A UK mosaic artist, Dionne was first introduced to mosaics in 2002 after searching for a more creative interest outside of her 9-5 role working as a Legal Secretary. I was so impressed with her work, that I asked her if she would share not only what techniques she used, but also what inspired her to create this series. Here’s what I learned.
Dionne explained that she starts by sketching her outline onto her substrate, if it isn’t too detailed. Otherwise, she, like a lot of us, copies her design onto tracing paper and transfers it to her substrate.
For her goddess series, she used MDF (medium density fiber board) as her backer and then glued her tesserae down using Weldbond glue for her interior art.
The materials she used were mainly stained glass for the headwraps – that way she could capture the great variety of color and texture stained glass brings. She also said it reminded her of tie dye. Unglazed ceramics was used for the skin and she also added some smalti, glitter tiles, cowrie shells, and millefiori.
Dionne made the smart decision to not tile the whole board, as she wanted the viewer to be drawn directly to the goddess and not be distracted by a background. Her background was created by mixing grout and spreading it all around the goddess. She then textured the grout using a small knife.
As far as tools, Dionne uses stained glass cutting tools for her glass and her Leponnits for cutting ceramic tiles, nipping off and smoothing edges.
I asked her about how she became inspired to create her Regal Goddess series. Here’s her story:
“It started several years ago as I was coming into adulthood when I began to really question my identity and my roots. My parents had given me as much information as they could about their Caribbean history but I knew there was more prior to that.
I started studying black history and reading and also became very interested in the traditional African dress and imagery.
I fell in love with the headwraps which the ladies wore and started experimenting with them myself and noticed how many positive comments I would receive when I wore them.
I did a little more research into the history of headwraps and found out that in Africa they are a representation of one's life and social status and often used to convey modesty, spirituality and prosperity.
It therefore came naturally for me to create mosaic images which celebrated this fact and also one which would educate and remind the youngsters of their rich cultural history.”
Dionne’s work has been featured in cultural magazines, newspapers and she has also been featured on Peter Andre's 60 Minute Makeover, interviewed on Colourful Radio and popular lifestyle t.v. programme show, Culture Vultures on OHTV. So be sure to check out all of Dionne’s work on her website at: QEMAMUMOSAICS.com
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