Beautiful Earth Mosaic Trivets

Over the last year, Johannah has created a small series of trivets that double as kitchen artwork. The mosaics are set in reclaimed wood frames made by Kyle. The frames have a small keyhole hanger in the back, so you can easily move the trivets from the table to the wall and back again! The colors and design of these pieces are inspired by landscapes from the beautiful world around us: ocean, forest, and desert. 

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The photos above show the mosaics in process in the studio. The blue piece is inspired by waves breaking on a sandy beach. The green trivet explores the idea that even nature viewed through a window can help reduce stress. Desert mountains inspired the brown and orange piece.

Below are finished photos of these mosaics. You can find them in our main Etsy shop, or better yet, come see them (and us!) in person at Spring Bada-bing, just a few weeks away on Saturday, April 29th at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.

 

 

Interior Stair Leaf Railing

Over the winter, Kyle forged a custom interior stair rail with an organic leaf motif. Come on in the studio and see a little bit of the process behind this piece!

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The first step in creating this railing was to forge the leaves. In the photo on the left, Kyle is using a chisel and filleting block to shape the center vein of a leaf. The middle photo shows the entire process from bar stock to finished leaf. And the last photo shows the leaves after they've been given a bit of personality.

Next Kyle created the frame for the railing, forged the branches and set them in place, and finally added the leaves. 

And here it is installed! From this photo, you can see there is a slight turn to the steps, an important detail to keep in mind when measuring and laying out the design. For an interior rail, our favorite finish is a clear wax that shows off the natural beauty of forged steel.

Tiny Mosaics

Johannah has been exploring a new-to-her technique of setting tesserae (mosaic tile) directly in mortar, rather than gluing tiles and then grouting over them. This is the method used to create the ancient Byzantine and Roman mosaics, as well as an ever-growing body of gorgeous work by modern mosaic artists. She's created a line of miniature pieces in this technique using reclaimed and found materials alongside traditional smalti, a thick opaque glass.

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Working in groups or series is a great way to explore an idea from multiple angles. The top two photos are pieces that center on a found object. The tiny dolls in the top left poke fun at the unrealistic body imagery our culture has for women and men alike. The shape of the found object itself is the focus in the three pieces in the top right photo.

The series in the bottom left photo are miniature landscapes: snow shadows, a drop of rain in a puddle, and a view of kudzu overtaking a rusty train bridge. Finally, the series in the bottom right plays with all sorts of ideas: texture, pattern, color, and negative space, just to name a few!

These last two series started out as lines created from reclaimed terracotta pottery. These pieces are all about the material: the soft color and rich texture of the terracotta, as well as the way the terracotta plays against the bright blue and green reclaimed ceramic and soft gray of the concrete.

You can find a limited selection of these tiny pieces up in our Etsy shop