2016, diameter 240 mm, on a Jason placemat, tesserae and adhesive: Beswick and other china; Fuller’s Easy Tile latex multipurpose adhesive. I chose this photograph, which was taken before the piece was grouted, as it was the first time I had attempted a classical-style image. A friend had broken a Beswick vase (the green) and had supplied most of the rest of the china. The only pieces not from her form the solid strip sections on the rim; these came from a plate my maternal Grandmother was given as a Christmas giveaway by a grocery store in Ohakune sometime in the 1940s. I like this piece because it demonstrates the double-hit one gets from picassiette mosaics: an enduring work created for a friend, which holds memories for both of us.
Beloved Bowls ‘n Mugs Memory Ball
2018, circumference 76 mm, on acrylic ten pin bowling ball, tesserae and adhesive: mostly New Zealand pottery mugs and bowls; thinset. A friend challenged me to be a bit freer with placing my tesserae. I did one “freedom” ball which contained a few blue pieces and then realised just how many damaged pieces I had from our collection of New Zealand pottery, so did another mostly blue ball.
A Pelagic Pair
2017, 510 mm x 360 mm, cement board, tesserae and adhesive: stoneware and porcelain tiles; thinset. The Mangaweka Fakes and Forgeries exhibition was the reason for creating this piece. A poster hanging in my workroom has multiple images from Gaudi’s Parc Guell in Barcelona; one shows this pair of fish. Reproducing the tesserae for the background was a real challenge: one wrong angle and everything was off. It soon became evident that, were I to replicate each tesserae of the background, the work would never be done in time, so I abandoned the attempt as the tiles approached the frame.
2017, 300 mm x 200mm, on Kaisercraft shape (from Spotlight), tesserae and adhesive: china oddments; Fuller’s Easy Tile latex multipurpose adhesive. Although I had made around 20 of these key-holders (or jewellery/scarf hangers) until this one it had never occurred to me to centre motifs around the hooks: I had been placing images between them. I liked the effect and have made several variations since, including a couple of commissions. My sister needed a bright little ‘something more’ in her spare room so I created this, using colours to match a painting in the room. These are great little gifts: I love finding the right china and thinking of images that match the recipient. No two are the same and they are good for returning a beloved but broken piece of crockery in a new and enduring form to a donor who expected nothing in return. Beth Braddock
I’ve been making small mosaics, using picassiette and the direct method, for about 10 years. I love the way light is reflected from the varying surfaces broken crockery provides, and how the unpredictability of breaks makes it necessary to be creative. I mostly make small items, like keyholders, placemats and pavers, for family and friends. I like to use china that the person has given me, and I prefer to customize the mosaic to suit what I know of the recipient. Since retiring, I have invited a few people to work on their projects alongside me in my small workroom. I am mostly self-taught, although I did a night class many years ago and one year ago spent a wonderful week with Con Kiernan learning to cut glass, build up shapes and be precise.
Location: Plimmerton, Porirua City