Our Latest Installation: Lafayette Mercantile

In honor of the fact that we were supposed to install this project this week (and the second week of December) I will post pics of latest project: A mosaic fountain for Lafayette Mercantile, a new upscale shopping plaza in downtown Lafayette. (Is there a downtown Lafayette?) Anyway..

Left is me with sample board that was submitted to design firm and client. We are on job site here in November
to take a template of inside of fountain so we can create an exact scale drawing to use a a guide for mosaic creation.

We were approached by a design firm in San Francisco to develop designs for the inside of a fountain with a sea theme. They wanted starfish, fish, swirls (no mirror) and they wanted Roman. I proposed a what I have been callin
g a "Nouveau Italian" style.. meaning a contemporary riff on Roman style using ceramic tile cut in square (and other geometric) shapes. The style is more organic for me and I like it better than a straight Roman style. I follow traditional setting "rules" but then I "embellish" them. And use larger tesserae than the tiny squares, adding accents in a contemporary carved/ fitted style.

We have completed and installed the ball at the top of the fountain. The rest is sitting in the studio waiting to be installed. I had to do the ball on site because it couldn't come to the studio. I actually enjoyed being out on the job site because I rarely do projects outside of the studio anymore (unless community projects) and I enjoy talking to passerby and the other people on the job site.

Here are some in progress shots. Design was made in sections on fiberglass mesh backing. We use a temporary, water soluble glue to affix the tesserae to the mesh, which becomes part of the installation.The sections get installed in to a mortar bed at one time like a giant puzzle.

To left is the ball at the top of the fountain. This part is finished, grouted and sealed. We used midnight blue grout.

More pictures of this project later in the month. We are hopefully going to install the inside sections (bottom and inside walls) next week.

Then we move onto a set of murals for downtown Oakland and a set of sphere shaped sun sculptures for an SF Arts Commission.