Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pique Assiette - Smashing!

LIE SPY by Stacy Alexander

(click images to enlarge)

I had a call from mosaic artist, Karen Pearle yesterday. When I told her I was “doing pique assiette”, she said, “Oh, that is so relaxing! I do pique assiette a lot.” ....and she was right. This type of mosaic art IS relaxing! For those of you unfamiliar with the technique, Pique Assiette is a style of mosaic that incorporates pieces of broken ceramics - plates, dishes, cups, jewelry, buttons, tiles - and other found objects into the design. The method has great appeal in affording expressiveness in a way that traditional mosaic methods do not. It involves lateral thinking, humor, the art of recycling, and the significance of found objects, you get to pick up a hammer and SMASH things!

One of my favorite pique assiette artists is Jason Mecier, and I’ll be writing an entire entry about him at a later date, but, for now, you can take a look at this video to for a truly entertaining look at the incredible work he does.

I’ve been spending a lot of time making pique assiette works in my own studio of late.

Coeur de Poissons by Stacy Alexander

My Aunt Gaylon gave me copious amounts of jewelry that I have been putting to good use with this method using a technique that was taught to me by the very talented, Dot Edwards , the moderator for the best mosaic social networking group out there, the California Mosaics Yahoo Group . I must say….I am hooked!

Pretty on the Outside by Stacy Alexander

The method itself is very simple and easy to do. It basically involves covering a substrate with mastic and embedding tesserae directly into the adhesive .


The ease of working with this technique allows the artist to concentrate energy on the actual design and composition of the work (i.e. "the fun part") rather than the more difficult technical aspects involved with cutting and fitting tile. When I work on my pique assiette pieces, I lay a basic arrangement of items across the dry substrate to begin, then I lay the adhesive and quickly stick the items in. The mastic remains open for around 20-25 minutes, so if I am working on a large piece, I lay tesserae in small sections.
LOVE, MOM by Stacy Alexander

The term "pique assiette" for a mosaic of broken crockery originates from a man named, Raymond Isidore, of Chartres, northern France Back in the 1930’s, his Isaiah Zagar -like enthusiasm for sticking objects into walls around his own property caused him to become known by the name "Picassiette" (literally translated as "prick plate". His obsessive enrichment of his entire property (inside and out) with intricate and decorative mosaics of salvaged shards, caused his house to be called La Maison Picassiette.

Seven Heart Day by Stacy Alexander

Pique Assiette has wide appeal to both seasoned and beginning mosaic artists and is a great method to try if you are starting your spring house cleaning and are in the midst of culling objects from your space Why not grab a hammer or your (Grandma's old jewelry) and give it a try?!

Counting the Hours by Stacy Alexander

I sell some of my pique assiette work in MY ETSY SHOP. Other examples of my work can be found HERE"


Rice said...

Wow, I really like Counting the Hours. Very cool. : )

corina said...

Lovely hearts, I love to listen to your art (and heart) beat:)

Miz Annie said...

how wonderful, and inspirational! -- I loved visiting La Maison Picassiette from the link you provided. Now I'm newly inspired to do something creative with those broken things i can't bear to throw out....Thank you!

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