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1  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Re: Bob Dylan Mosaic on: April 21, 2006 09:23:37 AM
I don't think you can get 3/4" vitreous glass tile at home depot (and if you can I bet they are somewhat limited in colors), though that is where I buy the MDF.  I bought a bunch of 1/4" MDF that was already cut down to 2x4 foot sheets.
The tile I buy online, mostly from a place called tileshack.com.  They also sell sample boards of all their tile colors and they are extremely useful in deciding what colors to buy.  Most online tile places seem to have the same basic color choices, but tileshacks prices seems pretty good to me.  They also sell limited lots of vintage tile that have been removed from I guess old houses and some of those are pretty neat.  Do *not* buy tile at pearl paint, I went there in a "tile emergency" and was totally shocked at how much more expensive it was than online.  It was like 5 dollars for an amount of tile you could buy for less than a dollar online, something really outrageous like that.
It costs about 4-8 bucks for a sheet of 225 glass tiles (depending on the brand and color.)
Sid is 28 tiles by 56 tiles which means he's 1568 tiles, dylan is 27 by 44 tiles which is 1188 tiles (that's actually the first time I did that math and it's a little suprising,I guess I do have a pretty long attention span...)  Usually I just estimate that one sheet of 225 tiles is enough for each color and 2 or three sheets for background colors and things like that.  I get a bit greedy when I'm ordering tile, and I like to have lots so I don't usually run out.
Since each tile costs less than 2 cents, each mosaic only takes about 30 bucks worth of tile.  The MDF is cheap, maybe 6 dollars for a 2x4ft sheet -- I don't totally remember, but that's close.  The glue is weldbond and the basic container size will do more than one mosaic and grout is super cheap, a few dollas for a half-pound.  I generally estimate that each mosaic contains about 50 dollars worth of materials, which really isn't that bad (since they keep me busy for at least a week and I like the results).  Of course, it helps if you plan to do more than one, so if you order 225 tiles of one color and don't use it all, you know you'll use it eventually.

2  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Re: Bob Dylan Mosaic on: April 21, 2006 08:54:16 AM
i love the sid mosaic, i want it for my living room! what a clever idea!

Well though my boyfriend is really quite supportive of me doing this and doesn't really mind piles of tile on tables and shards of glass and dried grout in the carpet, he's sort of put his foot down a bit because they end up so BIG.  We have two on display on the moment, (the dylan was a gift for him and my first one was a b&w portrait of the author kathy acker that is my personal favorite) and since they're all about 2 feet by 3 or 4 feet we really can't put any more up.  So I have started doing commisions for friends because I really just love making them.  I am trying to foist the sid viscious off on my sister so it can be displayed and I can still see it but isn't in the house...
3  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Re: Bob Dylan Mosaic on: April 21, 2006 08:41:56 AM
I actually used something call corel paint shop because i didn't have photoshop and they have a free trial.
It has a tool called "mosaic" -- photoshop has something very similar so I'm sure you can do it in photoshop.  The mosaic tool of course gives you tons of options that aren't really necessary for this.  The biggest challenge is reducing the photo to 16 colors, (since most photos contain hundreds or thousands of colors) and still having it look enough like the original image.  If it doesn't look good when you reduce it, you basically just can't use that picture.  Also, if after the fact you're going to try to match up the colors with vitreous tiles, you have to be careful to keep your pics colors within the range of the colors available in tile.  Greens, blues, grays and purples are the colors that seem to be most available in vitreous tile.  Reds are more expensive for some reason, I've never found any really good hot pinks, and there's not a lot of yellows or oranges.
So first:
Reduce the image to 16 colors (a menu option on most graphics programs.)
Set the mosaic tool to be just squares.  Corel paintshop has an option for depth (sorry I can't be more specific at the moment, unfortunately my trial ran out and I haven't bought the program yet.)  The depth option creates the illusion of depth by added little shadows of a slightly darker tone to each tile.  For my purposes, this doesn't help, because I need each tile to be one uniform color in order to reproduce it using glass tile.  Then you can set how many tiles the picture uses.  This is where a little bit of screwing around is necessary.  Too few tiles and you can't see your image.  Too *many* tiles and in order for me to make the thing using 3/4" glass tile it would take up my entire work room.
Here's the original photo that I used in my sid viscious mosaic:

Here's it tiled in corel paint shop:

(it was easier to do than the dylan since the original photo was almost black and white.)
here's the resulting mosaic:

Obviously, once I print out the image I have to make some choices.  I crop it, number each line of tile, and in this case, used oranges instead of pinks because I wanted a really hot bright color and I couldn't find a good pink to use.
I hope this was at least a little bit helpful.  Mostly with the photo part I've found you just have to keep changing the number of tiles and look at it, again and again, sometimes squinting a bit, to see if it will read.  Once you start tiling you also have to make some choices, usually simplifying the image somewhat as you go.

4  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Re: Bob Dylan Mosaic on: April 21, 2006 04:47:15 AM
I didn't keep track of the time, but my best guess is that from beginning to end (including manipulating the the original image) it took maybe 12-14 hours.  Not all at one sitting, and it helped to have trashy TV on in the background.
I'm working on one now that's smaller, but I'm taking each of the 3/4" tiles and nipping them into 4 roughly equally size pieces before I use them and that is taking forEVER.
5  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Re: another portrait mosaic - sid vicious on: April 10, 2006 06:41:05 AM
that is so freaking amazing!!!!
it must've taken forever to make

This one was actually a bit easier because I could get into a zone doing the large expanses of white.  I have to be careful though, because I lose track of where I am sometimes and go too far and then have to curse at myself and pull tiles off...
6  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / another portrait mosaic - sid vicious on: March 29, 2006 01:12:37 PM
I made another portrait mosaic, this one a little bit more abstract but based on a pretty famous photo of sid vicious.  It's vitreous glass tile and grout on MDF.

7  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Bob Dylan Mosaic on: March 17, 2006 09:57:50 AM
I've been very interested in doing mosaics lately and I decided to try something a little bit more arty.  I took a photograph of dylan, pixalated it using a graphics program, reduced the colors and screwed around with it a bit and printed it out.  Then I tried to match various colors of commercially available vitreous glass tile to the colors in my picture, gridded out a piece of MDF and glued the tile on.  A fair amount of trial and error was involved, but I'm quite pleased with the final, grouted product.

The first photo is a little blurry, which enhances the optical illusion, and second is from across the room.

The last is from pretty close and clear.

I've been experimenting with this technique on other sorts of images and have gotten some interesting results.

Here is a very close up picture that shows the details of the tiles.  I really like that up close it has a crafty, home made feel, when from far away it has a somewhat photo realistic effect.
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Re: i'd like to decoupage the top of a desk - UPDATED W/PICS on: January 20, 2006 05:13:08 PM
the cards are really great.  It looks awesome.
9  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / Re: collage shoes on: January 20, 2006 05:12:07 PM
These are really amazing.  Good work!
10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: Smashed keyboard mosaic on: January 20, 2006 09:06:35 AM
That's a neat idea.  I've been thinking about doing something with small circuit boards, since they're green and silver and cool looking.  I work in a science museum so our trash always has a lot of possibilities.
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