“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!
How exciting…our first group exhibition just going up at Victoria Baths and then we get this news…..our whole group has received huge praise and one of our gang, Vicky, is the regional winner!!!
This is Vicky’s winning entry – “Fun Train’. She created it specifically for the hearth in the new baby’s nursery, which she just about managed to complete – along with various other amazing projects – before little Ben arrived on the scene. The Chorlton Mosaic Group is so proud of Vicky and delighted for her. Everybody else is also thrilled with the wonderful feedback received for each of their submitted pieces.
The judge of the regional portfolios, David Tuhill, who has taught at various art colleges including the Royal College of Art praised the group’s submission, writing ”Each of the pieces submitted for this award show great skill and creativity and it is certainly one of the best packs of work I have seen this year; it was really difficult to choose just one winner.”
It has been a busy day for news on this blog (!) but despite that, I couldn’t possibly wait until tomorrow to share some photos of the completed mosaic pavement signage that I’ve created for Bean & Brush Family Art Cafe in Sale.
Welcome to the Bean & Brush
The Bean & Brush Cafe is a new venture by the same team that runs Laser Quest at the Trafford Centre and is set to be a great family destination for creative activity and chilling out on the week-end. It opens next Monday 2nd May.
I put the mosaic in yesterday, surrounded by all sorts of busy people completing all sorts of tasks in preparation for Monday’s launch. It felt like being on the set of one of those DIY programmes – 60 minute make-over?!!!
This is the bespoke balcony mosaic floor that I have just finished making in the studio. It is a private commission and the design was evolved through conversations and the exchange of sketch design ideas and feedback with the client. As the piece gradually took shape, I texted photos to keep the client up to date with work in progress and check that they were still happy with the design.
Glorious sunshine, cool fresh breeze – we couldn’t have wished for more conducive weather as we set about installing the fabulous new mosaic at Dearne Valley Park on Monday.
The mosaic has been a massive achievement for the young people who put their time and effort into producing drawings and creating the panels prior to installation. A number of them came down to site on Monday afternoon to see their mosaic masterpiece in its permanent new position at a key entrance to the nature park.
The young people put together their drawings, depicting life at Dearne Valley Park and they were sent to me at the studio, together with dimensions and a basic idea of format for the overall design. From this, I created a bespoke community mosaic kit, together with the design and full scale templates.
I was invited to take part in a full day of workshops at the Ozone centre at Barnsley Football Ground where we had a very jolly and highly productive day making up the panels. See earlier post for details
I’ve put together lots of kits for people to make mosaics and I’ve worked on projects with many community groups to create mosaic features for parks and recreational spaces. Here’s a new one, though. I’ve been commissioned for the first time to produce a kit for a community to make their own mosaic for the local park.
Young people in Barnsley have been busy producing lovely drawings of everything that makes Dearne Valley Park special, supported by local youth leaders. They have researched the wildlife and woodlands, the activities enjoyed there by the public and the history of the site to pull together a collection of images for the mosaic.
All the drawings were brought across to the studio, together with a simple plan for the overall format that the officers from Barnsley Council provided. The mosaic feature will replace a previous mosaic that fell into such poor repair that it could not be salvaged.
The new design is for a large rectangular feature, divided into sections that illustrate the themes mentioned above.
The selected colours correspond to the pallette available in the frost resistant tile range that I use for outdoor mosaic, matched as closely as possible to the artwork supplied to me for inclusion in the design. The overall size of the mosaic will be 6 feet square, that’s just under two metres by two metres. The kit has been made up in sections so that it is very flexible for different groups to work separately or together or at different times. It includes full size templates, all the tile pieces, full instructions and brown paper and paste to hold the mosaic together in sections prior to installation at the park. It will be cast in situ. It is now all boxed up ready and will go to Barnsley on 12th March.
and here’s what the judges had to say about our entry(See earlier post for more detail):
The third prize; ‘Green Day’. was made at Chorlton C of E Primary School, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester with artist Tracey Cartledge. ‘Another lovely triptych with a bold simple design, this mosaic has great vibrancy and beautiful colour variation. A wonderful use of the ‘crazy paving technique’ which still manages to hold the detail’.