picasiette exterior

Last week my husband discovered a book at Goodwill about Picassiette. From 1938-1962 Raymond Isidore covered his home and property in Chartres, France with mosaics.

picasiette summer house picasiette patio picasiette interior

He was given the nickname of Picassiette which means both “plate stealer” and ” Picasso of plates.”

picasiette coupleHe created beauty from materials that would otherwise have been thrown away.

picasiette detail

In 2004 I illustrated a book by Melissa Eskridge Slaymaker called Bottle Houses: The Creative World of Grandma Prisbrey. (It is out of print now, but still available used.)

Bottle Houses coverTessa Prisbrey also created a world out of materials that she scavenged – bottles, old dolls, pencils and broken dishes. She called it Bottle Village. You can see a video about her on line.

Bottle Village 1973

She made buildings from old bottles and filled them with her collections.Paschkis Prisbrey pencils

Paschkis Prisbrey pencil house

I visited Bottle Village before working on the book. Much of it was damaged by an earthquake, but much of it survived. While we were there a hummingbird followed us through the site, so I included it in many of the illustrations.

Paschkis Bottle Houses p.15

I didn’t get to see the kittens that she dyed with food coloring but I could imagine them.

Paschkis Bottle Village wall

Grandma Prisbrey transformed trash into treasure. Her life included a lot of sadness, but she seemed to transform that grief into creativity.

Prisbrey portrait Paschkis

Here in the NW corner of the map, Tim Fowler is creating a wondrous world.
Here are some of the figures in his yard.Tim Fowler mosaicTim Fowler mosaic

Tim Fowler sculpture

He has been working on a great mosaic wall for years.

Tim Fowler wall

Tim Fowler wall

Eventually the wall will surround his lot, but it includes windows.

Tim Fowler wall

If you are out of town you can visit Tim through this videoIf you are in Seattle, wander by 26th and Howell in the Central District and say hello.

Tim Fowler sculptureI hope this post will inspire you to make mosaics and to be happy when a beautiful dish breaks.  Here is a how-to video for a mosaic picture frame;  you could adapt the technique to other surfaces.

Tim Fowler gate

16 responses to “Mosaics

  1. Wonderful post! There’s a mosaic house in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn that I’ve passed many times on visits to my daughter.

  2. beautiful! Not mosaics but we have a wonderful, quirky house/garden creation called RandyLand here in Pittsburgh:

    • I had not heard of RandyLand. If enough people send in information about the sites in their cities, I see a road trip in the future.

  3. Julie– Have you ever seen Watts Towers by Simon Rodia. We went here many times 50 yrs ago.
    But can anything compare to the Blue Mosque in Isfahan. I know it is not done by an amateur but it is unbelievable to imagine how it could be planned and have hundreds of workers execute it.
    Martin Chodos

    • I have seen Watts Towers – amazingly beautiful, and so well constructed. I haven’t been to the Blue Mosque. (Yet!)

  4. love this
    yes I am ready to do my house now

  5. Thanks for sharing this! I love mosaics and just put your book on hold at the library. I will definitely be visiting the mosaic wall in Seattle, too.

  6. WOW ! WOW ! WOW ! Bit by Bit, Shard by shard, magic and love and a creative eye (plus effort)can transform the everyday into beauty….is this transformative power?

  7. thank you Julie

  8. I was just going to mention Simon Rodia’s house, but Margaret beat me to it. I need to look up the Blue Mosque now. Wonderful subject, beautiful piece, Julie. Thank you.

  9. susansutherlandcruz

    Hello. I love your blog. I’ve nominated for “The cracking chrispmouse bloggywog-award” Good luck

  10. Reblogged this on khoirulfashilin and commented:

  11. Wow, how beautiful these mosaics are! What an interesting piece! Loved it, thanks.


    Julie…I just forwarded this post to 9 people in my Montco ceramics class (the 10th address didn’t work)This is one tremendous post…I keep going back and back to it BUT have yet to hit my china cupboard with a hammer, x0x0xMomma

  13. Love this mosaic house and the illustrations. So whimsical and fun.

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