Making Mosaics

“She’s Some Kind of Artist…” Signing Your Mosaic

Pam 007

The last studio step, in the mosaic journey, is signing my name on the back with a permanent marker. There is great pride in the completion of your creation! However, that is not the only way to sign…

Some people will include tesserae, in their birthstone color, into the mosaic. If you are fortunate enough to make mosaics for companies such as Disney, this might be your only option. Disney and other companies do not allow your name on your work of love.

One evening, long ago, I came across an artist who would reproduce my signature in clay. Then, I would be able to incorporate the tile into my mosaic. That was the coolest idea! Unfortunately, when all was said and done, it would cost me $2 per signature. I simply could not afford the fee. And, let’s be honest, I’m a bit too frugal.

So, I set upon this idea – I’ll make my own… How hard could that be? Well, for me, it was VERY DIFFICULT. But, it was less than 1/6 of having someone else do it – and I do LOVE those kinds of numbers…

Have you ever worked with clay? Oh my, let’s just say I have an even greater appreciation for the artists.

Years ago, there were not many options for clay studios. When I found someone in the local area, it was thrilling! Try as I might, the owner would not make the signature tiles for me, but she would teach me. As a teacher myself, I respected that notion! She explained that I would be perfectly safe, once I was INSIDE the studio. Also, it would be a bad idea to linger by my car. Really?!!! It was already winter, icy roads and a rough section of town. Against my better judgment, in the dark of night, I set off. It would just take 1 or 2 visits, right? Uh, no!!!

The order of the night was that I would pay for a specified amount of clay and a whole bottle of glaze. I was clueless about the clay amount! Also, I couldn’t bet on 1 glaze color working for all types of mosaics. Color!!! So, 3 bottles were chosen – a medium blue, a lighter green and a darker brown. It’s not that I loved those colors the most; they were chosen based on what would easily match. I would have to pay for the whole bottle, but I was welcome to come back and pursue other projects…

Usually, I was the only student. One night 2 others were also there, but they did not see me come in. They were in the midst of a discussion when I set to work. Over the course of a few minutes, I heard them talk about some poor pitiful soul who was making clay tiles that were different sizes, uneven height, etc… Oh, the lamenting that ensued.

“She’s some kind of artist.”

“Of what?!”

About that time the teacher came to check on each student. We then had a group meeting, and were given our instructions.

It was hard to hear the truth, but not as hard as signing 100+ clay tiles…


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