|Mary Dignan Mosaics||
About Mary's Mosaic Process
The usual mosaic tiles are only a small portion of the tesserae Mary uses. She also uses china, porcelain, pottery, ceramic, glass, seashells, stones, metal, and even petrified wood and costume jewelry. Her specialty is working with broken china dishes and figurines. She has created magical flower gardens and butterflies out of grandma's old china, sunflowers out of ceramic pumpkin cookie jars, bodacious hearts out of broken chili peppers, sun and moon portraits out of plates and mirrors, and even candle holders out of broken Waterford crystal goblets, seashells and costume jewelry. Most of the tesserae comes from her husband, Andy, a general contractor who finds amazing stuff left behind in the vacant homes he fixes and remodels. His "found-treasures-into-tesserae" range from ceramic tiles of all colors and sizes, to glass globs and marbles, to fine china and even ceramic flamingo figurines. Andy often cuts pieces on a wet saw to Mary's specifications, but usually Mary works with the natural breaks, whacks pieces with a hammer, or uses tile nippers or wheeled glass nippers to make her tesserae. Mary butters each mosaic piece one at a time with tubed tile adhesive, and almost always uses bright white adhesive, in order to maximize the color purity of the glass tesserae (globs, marbles, stained glass, etc.). Her mosaics reflect the diverse textures and forms of the many different tesserae she uses, and are especially accessible for tactile viewing.
Mosaics made on Wonderboard or other concrete bases are suitable for outdoor use and display. Mosaics made on wood are best displayed indoors or in outdoor areas that are protected from extreme weather temperatures and the elements.