Above you can see the first stages of the process. I did various sketches before starting the process. I carefully chose a single sheet of glass which had enough of variety of pattern and color in it to allow me to find all the right sections to decorate my design in.
My partner Kyle used a router to carve out the silhouette of my owl so that we could inset her into the oak plywood. The wood was sanded, stained in classic gray to match the mid-tones of the glass and then it was finished in satin.
After we glued the owl into the substrate, we taped of the freshly finished wood and grouted the mosaic in charcoal black.
An artist and designer duo from Boulder, Colorado are setting out on a nomadic and artistic journey all through out the US. Kasia Polkowska and Kyle Cunniff are taking their love of mosaics on the road, bringing their highly demanded ‘Stained Glass Mosaic Workshop’ to many parts of the US which typically would not have access to this kind of opportunity.
During the tour, they will teach workshops in over 30 states. In the course of a weekend, their students will gain the knowledge and confidence to independently continue their mosaic journey at home. Each student, no matter what level, will leave the class with a skillfully completed mosaic artwork sure to impress friends and family!
Living in Boulder for the last three years, this couple has seen their fair share of van living employed by the many climbers living at the foothills of the Rockies. These athletes enjoy the freedom of not being tied down and are able to follow the best climbing routes with the changing seasons. Hiking through the mountains, surrounded by inspirational beauty, Kasia had an epiphany, “Why can’t artists do the same?”
This winter, Kasia and Kyle will head South bringing their
classes to Texas, Louisiana, Florida and so on as they slowly inch up North
with the warming weather. Five months in, at the height of the summer,
they will end up in Maine and then start switching back up Westward through the
Canadian Rockies to reach Alaska! They will then explore the Pacific Coast,
heading south to continue their educational tour through Washington, Oregon and
down to California. As the weather will begin to cool, Kasia and Kyle
will bundle up and keep on keeping on, teaching through out the Southwest, the
Midwest and finishing the tour in the MidAtlantic back on the East Coast where
their joint adventure began when they graduated Pratt Institute in 2006.
Gearing up for hitting the road at the end of February 2015,
Kasia and Kyle have organized an Indie-Go-Go Campaign: "Kasia Mosaics US Tour 2015 - Teaching Mosaics"
Help make it happen for this dynamic duo by contributing to the campaign which
is aimed at funding the conversion of a bare cargo van they are purchasing to
make the tour possible.
The Matryoshka Tote and T-Shirt based on my
"Matryoshka Doll" mosaic, reinterpreted by Kyle into a graphic. 22 Days
Left! Campaign ends December 15, 2014. If you order yours this week, you'll get it in time for the
Limited Edition Kasia Mosaics Owl T-Shirts available through the middle
of December! Reserve yours today so we can have it ready for you prior
to the holidays. Available in a variety of colors for ladies and men as well as a tote bag. Check out lots of awesome perks on the campaign page: http://igg.me/at/kasiamosaics/x/8908900
Summary: This will be a two day
mosaic intensive where the student create a 17" mosaic owl while learning the basics of stained glass mosaics. This class will be limited to 4 students. No previous mosaic or
drawing experience needed as Kasia will guide the students through the
process and provides special owl templates she designed for the class. The designs are well suited for a beginner allowing him or her
to complete the project during class time though each one can also be
utilized by an intermediate student who chooses to put more detail into
the design or to add their own flair.
Cost: $275 The price of the class
covers all materials, a custom made 17" owl substrate, use of all tools, additional templates to take
home, an 11 page colorful pdf summarizing everything covered in class as well as lunch and refreshments on both days. Location: Kasia Mosaics Studio in the Foothills of
Boulder, Colorado (6231 Fourmile Canyon Drive, Boulder, CO, 80302)
Date and Time: Saturday and Sunday - Both Days 10am-5pm - December 13-14, 2014 This is the last Kasia Mosaics Class of the Year!
Professor Plum, stained glass mosaic,
16.5"x10"X5/8" silhoutte on light weight mdf, 2014 by Kasia Polkowska
~available for salevia Indie-Go-Go
Below you can see some of the process shots I took while working on Professor Plum. All glass is hand cut and shaped by me.
Ptarmigan Trail - Glacier National Park, stained glass mosaic (framed), 30" x 30", 2014 available for purchase
This new mosaic is inspired by one of the hikes we did in Glacier
National Park in Montana last summer. We combined the Ice Lake Trail
with the Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail. On this 15 miler there were too many
awe inspiring views to count. It was impossible to choose a favorite
... but emerging of the Ptarmigan Tunnel after 10 miles of pushing along, crossing our fingers not to run into a grizzly, yet kinda hoping to get a glimpse of one in the distance, trying to take in all the beauty of the lush and colorful, flower
filled landscape, the final view of the Belly River Valley with the bright
blue Elizabeth Lake appeared on the other side and it was so drastically
different than everything leading up to it that it made the strongest
impression on me. Still today it is as clear in my memory as if I was
Hands down it is one of the best hikes I've ever done and would do again in a heartbeat. Don't miss it if you are planning a trip to the magic filled Glacier National Park. Below are some of the process shots of this vast landcape mosaic coming to life in my little studio in the foothills of Boulder, CO.
This is a photo I took after emerging from the Tunnel, looking out at the Belly River Valley. It is the inspiration shot for my mosaic.
The charcoal sketch I created to help me visualize and to feel the landscape before diving into choosing my glass.
Choosing my color palette.
Holding a glass 'Elizabeth Lake' in the palm of my hand - it is fun to be an artist =)
Slow progress ...
Detail of the little rocks I hand cut with flat-head tile nippers.
Weeks later, I am finally getting somewhere!
Some more detail on the rocks and trees.
Working on the sky - the light at the end of the tunnel becomes visible =)
All glued and almost ready for grouting - just gotta peel the tape off.
As always this is my favorite part. Grouting really makes the mosaic finally come a live! Now we just have to frame it and it will be all ready to find a good home with someone who loves the mountains and mosaics as much or even more than I!
This stained glass mosaic owl 18"x13" was created by Adriana, my 9 year old niece, while she visited me here in Colorado for a week over the summer. She has keenly watched me work for years now and even has a few of her own projects and family murals under her belt. Having had a helping hand in creating this wonderful mosaic gives me great pleasure. Both I and her have learned a lot working on this mosaic and we were both very proud of the end result. Below are a few shots of our process:
Prior to starting the project, I encouraged Adriana to focus on developing her idea through a series of sketching. I showed her how I approach my projects, we discussed her ideas and did research. Then we each took some paper and pencils and did a handful of sketches. Drawing with a child was so rewarding and it allowed me to really let go and have fun, not to worry about nice line work etc. I think that's why it is hard to tell which ones are the drawings of a child and which ones are the drawing of a wanna be =)