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Keeping it Fresh – CPD with Cliveden Conservation, Taplow


Background

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My journey into the fascinating world of mosaic has been, as career paths often are, determined principally by chance. Within two months of graduating with a Fine Art degree, I was delighted to be offered employment with a Manchester based environmental art organisation (Partnership Art Limited) that specialised in designing and installing works of art for public sites. Whilst there, I met artist Peter Hatton. Peter recruited me as his assistant for a project to engage with a community in Salford and produce and install a robust outdoor pavement mosaic in a local park. I loved every aspect of the work and learned the skills involved very quickly.

More opportunities followed and within five years I had installed community mosaic pavement features in various towns and parks throughout the north west, accepting commissions in my own name as a self-employed professional artist as well as working on behalf of West Yorkshire public art organisation, Chrysalis Arts. Concurrently, I collaborated with many different artists, sculptors and community groups to design, produce and install a wide variety of other types of public art, mainly for city centres and urban environments.

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Work off site for the Victoria Station Mosaic Floor Restoration, 2014.

Having especially enjoyed the mosaic medium, I went on to find training opportunities with experts across the UK and abroad to develop my abilities and know-how in a variety of mosaic techniques and applications. One of the most influential of these was the one-to-one workshop with Lawrence Payne, which provided me with a fundamental understanding of the key principles in ancient mosaics, also relevant to mosaic floors in the neo-gothic architecture of the Victorian era. So, when I was first asked to quote for the restoration of a mosaic floor, it became apparent to me that all my experience of working on construction sites to install public art combined with the mosaic skills I had gradually acquired and my active interest in mosaic conservation made this a completely natural career progression.

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In 2014, I won a substantial contract to repair the mosaic floors at Victoria Rail Station in Manchester as part of its £44m heritage restoration (featured in Grout 46) and since then I have worked more frequently in the field of mosaic conservation, learning on the job. However, without a formal education in this area of work, I decided last year that it was time to acquire some proper training with the nation’s leading experts. So, I approached both Cliveden Conservation and The Mosaic Restoration Company to ask about a potential work placement. They both responded with an enthusiastic ‘yes’.

Summer Placement with Cliveden Conservation 2019

Cliveden Conservation was established in 1982, originally “for the preservation of the National Trust Buildings and Statuary”. Since then it has grown into a bigger operation with three workshops, specialising in the conservation of both external and internal architectural features, historic objects, monuments and statuary. At the time of my application to them, a significant mosaic floor conservation project for a royal property in London was already underway in their Taplow workshop. Cliveden extended a warm welcome for me to join the mosaic team and I was successful in receiving a bursary to cover the cost of the placement from the York Foundation for Conservation and Craftsmanship.

Prior to my arrival in August 2019, the mosaic floor had been painstakingly lifted from its site and was now being stored on purpose built storage racks within the mosaic conservation workspace. The stage of work in progress involved the removal of the cambric and foam-board facing materials, the cleaning and fixing of missing and displaced tesserae followed by grouting, on a section by section basis.

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Sections of the mosaic floor stored during conservation work, Cliveden Conservation, Taplow, Berkshire. Photo Tracey Cartledge

During my two weeks with Cliveden, the project manager, Ben Roberts, provided a slideshow presentation to illustrate and explain the stages of the project that had been carried out before I joined the team. The mosaic had been discovered during structural investigations to explore the source of water ingress from the porte-cochère of the building in question in 2017.

The mosaic floor was hidden between the upper layers of modern resin asphalt and concrete and the screed beneath. Another company – DBR Conservation – carried out a series of trials, surveys and investigations to inform a report that summarised findings and put forward recommendations and a schedule of works was drawn up for pricing. Based on their proposed methodology, schedule and quotation, Cliveden was the successful recipient of the contract.

The team arrived on site in August 2018 with spades and began popping off the asphalt top layer. Pneumatic hammer drills were required to break out the thick course of concrete below the asphalt which was very tough work, by all accounts. Finally, the cement residue was chipped off to reveal a most stunning marble mosaic.

The square central panel, made up of black and white marble tesserae, depicts Neptune holding a trident in his right hand and a baby dolphin in the left, surrounded by four larger dolphins, positioned diagonally across each corner. A large field of Bianco Carrara tesserae, interspersed with short wavy lines of Nero Assoluto surrounds the central panel filling the rest of the floor, framed by a geometric border incorporating a black (Nero Assoluto) and yellow (Giallo Siena Intenso) guilloche. Outside the border is a wide band of random mix Giallo, Siena Intenso and a veined and varied grey marble. Finally, in a couple of places along the perimeter, there are door threshold panels featuring a red marble – possibly Rosso Alicante.

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Photograph showing the border of the mosaic floor and adjacent door threshold panel (right), courtesy of Cliveden Conservation.

Removing the mosaic from site was a formidable operation carried out under the supervision of Historic England. First, two separate reference grids were made: a grid of wavy lines to indicate the cut lines for lifting and a grid of straight lines for the photo documentation. Each section was photographed from above. Then Dremel tools were used to cut out all the tesserae along the wavy seamlines of the cutting grid, creating panels approximately 600mm x 600mm. The loose tesserae were labelled (using tippex) and stored carefully for later in labelled tubs. All the outer panels, having been faced with cambric and foam board, were then lifted using slate rippers, one by one, until only the central dolphin panel remained.

There was harder mortar and brick rubble beneath the centre section of mosaic floor. Following discussions with a structural engineer, it was decided that this should all be lifted in one piece and the team improvised an elaborate plan to achieve this. A specialist drilling company was brought in to drill laterally beneath the central mosaic area with core drills. Fourteen cores were left in place to form a rig to support the floor as it was subsequently lifted using a block and tackle at each corner. It must have been an amazing moment when the whole of this mosaic floor centre was successfully raised up and then fitted into its purpose-built crate for transportation.

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In the workshop, I met the team of conservators working systematically on the sections of mosaic floor, starting with Adrian, who was busy removing the foam-board and cambric facing from the surface of each section. I was involved in the next part of the process, repairing the panels, overseen by Amelia. The first panel that I was presented with had a series of spaces where tesserae were missing. The preparation involved chiselling out the lime mortar in these spaces to a suitable depth right up to the adjacent mosaic pieces followed by fastidious cleaning and sorting of the salvaged tesserae. The mortar bed had to be kept damp all the time so that freshly mixed mortar would make a good bond with it.

Replacing the detatched tesserae

The prepared area ready for detatched tesserae to be reinstated

Unsurprisingly, the chiselling of the mortar prompted further tesserae to loosen, so that the spaces to be filled kept growing. When the preparation work was finally complete, I began recreating the missing areas of mosaic using a combination of salvaged tesserae as far as possible and newly cut stone when required. All this work was documented and the time spent carefully recorded.

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We used a hammer and hardie for cutting lengths of sawn new stone down to size. The hardie was a bench top version, unlike the hardies I have used previously. Following Amelia’s advice, I had taken a good selection of small hand tools with me, which included side-biters for further trimming the tesserae and painter’s palette knives that were perfect for mixing and applying small quantities of mortar. We used a specialist mortar “Adhere Cal” by SecilTek, formulated exclusively from natural hydraulic lime for the restoration industry. I had a set of wax modelling tools with me that proved useful as ‘nudging sticks’. On-the-spot improvisations, such as making paper templates and creating curved mini retainer walls out of foam-board, held temporarily in position with clay, created helpful solutions within the fixing process.

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Closing the gap

Steady Progress

In total, I repaired three mosaic panels during my two-week placement. The days were blissful in the summer light, beginning at 7.30am and usually finishing around 5.00pm. During the two weeks, different people worked alongside me and on some days, I was working alone, due to the variety of other commitments the conservators on the mosaic team were involved with. There was ample free time outside our hours in the workshop to find out about other interesting projects going on at Cliveden and to check out the Anthony Caro open air exhibition in the grounds of the neighbouring Cliveden House (National Trust) property.

The most significant benefit of this placement was to see at first hand the approach taken in this type of mosaic floor conservation project from the beginning almost through to completion. I gained a clear insight into Cliveden’s techniques for lifting a large mosaic floor in sections and transporting it to their workshop, operating within a specific set of constraints. The hands-on work that I assisted with in the workshop brought new experiences such as working with hydraulic lime mortar and keeping a constant record of time spent on every task. This is important for evaluation purposes, monitoring costs and providing useful information when quoting for future projects.

In my next post I will report on my second work placement of summer 2019, working with The Mosaic Restoration Company.

Dynamic Mosaic


The Vogeltreppe Mosaic Project, Pirmasens, Germany 2019

The pure energy, excitement and ambition of her ground-breaking projects made an enormous impression on the audience of the BAMM Forum in 2013 when many of us met Isidora Paz Lopez for the first time. Her presentation, showing the extraordinary scale of public art projects that she had recently spearheaded in Chile, had an immediate impact and many of us were ready to rush out to join her at the first possible opportunity.

In 2014, a handful of UK BAMM members keenly accepted Isidora’s invitation to take part in “The First International Urban Mosaic Intervention.” This project involved a total of eighty artists travelling from twenty two countries, together with twenty local artists, and took place in the beautiful town of Puente Alto in the south of Santiago, Chile. Each artist created their own section of a long “Magic Garden” mosaic mural that breathed new life into the façade of the town hall building that it was directly installed onto.

Fly forward to 2019. Isidora has relocated from South America to live with her German husband and family close to Pirmasens, a town traditionally associated with Germany’s shoe industry. The town is economically depressed but Isidora is ready to launch her public art business locally with a project that has the potential to act as a catalyst for regeneration. Successful negotiations with the municipality of Pirmasens lead to the commissioning of the “Vogeltreppe Mosaic”. Not so big compared to Isidora’s previous commissions but at a scale and budget that the authorities are comfortable to start out with.

The site for the Vogeltreppe mosaic. Photo by Tracey Cartledge

The title of the project, “Vogeltreppe”, refers to the theme of birds and the site for the mosaic: an external concrete and steel stairwell, literally “Bird Stairs”. Pirmasens sits in a valley with streets at different levels, so hills and staircases appear frequently. Isidora announced the project to her friends, fans and Facebook followers in autumn, 2018. She invited artists to join two teams for stages of mosaic production taking place in February (Team Alpha) and March (Team Omega), 2019. There was also an invitation to make a native bird in mosaic on mesh and send it to her for inclusion in the mosaic. Some artists did both. In no time at all, a contingent of chirpy, colourful characters was winging its way to Pirmasens from all corners of the globe. More than one hundred birds have now safely landed ready to take up their position on the mosaic staircase.

BAMM members in Team Alpha taking part in the Vogeltreppe Mosaic Project in Pirmasens: Katy Galbraith, Isidora Paz Lopez, Tracey Cartledge and Jan Johnson. Photo by Cinzia Venturini.

Katy Galbraith, Jan Johnson and I were the three BAMM artists from the UK who ventured to Pirmasens to be part of Team Alpha. We arrived in the town ready to begin work on the morning of Tuesday 4th February, making our way to the workspace inside the Dynamikum building for a 10.00 am start. Having travelled on an icy cold evening, trudging through snow the night before, it was an absolute delight to be welcomed on our walk to work with glorious sunshine. Best foot forward, as we entered the former shoe factory building that now offers an interactive science museum experience with the key topic “motion”. Aptly enough.

Dynamikum Building, Pirmasens. Photo by Tracey Cartledge

Our week began with an introduction to the project, a brief introduction from each of us to the rest of the group followed by the presentation of gifts: a fabulous green Vogeltreppe work apron and a pair of ‘Brutus’ compound nippers – both practical and desirable. Enthused, we then set to work.

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Cartoons for the Vogeltreppe Mosaic by Isidora Paz Lopez. Photo by Isidora Paz Lopez.

Large sections of the design were set out on table tops, covered with plastic sheeting and mesh. The core team, who had been working and preparing for two weeks in advance of our arrival, were on hand to guide us with the colour scheme and instructions for each panel. Amazingly, she explained to us, Isidora carries the whole design in her head and draws out the cartoons at full scale by hand. That surprised many of us but we understood her logic for being able to see the final size of the smallest details to ascertain at the outset that they could be achieved in the mosaic medium.

Tracey Cartledge at work. Photo by Katy Galbraith

The meticulous approach to realising this beautiful design will contribute decidedly to its finished elegance. Isidora stressed that we should take our time to make each part of the mosaic accurately and neatly in preference to completing areas quickly. She supervised our work with a keen eye and a collaborative spirit, ready to allow artistic freedom but intent on ensuring that her overall vision was achieved and, to this ends, made quality control interventions as required.

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Artist Isidora Paz Lopez, making an important assessment about the mosaic work. Photo by Cinzia Venturini

Isidora was constantly re-assessing all aspects of the work: colour combinations, the direction of the light, the shape and style of cuts within every element in the composition. Isidora is an exceptionally skilled project manager who manages to keep her attention simultaneously on the tiniest of details and the ‘bigger picture’, as well as being an accomplished mosaicist.

Detail of flowers. Photo by Katy Galbraith

During the next few days locals responded to fast spreading news about the project that encouraged them to pop in to visit. Happy with the warm, friendly welcome that they received, quite a few were inspired to stay and work alongside us. On the Wednesday, Team Alpha was booked for a complimentary two-hour session to explore the Dynamikum’s science museum and on the Thursday, we had a day trip to a Villeroy & Boch showroom and on to their museum and factory outlet. Work continued the next day and then in the evening we were special guests at the private view of a new exhibition of work by Salvador Dali at the Arts & Culture Centre. The Mayor and town officials of Pirmasens were delighted to receive an international delegation of artists and we received VIP treatment: a champagne reception and a shower of gifts and keepsakes to show their appreciation.

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Lisa Kline (USA) and Gordana Hajdin (Serbia) delighted wih some of the gifts received.

Shannon McEvoy and Sivan Ravid, Team Alpha. Photo by Tracey Cartledge

Fifty-two artists from twenty-one countries will have contributed to the Vogeltreppe Mosaic by the time that work is complete. In the workroom, you could mostly hear conversations in French, Spanish, German, English and Hebrew and yet none of these languages were the mother tongue of some of the artists amongst us. Gordana had travelled from Serbia to join the project – the first time she had ventured out of her country for twenty years. As an art teacher and a devoted member of her own neighbourhood in Belgrade, she has discovered the positive power of mosaic to bring together and heal communities that have faced difficult social challenges, with its mindful and therapeutic capabilities. This was echoed in the projects that Dalia Grossman presented to us, where she had brought Arabic and Jewish communities together, uniting them in their shared efforts to create public art mosaics and attempt to create a sense of harmony in Israel. Both participants had also overcome personal obstacles to get themselves to Pirmasens for the project in terms of health and opportunity.

Detail, ferns. Photo by Tracey Cartledge

On the first day Isidora made a pertinent comment about the value of the project. She said that it would be much more about the interactions we would have connecting with each other than it was about the work produced. She was spot on. We all left the previously unknown town of Pirmasens enriched and re-energised not so much by what we did but by the depth of friendship, laughter and love that we shared and enjoyed throughout the week. This was the true value of taking part in the Vogeltreppe Project.

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Tracey with new friends and flags (in background) of all nations represented by contributing international mosaic artists. Photo by Cinzia Venturini

 

New Studio Workshops


After some searching, the artists and makers of Last Loft Studios have found new premises. We have teamed up with Cornbrook Creative and one or two other makers to form the new studio group Cakebread Studios.

Our space is located between Ardwick Green and the Mancunian Way in a lovely little corner of Manchester that is proving very practical to commute to, despite the current roadworks that are making traffic horrendous in most parts of the city.

We will be inviting guests to join us at Cakebread for Christmas drinks in December but if you’d like to say hello before that, do pop in. You may like to book yourself onto one of these mosaic workshops and spend a full creative day with me learning a new skill or improving on skills you have already.

Studio Workshops 2018/2019:

NEW SPRING DATES NOW PUBLISHED HERE

November – Saturday 10th November, 2018. 10.00am – 4.00pm
“Introduction to Mosaic”

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Cakebread Studios, Cakebread Street, Ardwick, Manchester M12 6HF
Price £85.00
Price includes materials, refreshments and take home gift bag. Limited to 5 places. All tools provided.
Book your place HERE If you need further details or have any questions about the workshop, please do not hesitate to get in touch: traceycartledgemosaics@gmail.com

 

December – Saturday 1st December, 2018. 10.00am – 4.00pm
“Glass Appliqué Mosaic”

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Cakebread Studios, Cakebread Street, Ardwick, Manchester M12 6HF
Price £95.00
Price includes materials, refreshments and take home gift bag. Limited to 5 places. All tools provided.
Book your place HERE If you need further details or have any questions about the workshop, please do not hesitate to get in touch: traceycartledgemosaics@gmail.com

 

January – Saturday, 26th January 2019. 10.00am – 2.00pm
“Mosaic Stepping Stones”

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Cakebread Studios, Cakebread Street, Ardwick, Manchester M12 6HF
Price £65.00
Price includes materials, refreshments. Limited to 5 places. All tools provided.
Book your place HERE If you need further details or have any questions about the workshop, please do not hesitate to get in touch: traceycartledgemosaics@gmail.com

 

March – Saturday 2nd March, 2019. 10.00am – 4.00pm
“Introduction to Mosaic”

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Cakebread Studios, Cakebread Street, Ardwick, Manchester M12 6HF
Price £85.00
Price includes materials, refreshments and take home gift bag. Limited to 5 places. All tools provided.
Book your place HERE If you need further details or have any questions about the workshop, please do not hesitate to get in touch: traceycartledgemosaics@gmail.com

 

 

On Our Doorstep


 

There is so much craftsmanship to be admired in the details of  Manchester’s amazing architecture. Have you noticed how many Victorian mosaic floors and thresholds we have in the city centre?

Manchester’s neo-gothic Town Hall has been in the news this week and, just like Buckingham Palace, we’re told that it needs ‘future-proofing’ to ensure its structural integrity. It has an abundance of stained glass leaded windows sagging under their own weight; fairy castle sweeping spiral staircases of stone leading you from one opus sectile marble floor to another featuring, of course, the iconic worker bee and cotton flower motifs in marble mosaic.

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Library Walk Mosaic Floor by J W Restoration, 2015

In 2015, J W Restoration were commissioned to replicate the cotton flower mosaics for a new floor in Library Walk, which runs between the Town Hall extension and Central Library.

Step out into Albert Square and there are more mosaic details within a few short steps of you. Across on the corner of Lloyd Street and South Mill Street, the circular portico at the entrance to what is now Red’s True Barbecue Restaurant has a fine example.

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Portico Mosaic Floor at the entrance to Red’s True Barbecue, Manchester

Over at the other side of the square at 14 Princess Street is the Northern Assurance Buildings. Here you can see a large – more than five square metres – threshold mosaic of a similar age, made using the same traditional method and materials. The mosaic material is unglazed porcelain. Just like the floors that I repaired at Victoria Station a couple of years ago and a more recent restoration in the Royal Exchange Shopping Arcade.

img_4221Restoration of the Philip Morris & Co threshold mosaic in Manchester Royal Exchange Shopping Arcade by Tracey Cartledge, 2016

Over on Rochdale Road, one of my favourite pubs and former home to the cellar brewery of Marbe Beers, is the Marble Arch pub, well known for its sloping floor. Last Christmas, the Chorlton Mosaic Group was invited to put up an exhibition in the pub’s back room. Below you can see the progress on my “Piece of the Marble”, copied from the pub floor, with a few minor colour modifications. This was purchased by the brewery and now lives on their office wall.

well-crafted“A Piece of the Marble” 2015 (in progress) and “Well Crafted” 2016 by Tracey Cartledge

Just like “Well Crafted”, again made in unglazed porcelain, making mosaics like this is great practice for commissioned threshold mosaics like the one below that transformed the entrance to Pettigrew Bakeries in Cardiff.

Pettigrew Bakeries, Cardiff, commissioned threshold mosaic by Tracey Cartledge, 2016

Whilst it has been difficult to research and confirm, I suspect that many of the above and other Manchester period architectural mosaics were the work of the Oppenheimer family business that was founded in 1865 and thrived in Old Trafford until the mid twentieth century.

Studio Workshops – Sign Up!!


New Dates for Summer 2016

If you’re fascinated by mosaics and would like to learn the basics, coming to one of my studio workshops is the ideal way to get started. The creative process is absorbing and therapeutic. The feedback from previous workshops has been very positive and enthusiastic.

Here are the dates and links to my main website, where you can book your place securely:

WORKSHOPS

Through the Looking Glass, Adventures in Mosaic Glass Appliqué


We love receiving visitors at Last Loft Studios in Manchester. It is an opportunity to share the fondness we have for our working environment at Talbot Mill and our respect, admiration and affection for our fellow artisans.

Even better are the occasions when visitors attend a weekend workshop to spend a joyful day with us exploring creative possibilities using the techniques that we can teach and share.

This Saturday, we had the pleasure to welcome five wonderful women into our studios, each bringing their own talents, experience and ideas to the table as we worked together to make glass-on-glass mosaic mandalas.

Caroline Channing – our resident glass expert – kicked off the day to a fine start with a meticulous demonstration of glass cutting techniques and a clear explanation of which tools to use for each purpose and how and why each specific method works. The group then practised and fairly quickly mastered the basic skills required for the day ahead.

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Test piece by Deborah Pitman, photo by Deb Pitman

Each participant made a small test piece that was grouted and finished before the day ended. They went on to create their circular mandala using their newly acquired knowledge. We think the results are stunning…

 

 

 

Brushes, Beans, Bees & Butterflies


“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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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Photo by Vincent Abbey

Working on this commission was a complete delight for me. Michelle and Graham, who run the Bean & Brush, are lovely people with plenty of drive, vision and faith so the design consultation with them was lively, productive and enjoyable. 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!

 

 

Invited Back


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

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

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

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!

Creativity Blossoms at Clarendon


Y5 Creative Kids at Clarendon Primary

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.

bird, CLARENDON Blossom

exotic flower

fox CLARENDON caterpillar CLARENDON robin tree CLARENDON

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

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.

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photos by Vincent Abbey

Time for the Beer Goggles


Chorlton Mosaic Group  exhibition of recent work for CAF2015

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.