In 2014, I was commissioned by the Weaver Hall Museum to design and make a sculpture to be installed in front of their building on the busy London Road. The aim of this commission was to draw public attention to the museum and at the same time represent its history and the museum’s collection.
The museum itself is a former workhouse. It shaped the lives of those who came to live and work here and it is their voices that the museum aims to make heard by today’s audience.
So, where to start?
The brief required a work of art with ‘impact’ and ‘kerb appeal’.
Early ideas started to take shape in the form of sketches, small card macquettes and photomontages to consider scale, position, potential forms, colour in relation to the context, etc.
I was working on shapes whilst thinking about pages of history; the mothers and fathers turning into tired old people and their unfortunate children who lived and worked here – their personal identities and family relationships lost to the workhouse system. Blank canvases, ghosts, bones, haunting voices calling out to have their story heard…..
Eventually, following consultation with the client and interested friends of the museum, we settled on this idea. Two ‘figures’, one cold and hardened, the other softer, revealing inner layers.
Next, experimentation for the mosaic surfacing….
I checked it out on site to see how the scale worked:
and then it was time to get busy making the other figure in the studio:
I built up several layers of glass reinforced cement onto the armature, having first fixed a layer of ‘expa-met’ – expanded metal mesh inside the grid mesh that was welded to the frame. Finally, I worked ‘ancient graffiti’ images into the neat top layer, directly copied from the contributions provided by museum visitors.
Here are some of the drawings contributed that you can pick out on in the finished work:
The ‘Northwich Voices’ sculpture was installed on a gloriously sunny 4th September 2014.
This year when the Chartres Biennial International Festival of Contemporary Mosaic takes place there will be a special exhibition from the British Association of Modern Mosaic (BAMM).
I’m thrilled that my piece ‘Fall’, pictured above, has been selected for inclusion, together with mosaics by Barbara Law, Kate Rattray, Line Mortensen, Patricia Lee, Nathalie Vin, Joanna Kessel, Giulia Vogrig, Norma Vondee and Helen Knock. I’m really looking forward to the Rencontres Internationales…
Read more about La Maison Picassiette here.
People did ask me years ago, it’s true. For one reason or another, I didn’t do it then. However, when recently asked if I could run a mosaic birthday party quite close to home in Didsbury, I agreed…
…and I was quite delighted with the results. I’m happy to report that the birthday girl, her friends and family were all thrilled too. Hopefully these pictures will say more about it than my words can!
If you like the idea and fancy arranging a mosaic party for your special occasion, please get in touch. For the basic information on price and what’s involved, check out my website: http://www.traceycartledge.co.uk/products/210
New rails for the ramp access to a private property in Manchester……
The owners needed wheelchair access to both the front door and to, from and around a raised patio at the rear of the house.
It was a great pleasure to work with the clients and design the decorative steelwork to suit their taste as well as their needs.
The rails were all expertly fabricated and fitted by Luke Lister Blacksmiths of Stockport, Manchester.
Saturday 1st March 10.00am – 4.00pm
Chorlton Central Church, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester
“Roman Mosaics” masterclass with LAWRENCE PAYNE at Chorlton Central Community Centre, Chorlton, Manchester.
This workshop will cover both figural and geometric mosaics including the principles used in both forms. All the work will be done using pre cut marble and other hard stones from which you will cut shapes with nippers. (All tools provided)
The price includes all materials plus a laminated crib card of The Rules and refreshments.
Suitable for complete beginners, intermediates and those with more experience looking for expert guidance in developing their technique to a higher level. Understand the principles of how ancient Roman mosaics were designed and created, get familiar with the ‘Roman Rules’ and have a go yourself in this informative and practical session under Lawrence’s supervision.
You will learn how to speed up and maintain momentum in your approach to mosaic, at whatever level you are currently working. There’s always a lively and friendly atmosphere at these workshops too.
BOOK HERE: ROMAN MOSAIC WORKSHOP
I’ve decided to keep up with the (other) giants of commerce and have a JANUARY sale!!!
MOSAIC STEPPING STONE KITS – reduced from £34 to £28 for the whole of January!!!
There’s a new design in the collection – the Blue Tit designed by Rosalind Wigley, at 11 years old, the Special Edition SHEEP (reduced from £40 to £36 – its a larger format stepping stone) as well as the original collection that you can see here:
In addition to the pre-measured materials, equipment and detailed instructions included in the kit that make this process so accessible, you can watch a demo video on Youtube to see how the consistency of the mixes should look etc. Its great fun, as you can see from these Y2 youngsters having a go:
Also in my January sale, you can pick up any design in the collection of wall mosaic kits at the unique January price of £20!!
The current collection has 8 designs to choose from. The mosaics that you can make with them are 17cm x 17cm, which is the same format that I used to make these two mosaics:
So, what are you waiting for? NOW is the time to get started!!!!