I’m starting a new commission, a Garden Guardian of a goldfinch to complement a recent stone wall and pathway we built.
I sketch ideas on paper but eventually make a final draft in the computer using Adobe Illustrator. It is really easy to scale thing up and down in that program, meaning I don’t have to completely redraw it if I decide I want it a half inch larger.
I usually trace the inside of the pattern for an inlay- the negative space. This time I went to the outside of the pattern piece itself, because I wanted it fractionally larger than I drew it.
I have to cut the opening for the inlay first, before I start the stone mosaic. That way, if I make any mistakes- and I often do, going beyond the lines- I can adjust my paper templates before I cut the inlay pieces. This is as far as I can go with the grinders. Next step will be to finish the stock removal with chisels. I aim for a half inch of depth. More is okay, less is not. I need enough room for the stone, usually about 3/8″, plus thinset tile mortar.