Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Kingfisher has flown its nest - mosaic

A few weeks ago Luis was asked to design and create a mosaic intended as a gift for a birthday. The brief was: a Eurasian Kingfisher. Working with the people involved they agreed on a design and composition, size (quite large 70cm x 85cm), how it would be constructed to suit the position it was to be hung and what materials it would be made from.

A pencil sketch was used to agree the main design elements but they very much left it up to Luis to interpret their idea.

The next task was to source the appropriate materials, choose the colour palette, prepare the base and plan the construction methods. He decided to use a mixture of marble, limestone and Orsoni Smalti from Italy as this would give him the colour palette he required to capture the beauty of this wonderful bird. Materials were sourced and work commenced.

Mosaic work on this scale and with such detail is labour intensive. Long hours were spent studying kingfishers and refining the design, planning the project, cutting the tesserae and reviewing methods and techniques. The mosaic is worked in reverse so you never know what the finished surface will look like until it has been set, dried and turned.

Once the mosaic is complete, the worrying times commence as cement glue is spread carefully across the surface of the mosaic and onto the cement backing board on which it will be mounted.

Several days later the mosaic is turned, cleaned and closely examined.

The next stage is to grout elements of the picture, seal, polish and generally put the finishing touches to it including a hanging device and more weather-proof sealant and wax.

Phew, all was well and the 130 hours he put into the mosaic was well worth the effort, it looks magnificent. Needless to say the recipients were very pleased with it and will now have the pleasure of seeing it proudly displayed on the wall of their cottage and garden.

There is always a sadness to see such a piece fly the nest but on the other hand there is a sense of achievement and consolation knowing that it is going to a place where it will be cherished.

A big thank you to Jeannot Leenen and Ornella Martens, two mosaic artists from Belgium for their generosity and guidance throughout the project.

Anyone interested in Luis' work can view his range of work here:

Email: artesanialapasera @ (remove spaces)


  1. Anonymous9:08 am

    absolutely beautiful

  2. Stunning piece of work, love it. Great talent and workmanship :)

  3. Oh how absolutely beautiful! A wonderful work of art. Large and colourful. Luis you must be so pleased. Jenny

    1. Thank you Jenny - pleased and relieved.

  4. That's turned out so beautifully, well done, Luis!


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