, nocturnal creatures have captivated the human mind. 


    The ornate design on the back of the 3D mosaic sculpture 'Artemis'
    As far as design goes, owls are beautiful specimens, adorned in natural patterns of intricate feathers. But their striking, keen eyes may be what enthralls us the most and adds to their wise demeanor. 

    The eyes are created with a custom cut stained glass mosaic, a contrast from the handmade ceramic feathers on the owl's head.
    These are enigmatic creatures of the night and symbolically they are the keepers of sacred knowledge. They have sparked our curiosity and through it have found their way into our hearts. 

    My partner Kyle and our son Ethan with me and Artemis - this was a collaborative sculpture between Kyle and I.
    Every time I see an owl - a real one up in a tree or a man made tribute - it is a treat. With this sculpture I wanted to share my love of this enchanted creature. I hope that each passerby that encounters this large mosaiced owl is reminded of the mysteries, the magic and the beauty that comes from nature and that cane come from within us.

    As all our collaborative projects, it all begins with a concept and lots of conversations =) 


    I created the sketch on the right which I digitally colored in. Then Kyle used my drawing to create the 3d model concept on the left. Looking at these early sketches, we knew this concept had to be realized into a tactile form which Kyle hand sculpted.


    In a nutshell, the interior of the sculpture is created from polystyrene, mesh and a form of concrete called 'exterior foam coat'. Lots of work there but there isn't enough room on the blog to share this complex sculpture process. Above is my favorite shot of Kyle doing his thing!



    Both Kyle and I have a growing interest in ceramics. For this project I created custom ceramic tiles for a portion of the sculpture. Above you can see some of the color samples I created for my color palette. To the right of those you can see some of the clay tiles in the drying process during the carving/clean-up phase.


    The top of Artemis is the section with the majority of the ceramic tiles. That part has a really lovely pattern that will mostly not be seen from street level as the sculpture is 7 feet tall. Above it is seen outside during the loading for transport to Colorado Springs. 



    A similar patter is continued from the top of the head down the back of it. 



    The rest of the mosaic was created with custom stained glass shapes. Each piece was cut and arranged by me.  


    Kyle and I created a map of the owl's form and I sketched a rough outline of my patterns. I worked on top of these rough sketches, hand cutting each shape.



    The objective was for the mosaic to resemble more of a hand sketch rather than a refined, neat and cleaned-up rendition of my concept drawing. I wanted the sculpture to feel more organic and hand made rather than a perfectly clean object reminiscent of manufactured forms.


    Creating this type of sculpture takes lots of fitting and measuring to make sure that all mosaic sections can fit properly and to wrap around the curves nicely. That is probably the most tedious part of the process and one that is not my favorite. Its like being a glass seamstress of sorts.



    Due to the size of the sculpture and the endless fitting and measuring of the form, gluing the mosaic was done in sections. The same was done with grouting.



    Artemis weight approximately 300lbs. He is large, awkward to handle sculpture so Kyle designed a special dolly/cart for loading the sculpture for its transport from our Alamosa studio to downtown Colorado Springs, a 3 hour drive through the mountains.



    In Colorado Springs we had a crew of city workers and as well as leaders of the Art on the Streets program welcome Artemis and to install him onto his new location in the downtown. 



    The above photo was taken during the installation of Artemis whom my son Ethan got to watch come alive in our studio. He inspected the owl the whole way through. As little as he still is, he was excited to see his mosaic friend be outside in a new and fun environment.

    Below are a few more photos I took after the installation. I hope that the presence of Artemis in the downtown add a bit of whimsey and fun for the people passing by. If it brings even a fraction of the joy that it has brought to my son, then I could not be happier with what Kyle and I spent months working on.


    Peekaboo! I see you ...


    I'm coming for you!


    I gotcha mommy =)
    If you live in Colorado Springs or near by or maybe if you are visiting our beautiful state and you'd like to see this sculpture in person, it is currently located on 528 S Tejon St at the intersection of Tejon St and E Moreno St in front of Atomic Cowboy. If you take some fun pictures and post them on Instagram, tag @KasiaMosaics so I can see them. Knowing that people enjoy public art as much as I do is a driving force in the creation of this kind of work.

    Sunday, March 24, 2019

    Fencing the Mystic Valley Sculpture Park

    We are embarking on an ambitious project of fencing in our new 40 acre sculpture park! This means 1 mile of fence that Kyle will most likely build by himself! The project calls for 300+ wooden posts, 4 miles of barbed wire as well as miscellaneous fencing tools and supplies. 



    This project is fully founded by two independent artists - Kyle and myself. We are looking for creative ways to keep the momentum going so I am releasing a limited edition print of 'Blanca Massif Alpenglow' inspired by the view seen from our park. 

    The proceeds from this archival, hand signed and numbered print will partially fund the completion of the fencing project. Buy Print Here



    If you are not unfamiliar with the Mystic Valley Sculpture Park, below is a small glimpse into the humble beginnings of our greatest creative endeavor!



    In the summer of 2018, my partner Kyle, our son Ethan and I decided to embark on the wild journey of building a sculpture park in Southern Colorado in close proximity to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. We acquired 40 acres of wild, high alpine dessert land with nothing on it - no structures, no electricity, no water - we are starting completely from scratch with a 1 year old boy in tow to set the pace.



    So far we have created and installed 5 mosaic sculptures and have 10 more lined up for the Spring season alone! We've cleared a small road that leads to what we consider the epicenter of the project. Everything will expand from there. 





    We've built a shaded patio as well as three campsites with picnic tables and fire pits for our family and visitors to stay at. One of the sites even has a tiny A-Frame on it. We hope to add more artistic structures as our project grows. We've even added what some folks have referred to as the cutest outhouse ever - it has three stained glass windows in it to really set the mood!



    Part of the roof of the A-Frame opens up to an unobstructed, panoramic view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Sand Dunes.



    The first set of sculptures we created is inspired by the animals of the San Luis Valley which our land is part of. 



    Thus far, we have created bunnies to pay tribute to the all the jack rabbits that sprint across the property while we work, bears to pay homage to the ones that roam the near by mountains and coyotes who howel and yip as the sun sets for the day. Our son Ethan is eager to help with everything and loves inspecting our progress -too bad he is not quite ready to help with the fencing.



    We've made good progress with limited resources on the creative side of things. Now to keep the momentum of the project going we need to start adding more serious infrastructure, a fence being crucial. Right now, the best way to support the project is by purchasing a limited edition print: Purchase the Print Via the Kasia Polkowska Art Shop


    The prints of the above mosaic will never be printed again so its a unique opportunity to snag one while supporting something very special in its early stages of development 

    Incase you are wondering why do we need a fence ... take a look below =)  As beautiful as the free range cattle and the wild horses are, we can't have them roam the sculpture park as we are trying to fill it with art, plant native shrubbery and plants for conservation and to have a nice clean park for our visitors.


    Kyle has been making great progress and has already completed a quarter of a mile of fence. With the sales of the 'Blanca Massif Alpenglow' print we'll be able to complete the mile by the end of the summer.


    This is the print of the above mosaic - Buy via the Kasia Art Shop



    Thank You and spread the word if you know anyone who would be interested in our project.