I love working directly with clients on commissions. There are always so many questions to ask, and answers to listen to. Moments to reflect and then test out ideas. This particular commission came out of showing work at the Gorgeous Show through the Shropshire Guild of Contemporary Craft. I was exhibiting as a guest for two days, prior to submitting my mosaic work for full membership.
The conversation had begun with my potential clients as a chat about my work on display, what they liked and what attracted them to certain colours and the designs. They continued looking around the show, and I was quite happy to have given them my card and directed them to my website for more information. So it was to my surprise that on the second day they arrived back at my display, excited to place a commission with me. There is always a little dance going on in my head when someone is so positive about what I do!
The remit was to create six panels, all 20cms square, to be hung on an east facing wall. The wall was in a fairly narrow corridor so they were looking for an interesting surface design, not a painting, print or drawing. They felt that a series of mosaic panels would work, each one a different shape of tree but broadly similar in design.
After some discussion about what they already liked about my work, possible colours and content the next action was to draw up some designs. Photos were exchanged to share ideas about wallpaper designs planned for the opposite wall and colours of carpets and walls. I sent my design off to the couple and a bag of suggested mosaic tiles so that they could feel the textures and see the colour combinations.
From this point I had the go ahead to start constructing the six panels, which had to work in different configurations. Possibly 2 x 3 or 3 x 2 across the wall. The boards were prepared with Off Black by Farrow & Ball, leaving the front clear of paint as the adhesive doesn't work so effectively on painted surfaces.
The following photos show the construction and development of the panels.
The boards were ready for grouting which is always a bit tense as the grout floods the joints bringing the tiles together into one cohesive plane, or not...
In the rush before Christmas I managed to find a quiet morning to present the work to my clients in my studio. The proof as to whether the panels worked was going to be after they were hung. As the corridor was quite narrow they were keen to have the blocks against the wall, rather than hung from hooks. The solution was to use Command strips so that the wood was flat against the wall.
The photo below was sent by my clients to show me the six tree panels in situ.
And of course it is always the client comments that make your day!
We have just fixed the tree panels to the wall. We are delighted with them . They are sparkling in the artificial light. In the morning the natural daylight will illuminate them. The mirror tiles reflect tiny glimpses of the hillside opposite. Once again thank you for these outstanding pieces of work, they are a delight to see each day.
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