The transformation from trash to treasure is finally complete with a whimsical flamingo mosaic replacing the broken mirrored top of my little salvaged cabinet. After designing a pattern that evolved from one large flamingo to a reflective pool full of wading pink birds to finally a single pair, one reaching down to sip from a pool of blue-green water the other’s head and neck held in the iconic flamingo curl, colorful plumage reflecting in the water around their feet.
I used small glass tiles snipped into shape and glued down, one by one, using tile nippers and Welbond glue. Then after masking off the blue areas I grouted the flamingos with pink grout. I tinted the grout by adding red powdered chalk to white grout. Next I taped off the flamingos and grouted the water area using blue chalk for tinting the grout.
The process was slow, even meditative, and before long my thoughts wandered to Venice, Italy and the mosaic class I had attended at the Orsoni glass foundry. I still marvel at the talented, generous artists I met, who both encouraged and inspired me. I remembered the wonderful chocolates that fellow student Merrille, of Belgium proudly shared with the class each day. I recalled the sound of singing rising from the furnace rooms as foundry works toiled at the traditional craft of smalti, glass production. In my mind’s eye I could see the red tile roofs filling up the studio window and stretching out over the city. Now as I stand back and look at my completed project, I feel sure my Orsoni friends would be proud of my efforts.
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