I have just added a new category to my site called Ceramic Pendants and I thought I would just write a short post about what they are exactly. I came across these tiny little mosaic tiles when I attended a mosaic workshop with Smidirini Mosaics a couple of years ago. I have always loved mosaic and had dabbled with it over the years but I needed to learn a little bit more about the techniques and the process involved. Along with my passion and natural curiosity for all things sparkly and small I was beginning a creative journey which I continue to be on to this day. I knew in some way that I wanted to combine mosaic with beading. My main problem was sourcing tiny items. I could get any type of tile but they were all too big. Even cutting the tiles into tiny pieces wouldn’t work as they would all be too ‘high’ or ‘thick’. I had this same problem when I was beading – I always found myself looking for two things – something different and unusual and something of quality. It is always important to me to use the best components when I am making jewellery to sell on. So when I went to this workshop my mind was literally opened to the possibilities of a huge selection of tiny items that could be used in mosaic. Italian millefiori glass was one but I found tiny mirrored tiles, glitter tiles and the tiniest ceramic tiles I have ever seen! For what I wanted to do I needed everything to be of a minute size.
I had decided that I wanted to use my mosaic skills in some way to make jewellery. I want to combine the bling with the earthiness of mosaic.
Many years later and after a lot of learning, researching and experiments I think I am getting there. These pendants that will appear in the new category are made using the same bezels I use for the millefiori jewellery. I use them because they are the best I can get. I found them on a most inspiring site owned and run by Becky Nunn, a renowned mixed media jewellery designer. Her site is called Nunn Design and sells the most incredibly beautiful and artisitic pewter components. Please take a second or two to check it out! You will not be disappointed. I found the tiny little Moroccan ceramic tiles online and have since discovered that I can actually get even smaller tiles! The smaller ones are called nano tiles which I will be using for earrings as they will sit into smaller bezels. As small as the micro tiles are they are still too high for the smaller earring components. And yes just like regular ’tiling’ grout is used inbetween the little tiles. I am experimenting with different colours but charcoal seems to work best when using a mix of colours. The dark colour (not as dark as black) really makes the colours of the tiles pop! All sorts of glitters and pigments can be added to grout and I am having fun experimenting. These pieces of jewellery are very tactile, you can feel and touch the surface of each tile. Unlike a complete coating such as resin, the grout creates a much more rustic finish.
For now I am concentrating on a small new range using the ceramic tiles on their own, using their simplicity to create geometric coloured shapes within the bezel. They are available now in various colour combinations in both silver and gold plated and in different shapes.