Tag Archives: outdoor mosaic

Mosaic Commission for John Rylands’ Back Garden


In another time, not so very long ago, I might have been directly commissioned by the philanthropist and much revered Mancunian entrepreneur of the industrial age, John Rylands and his discerning wife, Enriqueta, to produce a work of art for their home, Longford Hall, or the extensive gardens, known today as Longford Park. They remodelled their Stretford residence, complete with conservatories and formal gardens, taking Chatsworth as their inspiration.

Longford Hall in the 1920s, courtesy of Friends of Longford Park

Longford Hall in the 1920s, courtesy of Friends of Longford Park

Enriqueta was uncompromising in her dedication for commissioning the finest artisans and personally checking each and every bespoke detail of the exquisite John Rylands library (a tribute to her late husband following his death in 1888) After her own death in 1908, however, there was nobody willing or wealthy enough to buy the family estate and its future looked uncertain.

Longford Hall, 1977

Longford Hall, 1977

Thankfully, a determined group of community leaders persuaded the council to purchase it (at a cost of £14,500.00) and create a “People’s Park”, which officially opened in 1912. This was an appropriate solution and would doubtless have met with the Rylands’ approval. Their personal wealth had already provided the people of Stretford with a town hall, a public baths, a church, homes for elderly women and a coffee house. (see more here)

All that remains of Longford Hall today is the portico and garden that maps out the former floor plan

All that remains of Longford Hall today is the portico and behind it gardens that map out the former floor plan

One hundred years on and still the community – led by the Friends of Longford Park – is working hard to maintain the People’s Park. Despite unfathomable setbacks, not least the hall being closed for repairs in 1983, subsequently neglected and eventually demolished in 1995, the park is as popular as ever and this was evident as the centenary celebrations unfolded throughout 2012.

As a permanent commemoration of the park’s first 100 years, the Friends are putting funds raised during the centenary events into the commissioning of two mosaic features that will celebrate the People’s Park. I am honoured to have received this prestigious commission and I hope that the resulting work will assume a place in the hearts of future park users as well as being worthy of their precedents.

Design Workshops, St. Hilda's, Stretford, Manchester

Design Workshops, St. Hilda’s, Stretford, Manchester

schhol feb 011

Year 5 pupils from nearby St. Hilda’s Church of England Primary School have worked hard with me to explore the park’s history and its current use and suggest suitable images for inclusion in the design of the mosaic features. Their enthusiasm, ideas and creative input have formed an invaluable contribution to the design process and I look forward to sharing the approved final design with them very soon.

Once approved, the sections of the first mosaic will be created at my Manchester studio and installed at the park later this spring beneath one of the supporting colonnades of the refurbished shelters at the back of the formal gardens.

Make a Mosaic Stepping Stone with us on May 26th!!


If you watched any of those programmes in the series ‘Love Your Garden’ with old Alan Titchmarsh or if you’re a fan of Kirties Allsopp’s ‘Homemade Home’ you might have seen beautiful mosaics creating a focal point in various gorgeous gardens. Did you fancy having a go yourself? Didn’t get round to it? Well, opportunity is here knocking on your door – come and join us at Hulme Community Garden Centre on 26th and make one under expert supervision – you’ll even get a FREE GIFT mosaic kit to take home with you as well!!!

The workshop starts at 10.00am in the Straw Bail classroom – I believe that it is the first of its type in Manchester but please correct me if you know otherwise! We’ll spend some time working out the design for your mosaic inlay and then you’ll get to work creating the mosaic on a template. Plenty of help will be given at every stage, so don’t worry if you are a complete beginner, you won’t be alone. The frost resistant cinch tiles come in a fabulous range of colours, so you will have plenty of choice for your design.

Once your mosaic design is complete, you will mix concrete and mortar and use these mixes to cast your stepping stone, complete with your mosaic inlay. Its great fun – just like making mud pies except with permanent and more beautiful results!! These stepping stones are wonderfully durable and will last for many decades in your garden. All the equipment will be there for you. People always work at different speeds with mosaic so if you like to take your time and spend the full session on this project, you can do. Nobody will rush you. If, however, you’re a speedy worker there will be a bonus opportunity to try out a few other mosaic techniques too.

Each participant attending this workshop will also receive a gift to take home. To help keep up your new skills, you’ll be given a funky little mosaic fridge magnet kit that you can complete at your leisure. They make great gifts for friends’ birthdays….

The price of the workshop is £84.00, inclusive of all materials and regular refreshments. Online booking is easy, just follow this link: BOOK WORKSHOP NOW

For more information and a booking form, please e-mail me as soon as possible at tracey.cartledge@o2.co.uk or phone me on 0161 860 0387. Places are limited!!

Sign up for Spring Mosaic Workshops in Manchester and Cheshire


The Workshop programme will soon be starting so now is the time to choose and get your name on the list for one of the exciting days ahead:

  • May 19th/20th MOSAIC MASTERPIECES at Norton Priory
  • May 26th MOSAIC GARDEN STEPPING STONES at Hulme Community Garden Centre
  • June 9th POTTY MOSAICS FOR PLANTS at Hulme Community Garden Centre
  • June 23rd/24th MOSAIC MASTERPIECES at Norton Priory
  • June/July MOSAIC TABLES at Chorlton Central Church
  • July 14th/15th INSPIRED BY OUR ANCESTORS at Victoria Baths

GARDEN STEPPING STONES, May 26th

You’ll get to make a mosaic stepping stone for your garden similar to this one:

Dragonfly Mosaic Stepping Stone being cast in the plastic mould

see: http://www.traceycartledge.co.uk/products/157

MOSAIC MASTERPIECES, May 19th/20th & June 23rd/24th

You’ll get to make an outdoor mosaic wall panel similar to this one:

outdoor mosaic panel

see http://www.traceycartledge.co.uk/products/155

POTTY MOSAICS FOR PLANTS, June 9th

You’ll get to make a mosaic plant pot, possibly like this one:

Mosaic Flower pot featuring daisy motif

see http://www.traceycartledge.co.uk/products/159

 

School Mosaic Projects, Spring 2012


February Half Term saw the installation of our project “Story Telling Stepping Stones” along the nursery path adjacent to playground 2 and the playing fields at Chorlton Church of England Primary School.

Laying the "surround", photo by Matilda Wigley

The whole school was involved in the project, helping to devise ideas during the “Novel Ideas” workshop, as part of the literacy themed Super Learning Day. We wanted to make a game in the path that could be used to create stories with so children from all year groups dreamed up a series of characters, locations and significant objects and produced images of them in collage mosaic.

Tortoise Stepping Stone

Later, during workshops with Year 3 who had been learning about the ancient mosaics of The Romans, 15 images were settled on to be depicted in permanent mosaic for the path. The class worked in pairs to produce the images using Cinca frost resistant ceramic tile pieces on templates. With help from small team of dedicated parent volunteers, the class enjoyed brandishing trowels and setting their mosaic designs into concrete stepping stones. They worked very carefully, paying close attention to the demonstrations and instructions given and picking up some great skills in the process.

Setting in the pebbles

The stepping stones were left in the school basement to fully cure until a date for installation was arranged in the half term holiday. Don’t they look fantastic? The Year 3 class is very proud of their colourful contribution to the school’s lively and varied outdoor environment and are happy in the knowledge that this will be a lasting legacy of their time at Chorlton C E Primary.

 

 

The finished Mosaic Panel on the Wall at the Front of the School

More recently, I have been working with children at Brookacre Community Primary School in Warrington to produce a mosaic mural for the outside of the school building. Here, too, Year 3 took the lead – they designed the 2 metre high x 1.5 metre wide panel with me and then the rest of the school came out to in groups to work on the mosaic. The weather was so good, we did the whole job outdoors – in March!!

 

Step into a Colourful Story


Year 3 have created a new game for the whole school to enjoy along the nursery path: a story telling game made in mosaic!!

freshly installed this half term

Each mosaic square features one of the circular stepping stones made by Y3, working in pairs. There are 15 in total. They designed images of characters, objects and locations for the Story Telling path that other children can weave into new stories each time they play, as they leap from one square to another. Featured images include a castle; a beanstalk; a vortex (through which you might leap into a new dimension); a blood-stained dagger; a cute dog; a bolt of lightening and more…..

The children made up the designs on templates and then worked in small groups with me and Luke – who was chief cement mixer for the day – to cast them into concrete down in the school basement. It was like one big mud pie bakery down there, except the mud pies were masterpieces that set to perfection….

More images of the project and full report coming soon…..

The Wise and The Prickly


Children from St. Helen’s joined me for a mosaic workshop in the recent October half term to design stepping stones that will form a trail up to the amazing Dream sculpture at Sutton Manor.

The mosaic designs reflect and celebrate local wildlife, including the owl and the hedgehog, and the area’s mining heritage.

Following this, we’ve just finished making a wonderful set of  ‘STORY-TELLING’ Mosaic Stepping Stones for a path between two playgrounds at Chorlton C of E Primary…..more on that very soon!!