Tag Archives: institute of mosaic arts

MAKE stuff ~ it’s fun!

Being a consumer is one thing ~ having the cash to sport those new Dior sunglasses can certainly be satisfying. Most of us gain some kind of positive feelings from the purchases with which we adorn ourselves and our lives, however fleeting

Making stuff is altogether different.  Because the payoff is internal, rather than external.  At least that’s my thinking on the subject…

And in the spirit of making stuff, I want to give a brief plug for the Maker Faire this weekend, despite its distance from Oaktown. This incredible DIY-inspired event (think family-friendly Burningman meets Exploratorium) offers a mind-blowing array of opportunities to “MAKE, create, learn, invent, CRAFT, recycle, build, think, play & be inspired by celebrating arts, crafts, engineering, food, music, science and technology.”

If you haven’t been, it’s well worth a trip down the peninsula.  I’ll be there!

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On a separate but related subject, I thought I’d share the product of my Mosaics 101 class last month at IMA. It’s the first mosaic I’ve ever created…

IMA Mosaics 101

I had planned to take pictures throughout the class and do a post on the basic techniques involved, but the project was so engrossing (snipping all those little pieces of tile can either be a calming meditation, or can drive you crazy!) that I forgot to take pictures until we were grouting at the very end. Oh well…

The design for my piece was inspired by an incredible painting by Margaret Chavigny I had seen the night before during my April Art Murmur adventures…

Mercury 20, Mercury 20 gallery, Margaret Chavigny Family Ties

I had a great sense of satisfaction completing my little work of art. It now hangs in my office where I can admire it and remind myself of my desire to make more stuff, especially art.

My next mosaic project will involve tempered glass… Since my car was broken into in West Oakland a couple years ago, I saved all the broken glass (yes, it’s been sitting in a box for 2 years and I even moved it to my new house!) I figure rather than sending it to the landfill, I’ll reconfigure it into something fantastic.

When life give you broken auto glass… make ART!

Rust in Peace

So I thought this week we’d talk about METAL…

Many of us in modern society have little experience manipulating metal, other than perhaps wrapping a piece of tinfoil around our leftover pizza or crushing a soda can before tossing it in the recycling. But for centuries of human history the man who could shape metal was an important man indeed.  He made the weapons and armor, the horseshoes, plowshares, and wagon wheel rims, the locks and chains, nearly all of the tools, and much much more.  There is a wealth of information on this history at the Appalachian Blacksmiths Association website.

With the industrial revolution and the mechanization of many processes, many blacksmiths were replaced by machinists in factories.  Many of these metalworkers went on to become the first generation of auto mechanics (Wikipedia).  Which kind of brings us right around to where I want to be…

I’ve been wanting to focus on metal sculptures and other interesting manipulations of metal for a bit now, but was reminded last week when I took a walking tour of the Jingletown area around the Institute of Mosaic Arts. I passed by Automania and saw all kinds of fantastic metal sculptures and fabrications, mostly welded together out of car parts. Automania’s front entrance is on Glascock, but the back of the warehouse and car lot are on Ford Street, which is where these shots were taken.

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Aren’t they gorgeous? I love the spark plugs!

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In Saundra’s Garden

As a green thumbed girl who also lives in an urban/industrial area, I truly appreciate the effort this gardener has taken to bring a little nature into the hood with this gorgeous planter.

These photos show two of it’s sides…

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Flower at 2912

This one fits so perfectly on this building… I love how the orange in the center of the flower echoes the orange door. I like the shingle work on the building too… it almost has a mosaic feel to it. This neighborhood has many spaces/yards/buildings adorned in very creative and funky ways.

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And what I really love about this one is the incorporation of hand painted tiles with faces… they’re like little hidden treasures you’re only rewarded with upon closer inspection.

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Free Wood & more…

So this one is really pretty impressive… kitty corner from IMA and completely covered in mosaic. Two panels read “free wood” and in front of each of them is, in fact, wood. It’s very strange.

The building seems to be more of a facade enclosing a large courtyard… maybe it’s a woodchopping plant!

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I love the whimsical tree branches and each tree has a swing hanging from one. See the little hearts with eyes like the ones from yesterdays post?

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And of course the kitty being chased by the dog… this makes me smile! These murals were produced collaboratively between students and artists through the Institute.

IMA

IMA big fan of the Institute of Mosaic Arts!  Ok… I know that’s corny, but it’s late and I’ve got 5 posts to do before bed since I’m doing a little travelling this weekend.  In preparation, I got up early this morning and headed down to the little corner of Jingletown this school/workshop occupies.

As I mentioned a couple days ago, there are numerous murals and smaller mosaics installed around the neighborhood immediately surrounding IMA.  I strolled around for about a half hour and saw no fewer than twenty, among the many other cool things I’ll hopefully get to in future posts, like Ford Street Studios, Automania, and more.  This is a cool part of town.

Here are a few photos of the Institute itself… These don’t even show all the mosaics on this building. It’s kind of crazy.

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If these hearts look at all familiar to you, it might be because Laurel True, the founder of IMA, was also a participating artist in the “Hearts in San Francisco” sculpture project a few years ago.

There are tons of classes offered at various levels, and a workshop cafe where you can drop in and work on your own projects.  Check it out!  You might just leave your heart at IMA.