“Creativity bursting and spilling right out of the building”
This was the concept for the new signage commissioned for the side elevation of the fabulous Bean & Brush Family Art Cafe in Sale, Greater Manchester.
To achieve it, I picked up on the existing language of the ornate forged steel coffee beanstalks that make the terrace railings so distinctive and combined this with the use of ceramic mosaic as seen in the “opus paladanium” style of the pavement ‘welcome’ mosaic outside the entrance door.
Pavement Mosaic featuring Bean & Brush logo at the entrance to the cafe, commissioned in 2011. Photo by Vincent Abbey
The new signage takes the form of coffee beanstalks growing out from a ground floor window and spreading across the building. From the stalks, beautiful hammered steel leaves and hand-cut steel words combine with mosaic features to proclaim the building’s identity in no uncertain terms.
- Photo by Vincent Abbey
I collaborated with Luke Lister blacksmiths, who fabricated all of the steel elements and installed the work for me on 16th November 2015. The design also includes ‘halo’ lighting that adds colour behind each of the largest size of hammered steel leaf and the two key mosaic features.
- Photo by Vincent Abbey
As you will have noticed, one of the beanstalk leaves is bigger than the rest and has evolved into an artist’s paint palette fabricated in ceramic mosaic. I produced this part of the signage, together with the butterfly, whose blue ‘flight path’ starts from the end of the ampersand in “Bean & Brush” and sweeps around to the front of the building, from where it appears to be just about to take off again…
- Photo by Vincent Abbey
Working on this commission was a complete delight for me. Michelle and Graham who run the Bean & Brush are the loveliest of people so I really enjoyed all the design consultation with them both. As usual, Luke Listers interpreted the designs with great skill and professionalism and made an admirable job of installing the finished work. The final thanks go to Vincent Abbey for taking these wonderful photographs of quite a challenging subject!
Two projects that I’m currently working on have been commissioned by clients that I have previously made work for. This is excellent news. Follow up projects are affirmation that your work has been well received and the client has enjoyed working with you. That’s a great foundation to build on.
detail from 2006 interpretation panels at Halton Castle
In 2006, designs for bespoke fence panels that interpret the castle’s history made in laser-cut and laser-etched stainless steel with bronze and mosaic embellishments were commissioned for Halton Castle in Runcorn. It was a great project. Three primary schools, two assistant artists and a fantastic management team that included officers from the landscape architecture department of Halton Borough Council, the HBC Arts Officer and experts from Norton priory Museum helped to steer the project to success.
In 2015, the same management team has commissioned further artist designed interpretation panels to enhance a new line of fencing that makes another area of the castle grounds safe for the visiting public. The new panels provide information relating to the panoramic views that this landmark site affords. These include the bridging point along the Mersey known as the Runcorn Gap, the city of Liverpool and more local points of interest such as St. Mary’s Church and the actual castle buildings.
Bean & Brush Signage, design drawing, 2015
Meantime, the owners of the very popular Bean & Brush family art cafe in Sale have commissioned new signage for their building. In 2011, they commissioned a pavement mosaic outside their front door to welcome people in. This mosaic, made with durable frost-resistant glazed porcelain and cast in-situ, features the cafe’s butterfly logo. The new signage has now been designed and approved and is currently being fabricated, ready for installation in the next month. The design picks up the theme of the forged steel coffee bean stalks that adorn the terrace railings and plays with the notion of creativity spilling right out of the building from its windows…
work in progress
…with butterflies and bees, forged steel leaves and splashes of colourful mosaic this signage is a commission full of fun to work on!
Y5 Creative Kids at Clarendon Primary
Talented Year 5 pupils at Clarendon Primary School in Bolton have been working with me to design a colourful, contemporary steelwork barrier for their school.
The twenty-metre long safety barrier – fabricated by Luke Lister Engineers in Stockport – is a delightful and charming feature that enhances the school building and also serves as a permanent display of the children’s vibrant works of art. The accomplished blacksmiths at Luke Listers have faithfully reproduced in forged steel a stunning representation of local wildlife from the children’s original artworks, which includes native butterflies, bees, birds, mini-beasts, plants and small animals.
Design workshops took place at school in March. The Year 5 pupils were wonderful and I was inspired by the enthusiasm and excellent feedback that the pupils responded with. They came up with so many fantastic ideas and made a great job of expressing them using the wire drawing and paper quilling techniques that I showed them to make their 3D models.
Once all the children’s artwork was ready to use, my job was to arrange it all into a design that could serve the dual function of safely protecting the children and looking wonderful.
Ready to go for galvanising
(You can see a slide show about the steelwork designs workshops on the Y5V school blog: http://www.thelifecloud.net/schools/ClarendonCPSchool/resources/RootFolder/Year5(V).blog)
Tracey Cartledge and Luke Lister Blacksmiths have worked collaboratively on a number of high quality public art projects throughout the North West.. See also Butterfinch Bridge, Marshall’s Arm and Anderton Nature Park.
photos by Vincent Abbey
Chorlton Mosaic Group
exhibition of recent work for CAF2015
We are delighted to be mounting a group exhibition of our recent work as part of CAF2015 at the fabulous Marble Beerhouse on Manchester Road, Chorlton. The exhibition opens with our preview night on Thursday 14th May and continues through to the 24th May.
As part of the fun, we will be hosting a special MOSAIC WORKSHOP for beginners on the evening of Monday 18th May. For just £5.00, you are very welcome to join us and learn to make a small mosaic of your own. Places limited to a maximum of 10 and booking essential.
Details & booking on the Tracey Cartledge Mosaics website.
Sorry – SOLD OUT!
If you were disappointed not to get a place, there are other mosaic workshops coming up at my studio and our weekly evening class in Chorlton – just check the classes & workshops page for dates and details.
This blog post is about a bespoke mosaic kit that I created for a customer to give as a 40th birthday gift to somebody who loves Battersea Power Station. You can read the email exchanges below that I exchanged with the happy recipient of the gift and see the fabulous end result. I’m sure that you will be as impressed as I am!
9th March, 2015
two years on and Battersea is finally finished just when the real one is being demolished! I thought you might like to see the final mosaic. I put the last piece in tonight. Now we just have to grout and put it up in our kitchen. I’ll send you another pic when its up in its permanent home.I have loved doing the mosaic. It has been very therapeutic. I’ll definitely have to find another relaxing pastime!Thanks for providing all the great tools and advice. I’ll send the final photo when its all complete.
Charlotte’s Finished Mosaic, March 2015
4th February, 2014
Hi Tracey, we will certainly send you pictures! This is something we’ve wanted to do for years so we’re really excited. We’ve broken the tiles and traced the drawing onto hard board so now we’re ready to place the tiles. Your tips about colour are very useful. The sky was flummoxing us! I’ll keep you posted…
4th February 2014
How lovely to hear from you! I’ve occasionally wondered how that Battersea Power Station mosaic might be progressing…!!
The colour scheme was entirely monochrome, which I thought would be most effective for the design. I’m not sure what other information you have to work with there, but you must have the full size cartoon – line template – on which to set out the pieces to make up the design.
Attached is the image in grayscale again for reference. I think the best approach would be to start by cutting or breaking up the tiles into useful sized pieces and arranging them in containers (ice cream or take-away plastic tubs are good) in order of tonal value. (lightest at one end, darkest at the other) You could give each shade a number. Then reference on your cartoon which shade to use in each area using these code numbers.
Black must be reserved for the absolute darkest parts – eg. shadows under the bridge, where the bases of the right-hand towers meet the roof etc., white only for the very brightest – eg. arches of the bridge. I think the sky should be 2-3 shades, blended into each other. Probably jasmine as the lightest with pale grey. The bulk of the station would probably work out to be medium & dark grey, I expect. (I don’t have tiles around me here in the office, so its not that easy for me to prescribe)
I hope that this helps. Also, if you’re struggling to discern between tones, you might find it helps to half close your eyes when you look at the grayscale image.
Keep in touch – I’d love to see how you progress and if you have any further questions get in touch again.
3rd February, 2014
Thank you so much for the wonderful mosaic kit for Battersea Power Station. I got it for my 40th birthday back in May and we’ve only just started doing it!
I just wondered if you could give us a steer on how you anticipated the colour scheme? We have been given 12 Jasmine, 6 black, 4 Kalahari, 6 white, 6 medium grey and 6 light grey tiles. Did you have thoughts on how we might use the colours? For example, what colour should we do the sky, the bulk of the power station, the two tones of the chimneys? Any direction you can give us would be gratefully received.
We made a mosaic table some time ago and still use it. The Battersea Power station is more of a challenge but we’re looking forward to it!
The wonderful glass mosaic signage has always added a touch of class to Manchester’s Victoria Station. The ornate lettering is made from gold smalti, a glass and gold leaf mosaic material, beautifully set against the blue surround. (although now in need of careful attention)
a few gaps to fill
Most of the ornate signage is currently obscured from view whilst refurbishment works at Victoria near completion. These photographs are a reminder of the art nouveau style, and you can see at once that these designs were most probably influenced by the contemporary work of Angelo Orsoni.
in need of some TLC
Whilst the Orsoni piece below incorporates many more shades of green and exemplifies the textural qualities attainable using hand-made smalti, the foliage in the Victoria Station designs is more flamboyant in its swirly gesture. I would imagine that having pushed the boat out to accommodate the cost of the gold smalti, a more restrained approach to the rest of the palette must have been essential to stay within budget. Of course, in aesthetic terms, the limited palette is highly effective in creating a consistency and simplicity, that today we might refer to as it’s ‘corporate identity’.
A key influence? Mosaic by Angelo Orsoni, Venetia.
We all love fire
Elegant, British designed and made spun steel fire bowls to bring some Pagan passion to all your summer parties. Now you can stay toasty warm outdoors long after the sun goes down.
Spun Steel Fire Bowl by Paul Wigley, Manchester
Our gorgeous big fire bowl creates a stylish focal point for outdoor entertaining, as well as a great source of warmth and light on chilly evenings. Designed in Manchester by my talented husband, Paul Wigley and available from my main website.