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Swan Interval

If you have been following my latest posts, you will know that I have completed 2 out of 3 pieces for my new series “Catching the Sun” . The third piece will have to wait while I finish “swanning“. (That’s Kate slang for mosaicing a swan!)

My giant swan will be one of 60 to grace the streets of Wells, (the smallest city in England) this summer as part of the “Swans of Wells” public art project. Just like the “King Bladud’s Pigs” and the “Lions of Bath” public art projects that I also participated in, they will be auctioned off in the autumn for Charity.

I have been sponsored by a firm of solicitors and they were happy to give me free reign over the design, although they were keen to have some black and green in it, as these are their logo colours.

So this is the design I came up with…

swan design

Actually it isn’t really a very accurate design, I should have painted it to show the tonal variations. The idea is that it starts with black tiles at the bottom and graduates up through the wings with greys and finally whites. There will be some flecks of green and lots of iridescent tiles.

I have used green mirror with the black at the bottom of the swan, but at first I just couldn’t bring myself to use any green in with the grey tones. At least not that lovely strong green mirror. It doesn’t work.

This is a section of a wing where I  graduated black to grey to white…

horrible grey tiles

You see where I have put the red star?  Funny it doesn’t look as bad in the photo but those grey tiles I used there kept on jumping out at me and saying “yuck, dirty public toilet!”

So I dug them out and I chose a blue/green tile which I think works much better…

reworked with blue/green tiles

Here is a closer look …

Of course the final tones will blend better once it is grouted in a softer grey. Here you can see the tile adhesive I have used that dries a very dark grey.

Come back soon and see more “swanning” progress.


Find out more about the Swans of Wells  here

Watch my Lion of Bath (Zillion) videos here

A picture of Prince Ropork in Bath here

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  1. Agreed, the change from grot grey to green really lifts the mid section of the wing. What base are you tiling onto Kate?

    1. Hi Judith
      Just like the pig and the lion, the sculptures are made of fibreglass, not a great surface to tile onto – roughing up the surface is a health hazard but necessary. I use a very flexible tile adhesive called fastflex which is elastomeric. The one I use has actual bits of recycled rubber in it to improve adhesion and also to make it a “greener” product.

  2. Brilliant! I love seeing your process, so different from my own. I have really enjoyed your posts and learning your technique.floyfrees

  3. Hey Kate, loving the tones and your careful work. I know how much time, effort and skill goes into it, and you have such a ‘good eye’, as they say!

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