Earlier this month two dear friends celebrated their first wedding anniversary. They’ve been together since high school and got married on their sixteenth anniversary in a lovely ceremony at their home. They’re both artists who asked for no gifts, but I wanted to make them something. They had just redone all their landscaping so I decided on a mosaic planter for their deck.
Naturally it took me until the weekend before the ceremony to sort out my vision, and of course I had family visiting that week, meaning this ambitious project would occupy the hours when normal people sleep. I have a consistent problem with my mosaic projects: I have a perfect vision in my head and am so excited to get to work, but finding the piece to mosaic on that matches that image is an epic journey.
Sure enough I went to three nurseries and four hardware stores to find the right planter, then I chose white rocks to match their new landscaping, and low maintenance but interesting succulents. To match the blue and white decor around their backyard pool oasis I carefully picked out gold, silver, bright blue, navy, yellow and bronze glass, with different finishes and patterns and mixed a white grout.
That’s when I encountered a new issue: I’d never done a mosaic on a nonporous surface. Getting primer to stick to glazed ceramic took serious creativity and patience, both in short supply when I’m working nights! I’d also never done a multi sided mosaic. Careful planning had to go into making sure each side had time to dry before rotating, while also being able to finish the piece.
Friday morning I was scrubbing grout, painting in some edges, and planting the succulents in their new home with just enough time to do my makeup and hurry out the door. The final product looked just as I had wanted and I was proud to have worked in these new ways.
A couple weekends ago I was invited for a pool party and had a chance to see the planter sitting out on the deck. I don’t usually see gift pieces again and it was a treat to see how the plants had grown and really filled in their space, and the mosaic looked wonderful in the sunlight.
Making a piece for someone is always very personal. I pour a lot of thought, effort, and heart into my craft and then give it away with a sense of vulnerability. Will they like it? Will it have meant more to me to create than it does to them to receive? Will they recognize that this is my way of saying “I care so much about you?” I often have a nervous moment when a piece is completely done where I stop and think “Or maybe I should just buy them something and pretend this never happened?” I think this is a natural part of putting yourself out there and I’ve come to a place of acceptance with that. I’m pleased to say that this piece found a very happy home and I’m so glad they enjoy it.
Interested in something similar or custom? Comments? Email Laili@LailiBug.com