Relief Elements in Mosaic Design

Relief components of the next mosaic: a scallop shell and a fish that project out of the wall.

We are working on the next mosaic for the Norfolk schools. This one features a coastal theme and numerous sea creatures. On a previous mosaic I experimented with relief elements, parts of the mosaic that projected forward off the flat plane of the wall. I really liked the way it came out and am revisiting that idea in this mosaic. So far I have three elements that I ‘sculpted’ in relief: two scallop shells and a fish. All three were made from scrap counter top material, which is typically 3 centimeters thick. Most of the work I did was with a diamond blade on the angle grinder and then running through the polishing pads to get the shine back. It’s kind of fun, at least working small on relatively primitive designs like this. I have no sculpting acumen, so it takes me a minute to wrap my head around how to get the right shape without taking away too much material. I think it’s a nice addition to the mosaics; it enhances the tactile qualities of the mosaic and encourages the students to touch the piece to interact with it.

A stone scallop shell sculpted in relief to project out of the next mosaic.

The template and finished piece of a stone fish made in relief to project out of the next mosaic.