Micro Mosaic Guitar! A complete Cut Up!
Learning Experience Follows!
There are an altogether different type of Micro Mosaic which you will see on your search, but only rarely in comparison to the ones I am writing about. You will know them when you see them! They are the diamonds among piles of glass from a car crash. These older type of Micro Mosaics, sometimes referred to as "Roman Micro Mosaics". "Roman Micro Mosaics are ground and polished on the surface, set into a thick glass or stone plaque and look as muich or more like paintings as they do like mosaics. I will have to save a discussion of Roman Micro Mosaics for another day.
The auction that I took this text from is going to be a first of it's kind on e-Bay because you will receive a Micro Mosaic guitar lesson just for looking at this auction and reading the text carefully. That's a great free-be.
This is the 2nd Micro Mosaic Guitar that I am offering for sale here this week and, just as I did with the "Micro-Mosaic-Guitar-Pin; A Cut-Above-the-Rest", I have written a lot of information to go with these auctions just to help you see and understand some of the finer points of Micro Mosaic construction in general back around 1900.
Here is a picture of the back of this mosaic. It is in very good shape! Even better shape than the front actually!
Here is an extremely unusual picture of the mosaic that I am writing about which I have altered with a simple drawing program. In most cases, this practice would be heavily frowned upon because it it considered unfair to show an item that is up for auction with misleading characteristics indicated on it. For the sake of clarity, I made this an exception in this case.. If you don't like it, change the channel!
e-Bay has transcribed a very blurry image onto this guide. Even though I am not supposed to do this, I am going to try to put a link in here to the original so you can actually see the detail that I am writing about. You must open a new tab (or window) in your browser) and type ( cut & paste) the following " http://www.cyclopstile.com/other/mmguit.jpg " into the address line or maybe into google.
You may want to copy this screen to your computer or skim over it or skip it because it is a lot of nonsense that might not be of any interest to you at all. I won't feel hurt and I invite your most extravegant bid on this auction.
As lovely as I think this little gem of a Micro Mosaic is, I would not pay much for it for at least 13 reasons which I will try to explain. I have been astounded again, and again, and again when I see 2 or 3 or even 4 people fight with their dollars in a bidding war and end up spending $75 or more dollars for a cute little pin that has as many problems as a wreck by the side of the road (or as the lovely fishing weight pictured here). At the same time, a beautiful and classy jewel, made by a master of sorts, will sell to some lucky soul for $2.25 with free shipping.
All of that is not really my business, (except when I am buying or selling Micro Mosaics) but I would like people to understand what to look for when considering how much to spend on a specific micro mosaic. I am beginning to believe that there may be an unlimited supply of them sitting in the top drawer of every 2nd dresser in the USA and Europe.
This small guitar with numbered thin black lines radiating from it from it has volunteered to be our test subject for today's class. Each line and corrisponding number is a reference point to the corrisponding comment in the text below.<P>
The round orange tiles that you can see here in the tuning peg head of the guitar can still be bought today for pennies. It doesn't take any skill or talent to cut a few of them off at 1/4" and drop them into a couple of rectanngles you or I have made of black glass sticks. Actually, the arrangement would look rather nice if it had been made square and the gap across the very top of the guitar head had been filled.. This is just cheap and sloppy work. The round tiles, (now-a-days they are called stringers before they are cut off or melted into a bigger project I can understand.
I have decided to take a picture of some of my own stringers , some simple tiles I just now (in less than 15 seconds) cut from the stringers and then I heated one, stretched it and cut even smaller tiles from the thin stringer. I also took out one of my millefiori rods and cut a tile from it for your benifit. ... Don't act so surprised! People have been doing this to glass since the 1st and 2nd century A.C.E. (A.D.) It's nothing new
Is a recurring problem this craftsperson or his wife or their 10 year old child with a learning disorder from the lead in the drinking water pipes has developed of leaving huge gaps that should be filled with tile and not cement. This hole is large enough to stuff a good'n plenty into.
3-Another small tile would easily have fit here. I have some strips of some of this type of tile and it is thin at one end and thick at the other. Any size can be found or it is time to obtain more tile.
4-I could continue pointing out gaps in the mosaic but this not so small problem speaks to the asthetic sensablities of the craftsperson. The circular ring made of 5 blue rectangle tiles (which surround a 2 cent piece of millefiori) could have been placed so that they actually made a very pleasant and neat little circle. I've got micro mosaics that prove it. The circle on the other side of this mosaic is much better but even it is a little "lumpy". A very proficiant micro mosaic craftsman knows the tricks and secrets to get round circles and square boxes as he chooses. The other guitar that I have up for auction has a white circle in the center and, although it isn't perfect either, it doesn't detract from the visual impact of the mosaic.
5-In this nightmare, the creator decided to forgo the nice border of pink rectangles he had started (right next to the end of the # 6 line) and ran the white "fan" tiles into the edge of the brass setting exactly at line # 5!<P> The arrangement of white leaf or feather shaped tiles that you see on the right and left side of the wide part of the guitar is what I have coined as the "FAN" because it reminds me of the shape of a fan. These white tiles also "fan" out from a point at the center to a larger area as they lengthen. The delicate tiles are very lovely to look at as they start as a point at the bottom and get wider as they lengthen and begin to bend over until they round off at the top. They almost all have a thin blue or black line running from top to bottom down the center. I have always thought they were graceful tiles like ostrich feathers in the hands of a dancer.
This arrangement or design element of a fan, made from the same design and colored tiles is very commmon in the decoration or design of micro mosaics and it looks fairly simple to achieve. I like to admire micro mosaics with fans that are symmetrical and I don't understand why this piece has so many white tiles jammed into (9) the far side of the guitar that the border doesn't fit while only using six tiles on the side nearist us so that the border can do what it was meant to do.and surround the "FAN"<P>Some of the mistakes I see are beyond my ability to comprehend. It seems to me that this micro mosaic must have taken longer because of the lack of a consistant design then it would have taken if a plan had been followed. Doesn't some of this seem like it is no mystery but the simple and basic using use of the ability we all (almost) have called looking at something?
6-If the large pink tile had been angled so the end was fit into this gap, there might have been room later down the side to finish the pink border, but I doubt it because of all of the white tiles jammed in there.
7-These little flowers are, again made of cheap round rods which have been heated and melted together into a flower. I am almost certain that most of the makers of these kind of micro mosaics used to buy their tiles by the foot from a glass shop and their settings from a brass shop and put them together as best as they could. That's what I firmly believe.
I also wanted to mention here that the shape of the little elongated garden (surrounded by twisted wire) that these flowers are planted in is all crooked and uneven. This could quickly and easily repaired with any kind of thin stick before the tiles were set because the wire is almost 1/4" above the bottom of the setting like a flimsy bridge.
8-This little tile is in backwards!( Look again and think about it!)
9-Another mention of the use of millefiori instead of talent had to be made.
10-same problem as #3
11-Oops, this tile got pushed into the cement too hard, bummer!
12-I just love these tiles. They remind me of queston marks. I have seen them used to make some beautiful designs. Here they look haphazard.
13-Again, this tile is in backwards!
This is my micro mosaic. I am trying to sell it so I hated to give it such a bad rap. But I do have a very nice one for sale also that you could compare to this one. If no one buys this guitar, I'll understand. Perhaps someday I'll take the tiles out and really use them the way they were meant to be set.
Cyclops05 has been collecting, repairing, selling, and occasionally creating his own micro mosaics from raw glass as a hobby for about 5 or 6 years now.