My buddy Jon Miller runs a very cool website called The Rest of Everest, where he films and provides interesting commentary on his trips to the Himalayan region. You can subscribe to his podcast through iTunes, or watch episodes on his site. I highly recommend it.
So last May, while he was off leading a group to Mt. Everest, I was thinking about Jon, and decided to make something cool for him. At the time, I was playing with a lot of clay, and decided to try making Jon's logo out of clay.
So here is Jon's The Rest of Everest logo on the lower left hand corner of this picture.
And here is the pattern I roughed out on my computer. I proceeded to make this pattern directly in plywood, so that I would be able to duplicate it, should I have the need to make any extra parts for this tile set.
Once the clay was rolled into slabs, I cut out the various parts. They were subsequently bisque fired, glazed, and then re-fired, resulting in three full sets of this logo. Being a member of Over-achievers Anonymous, of course I made some custom wooden frames to hold these three sets. (Need you ask?)
Let's fast forward to today, where I finally got around to grouting these tile sets. For the first set, I used a light gray grout.
But after looking at it, I decided it wasn't the proper color. More mosaics are ruined by using the wrong color grout than anything else - including poor composition. Trust me on this. When it doubt, look for a unifying color on the piece - in this case, the dark brown frame should have sent me screaming messages that I needed to use dark brown grout.
For the next set, I used the dark brown grout. A small piece of burlap to clean up the grout works nicely.
If you sprinkle a little bit of the grout (in its powder form) on the mosaic, it helps clean up the residue.
Here is my favorite version, with the prayer flags as an integral part of the mosaic design.
The flag detail is awesome.
The other two versions were slightly different - I wanted a bit of three dimensionality to the piece, so first, I applied the background layer of tile, and grouted it.
Then epoxied the flags on top. One piece has five flags (in proper order, to boot), but I just couldn't get past the lighter colored grout. It was awful.
So I grabbed an X-acto knife and dug it all out. This color is much better, wouldn't you agree?
Here's the last piece - the three-dimensional piece with six flags. I just like the symmetry of starting and ending with a blue flag, call me anal.
There is a certain charm in making custom logos into tile sets.
Lets face it, it is not something that you can just go to a store and purchase. You have to know a ceramist, and one who is willing to take the time to do this. Here is another logo I made for a friend - in this case, the logo of the ranch that he owns. I am pretty sure this tile is hanging in his woodshop, hopefully in a frame that he has made.
Anyone else out there making custom tiles? I'll post photos of them if you send some pictures to me.