One of the best things left in The Los Angeles Times‘ sadly gutted newspaper is it’s Home section, which runs on Saturdays. Today, they featured this 1928 Spanish bungalow in Silver Lake full of creations by master mosaic artist Jolino Beserra, and his partner, David Edward Byrd, a groovy poster artist. I’m loca for mosaics–especially outside! I made my own mosaic outdoor shower, which looks so boring next to this shrine, but I will feature it in my next post to prove that you, too, could make something this cool!! (Even though Mr. Beserra was not so encouraging…) 
As much as I love this shower, I wish they had some close-up shots on the little fishies and the shower head. I  find those more interesting than the mishmash of tiles.You will see that I am way into mishmash when I feature my own creation next. (I’m trying to create dramatic tension here!)
I know I’m all about the outdoor living thing, but I think you could make an outdoor fireplace like this one!!
See how you can shove just about anything into a mosaic?? Okay, here’s what master guy said in the Times article, so don’t say I didn’t warn you, even though I think you could totally do this, too: “Some people see this and say, ‘I could do that,’ and they go home and attempt it,” says Beserra. “Then they call and ask me to help them save it.” Correction! Mr. Beserra just left a nice comment on this post, saying that although he cautions people that making mosaics can be challenging, he wrote:  ”Please know that I always hope to encourage aspiring artists to do mosaics. Be brave and have fun as you learn.”
If you want to make your own mosaic piece, start collecting ceramic or glass figurines now (thrift stores, flea markets, your own junk drawers, garage sales,…) so you have lots of cool junk to shove in your masterpiece!
It helps to have lots of plain tile or plates (FLAT ones!!) to give your piece continuity, and help those funky accent pieces pop! These guys used a collection of vintage salt and pepper shakers (brilliant!!).

The bottoms of ceramic pieces, with their impressed lettering showing, always look amazing (like that Bauer piece on the left.) Also, you don’t have to be as heartbroken when you do happen to shatter a beloved vintage vase or item–use them in your mosaic!! Other great stuff, old marbles, state plates, shells, cups, even old jewelry!

Here’s the kitchen and close-ups of their back splash.
 Mosaic is cheap, playful, personal, how can you not love it?
The raw edge (on the left) is such a cool idea. 
And how ’bout that cow’s butt. Beserra said in the Times article, “I love using butts,” added that he likes to use humor and be “subversive” in his work. Why not?
Leaving the handles of cups and mugs and pitchers sticking out, so fun!, 
and I’m pretty sure those are brooches in the upper left and right. The artist used his grandma’s old ceramic spice jars, too–making these personal really rocks!
In general, start collecting now, because once you jump in, you will want more choices–especially as your mortar starts to dry!! Stay tuned–although it’s nothing compared to this work, I will share my humble mosaic outdoor shower DIY next post. It’s one of those, “If I can do it,” stories!
(All photos featured  here are by R. Daniel Foster)

8 Responses to I’m Broken Up Over This Outdoor Shower!!

  1. The Whimsical Gardener says:

    I love and work in mosaics too and these are amazing! What beautiful inspiration you've found! – I'm so glad I've found your blog – it is always such a pleasure to visit.

  2. The Whimsical Gardener says:

    I love and work in mosaics too and these are amazing! What beautiful inspiration you've found! – I'm so glad I've found your blog – it is always such a pleasure to visit.

  3. Alison says:

    The backsplash and the fireplace are amazing! I love mosaic work, but I've never been able to get the hang of it. Wish I were this creative. I'm not sure I could put this kind of stuff outside in my very rainy, PNW garden.

    Thanks for showing these, looking forward to seeing yours.

  4. Alison says:

    The backsplash and the fireplace are amazing! I love mosaic work, but I've never been able to get the hang of it. Wish I were this creative. I'm not sure I could put this kind of stuff outside in my very rainy, PNW garden.

    Thanks for showing these, looking forward to seeing yours.

  5. Senor says:

    Thanks for the kind words about my work. When I mentioned that not everyone can create this I was talking about people who don't realize how much hard work goes into a mosaic no matter how small or adventurous. Mosaics aren't always considered a serious art so it's assumed that no research or commitment is required. What wasn't written was that I think anyone can learn to make a mosaic but must start by experimenting. When I began I took pots and pieces of wood and starting breaking and gluing with different levels of success. Some of my early work fell apart. That's how I learned and developed my personal technique. Please know that I always hope to encourage aspiring artists to do mosaics. Be brave and have fun as you learn.

  6. Senor says:

    Thanks for the kind words about my work. When I mentioned that not everyone can create this I was talking about people who don't realize how much hard work goes into a mosaic no matter how small or adventurous. Mosaics aren't always considered a serious art so it's assumed that no research or commitment is required. What wasn't written was that I think anyone can learn to make a mosaic but must start by experimenting. When I began I took pots and pieces of wood and starting breaking and gluing with different levels of success. Some of my early work fell apart. That's how I learned and developed my personal technique. Please know that I always hope to encourage aspiring artists to do mosaics. Be brave and have fun as you learn.

  7. Mark and Gaz says:

    Janine, thanks for sharing these photos, truly amazing work, the details and the colour!

    That fireplace is stunning and wouldn't mind having one outdoors design permitting. I've seen a few similar ones here on outdoor fireplaces and they do amazingly well despite exposure to frosts in winter.

    The view on the kitchen looks nice too :) Looking forward to seeing your own mosaic work, I'm sure it will be lovely!

  8. Mark and Gaz says:

    Janine, thanks for sharing these photos, truly amazing work, the details and the colour!

    That fireplace is stunning and wouldn't mind having one outdoors design permitting. I've seen a few similar ones here on outdoor fireplaces and they do amazingly well despite exposure to frosts in winter.

    The view on the kitchen looks nice too :) Looking forward to seeing your own mosaic work, I'm sure it will be lovely!

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