Katy Galbraith

Making a new Doorstep Mosaic

Old Front door step
I made a mosaic for our front door many many years ago, using floor tiles and old plant pots, but as the years have gone by, more and more pieces from the edges have been bashed by enormous suitcases from our B&B guests, and now it needs replacing!

So using a rough design from a table which has recently come back into my possession, originally inspired by Hundertwasser, I have started a new doorstep.

I have been working on prepping all the various elements that will form the mosaic. The mosaic will be made in the workshop then installed when the weather is more predictable. 

Making Cabochons

Using my tiny kiln, which also gives me a small amount of heat in my workshop which is a plus at this time of year, I cut up scraps of glass and fuse into little nuggets.  This maroon / purple was a glass plate which I bought from the Remake Scotland Scrapstore (I am on the Board - so fully supportive of it).  Once fused, they are like little candy nuggets.


Strips of Mirror

I always get given mirror.  The stash I used this time came from  a friend's mirror wardrobe that she had removed years ago, and had a plastic backing to stop it breaking into pieces - a bit of a pain to remove the backing, but otherwise all good.

So first I score the mirror, using an oil filled scorer (the yellow tool), then I snap every alternate line, then snap these pieces again,  leaving me with long thin threads of mirror.  The grozing pliers can also be used when the pieces get too fine for the snapping tool.

These strips are then cut  into smaller pieces which will allow me to make a long curvaceous line of mirror.

Ceramic Plate

And finally, lots and lots of triangles made out of cream coloured bone china crockery.  I acquired a set of crockery out of Nina's house, who also had the table above.  I used my older pair of Leponite wheels to cut the china (my newer pair is reserved for cutting glass only).

And so work progresses

The Chinese Year of the Rooster

Nina's Kitchen 1
Chickens and roosters seem to be a popular choice for mosaicists, may be something to do with them being a popular selling item, says the cynic in me!

Bizarrely though, I was looking at my website stats yesterday, and saw that the images of my splash back with chickens
had the highest number of views.  Is it because of it being chickens rather than being a highly accomplished mosaic (ha ha, it was when I was still learning the art of...)


I actually made this mosaic many many years ago, to brighten up Nina's kitchen, my mother-in-law always 'made do' and her kitchen was falling apart, and was a tiny scullery space.  By applying the mosaic over the top of her existing white tiles, it really brightened up the space, and then enthused by the improvements, she painted the walls bright yellow.

Unfortunately, Nina died in 2016, and her house finally sold, and I imagine that the kitchen has been ripped out, walls knocked about and the chickens no more.

I do intend to do more chicken (rooster) mosaics at some point though.  When we have travelled in India, and passed through villages with their strutting birds, I have taken lots of photographs with the plan to "one day"...

Kitchen, Kitchen, Kitchen

I subscribe to Houzz, and also promote my work through it, and this article popped up this morning: 

I am actually planning in my head my new kitchen at the place where we plan to move to at some point soon, a tiny space for a kitchen, but with clever ideas it will work.  And I went through this list going yes, yes, no.  I love the reclaimed kitchen with the brick supports, just my kind of thing.

However, I still wouldn't be able to live without a mosaic splash back (or it may end up being a fused glass meadow) but something made by me, and bright and colourful.  All in my head… just got to sell up here first!

Pitlochry Art Walk and More

Pitlochy Art Walk
I have a hectic month or two ahead with a couple of new ventures.  

The first, with a set up on Friday afternoon is the Pitlochry Art Walk Festival.  Instigated by Annie, from the Melt Gallery in Pitlochry, this is the first one of it's kind there.  Annie, an American who used to have the Stenhouse Cafe and Gallery in Crieff, and is also a jewellery maker, has taken the idea of the 'art walk' from the US arts scene.  Whilst we have Open Studios, and we have studio trails & festivals, this a focus for one week with shops becoming galleries.

I am lucky to be partnered with the venue "Just the Ticket", which is the town centre ticket office for the Pitlochry Festival Theatre. 

I will be sharing the gallery space with Cairine MacGillivray, who paints beautiful landscapes and seascapes.  We are totally different, but will complement each other with our use of colour!

Beach Idyll by Cairine MacGillivray

The Art Walk starts on Saturday 20th until the Sunday 28th June 2015.

Just the Ticket can be found on the High Street in Pitlochry.

In case I don't get the time to post again, I will then be exhibiting for the first time with the Strathearn Art Gallery in Crieff.  Very excited (!!!).  I have been working on some new pieces for this exhibition, some of them have been works in progress on my Facebook page, and have had a great response from my 'fans' as they have progressed.

The 'Celebrating Summer' exhibition opens on the 11th July, so I had better get grouting…


Finally, the last piece of work that I have been progressing - still not quite completed so here are a couple of WIP shots - is for the Crieff Arts Festival which takes place over the weekend of the 22nd / 23rd August.  Each shop window in the town becomes a mini-exhibition site, and this year, again, I will be in Snip, Tack and Sew.


The remit of being in a shop window is very different than the usual detailed mosaics that I now make. It has to be much bolder, so that it is clear from a distance what you are trying to portray.  With this one, the concept pinged into my head following an image of a bird on a treehouse, which triggered this.  I used mostly bathroom tiles (which are so cumbersome after cutting lots of bone china mugs), but Sue's very special brown mug is the birds wing and face.  Add in a few glass nuggets made from glass scraps…

I also used a new technique for me, which I learnt on the Laurel True workshop, with a severe hangover, after the BAMM forum!  So glad that I managed to absorb enough info that day to be able to do it again!

Here is the flyer for the Crieff Arts Festival, to complete your enjoyment of my blog!

Animals Peeping In

looking in
I have just found these images in my badly arranged folders on my computer that date back to November, all taken with the intention to blog at the time, but life got in the way.

I was the kind recipient of a box of rejects from the lovely and friendly Fiona Gordon of Station Cat Pottery, located just south of Pitlochry. She makes quirky little animals in ceramic, which always bring a smile to my face ~ I own a a hen and a robin!  So imagine my smile when I opened the box…  here is what I did with them


and a couple of things I have made using the flowers:


and to finish, one in daylight: