Cobra mosaic

More material arts shenanigans

Posted by Andrew Pun on July 24, 2020

My final project for my material arts class was to create anything out of clay and underglaze. I made a candle holder in the shape of a log, with a gecko climbing on it. At the bottom, there’s a little compartment to hold matches or spare candles.

In my material arts class, we were asked to create a mosaic out of broken china and other glassware. Once again, we were allowed to depict pretty much anything in our mosaic and be as creative as possible.

So as you would expect, I made a cobra in a top hat, sipping a cup of tea.

The mosaic was basically just pieces of glass and ceramics glued onto a board, with the cracks filled in with grout.

I first started by making a sketch of the cobra and his cup of tea.

First sketch. Second sketch. Third and final sketch.

The third sketch was transferred onto the wooden board with some carbon paper.

Carbon paper transfer. I darkened the lines.

Then I got some shards of smashed tableware, and cut them into even smaller pieces using a tile cutter. I painstakingly glued each piece in place for the cobra. All of the tiles of the cobra came from cups and plates. After I finished the cobra, I made the black and red background out of cut up bathroom tiles and some red glass cups. I got a bit lazy and pressed for time at the end, so the background is made of larger pieces than the cobra itself, but at least it makes a good contrast. There was also a shortage of red glass shards, so you can see that the red tiles are spread out a bit more than the white tiles. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of this process.

Then I basically covered the entire board in grout and left it overnight so that the grout can fill in the cracks and set. The next day, I got to clean off the top grout with a wet sponge, which was actually very satisfying. The grout leaves a sort of film on the tiles, which comes off very easily. Some of the tiles were submerged in the grout, however, due to the varying heights of the tiles, so I needed to use a scalpel to remove the grout off.

Final product.

And that’s my cobra mosaic. I kinda like how it turned out, especially since it was my first mosaic.