Ten Years – Mosaic Exhibition


An exhibition of mosaic art by Kate Rattray

at Somerset Guild of Craftsmen, 23a Broad Street, Wells BA5 2DJ

9th May – 13th June 2016

PRIVATE VIEW – Friday 20th May 4-6pm

I am delighted to announce that I am presenting 10 years of my work at the new back room gallery at Somerset Guild of Craftsmen in  Wells.

Having worked in the art of mosaic for over 20 years now, the last 10 years has been the most productive for me. I have chosen works that explored my interest in folklore, weather, and the apocalypse, featuring birds, moths and butterflies.

Here are three from that apocalyptic year of 2012!

The Storm

The Storm


"Chorus at the Wake of the Sun" in sunlight

“Chorus at the Wake of the Sun”


Unfinished Symphony

Unfinished Symphony

And two of my latest pieces.

Black Swan

Black Swan


White Swan

White Swan

But much better to see them in the flesh amongst a total of 29 mosaics. And if you are interested I am running a mosaic workshop on 21st May in the gallery. See details and book here

Come and see!






Mosaic Heart Leaf Bird Baths at Chedworth Roman Villa

A couple of months ago Chedworth  Roman Villa got in touch and asked if I was interested in submitting work for their inaugural art exhibition this year. They wanted the works to have some relationship with the Villa, a sense of place. I decided to pick out elements from the Chedworth Roman mosaics to use for inspiration.

I had leaf bird baths on my mind having just made a couple only recently and so the heart leaves seemed to fit.

This one which is a detail of the dining room mosaic showing Cupid as the figure of Spring with flowers and a bird and the two heart leaves…

summer Cupid at Chedworth

And this one with the two heart leaf motifs…

hearts at Chedworth

I made three heart leaf bird baths, two based on these designs using glass tile and my hand gilded metal leaf glass and one in a more contemporary style using just my hand gilded metal leaf glass. They are hand formed using wire and cement mixtures.  Then I searched around the reclamation yards for something I could use for plinths to stand them on. I found some concrete balustrades and took some time up-cycling them.

I turned them upside down, and asked my stone sculptor friend to cut the bottom but now top square off. I cleaned them with patio cleaner to remove as much of the algae as I could, then I built up layers of concrete around the top (now bottom) square to make it more stable as well as give it all a more rounded look.

making plinth


They remind me a bit of horses hooves, but they look ok in the grass!

Although I had added yellow cement colour into the mix to match the colour of the rest of the plinth which worked quite well, the texture was too different so I painted them. The only masonry paint I could find was “stonestone” but it was too pale and bright so I added cement colours brown and yellow and a little black paint and lots of sand to get the texture the same overall. It was fun and I was beginning to feel like I might start up a paint effects company!


Hmm, maybe not, but they are quite an interesting colour… My daughter calls it “nude”, my partner calls it “nuddy”!

And it is very much like nude, in fact it is so nude it almost disappears…strange…

So anyway here we are, some photos of the finished bird baths, “Spring Heart Leaf”, “Heart Leaf” and “Golden Heart Leaf” some taken at Chedworth Roman Villa and some in my back garden. They are temporarily fixed to the plinths to give buyers the option to purchase with or without  plinth and make transportation easier.

baths at Chedworth

baths at Chedworth 2

cupids heart

baths at Chedworth 3

heart bath with water

heart bath

baths at Chedworth 4

golden heart close up

baths at Chedworth 5

See mosaics and sculptures by various artists at the

Inaugural art exhibition

12th September – 4th October 2015

Chedworth Roman Villa,

Yanworth, near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 3LJ

Telephone: 01242 890256

The Merry Month of May



I am jumping around my garden today like a Morris dancer, not just because it is the 1st of May!
I woke up to two exciting email announcements.

Firstly two of my mosaics “Chorus at the Wake of the Sun” and “Unfinished Symphony” have been selected for a prestigious mosaic exhibition in Chartres, France.
British Association for Modern Mosaics – LES RENCONTRES INTERNATIONALES DE MOSAIQUE 2014
which will take place from 18th October – 9th of November, in the Museum of Beaux Arts, cloister of Notre Dame in Chartres, France.

Unfinished Symphony

Unfinished Symphony

I have never been to Chartres, which is about 50 miles South West of Paris, but from photos it looks very old and very beautiful. Not only that it is famous for La Maison Picassiette, built by Raymond Edouard Isidore in 1930 for himself and his family. Then from 1938 -1964 he covered it inside and out in the style known as “pique assiette” mosaic. Pique Assiette meaning in French “steal plates”. The mosaics are made with broken china, bottle caps, stones and other recycled pieces.
I hope I can save enough pennies to visit Chartres this year  🙂

My second piece of news is one that I have been awarded a Craft and Design Selected Maker Silver Award in the Specialist Media category. This means I will get a full page feature in the craft and design magazine and quite a lot more publicity which I am sure will be a very valuable prize.
Thank you so much if you voted for me!


And finally …

The last couple of weeks I have been preparing for my new course “pique assiette” mosaics which I am running on Saturday. (Yes, it all seems to fit now!) I made the “Green Man” mask at the top of this post and this one “Earth Mother” to bring to the workshop as an example to show students.


It was really fun making them and has got me back into working after a month of illness. I have some face shapes cut out for them too, so quite excited to see what they will make!

Happy May Day




The Three Trees

I have been playing with my jigsaw again and made  four new pieces of work for  “Six”  – an     exhibition showcasing six local makers – at the Hawthorn Gallery, Blandford Forum, Dorset.

The exhibition began on 14th January and runs until 22nd March 2014.
The series is called “The Three Trees” and illustrates the four seasons.

This is “When The World Was Young” (Spring)

When The World Was Young

When The World Was Young

This is “In The Midst Of It” (summer)

In The Midst Of It

In The Midst Of It

This is “Blown Away” (autumn)

Blown Away

Blown Away

And this one you have already seen – is “When The World Was Old” (winter)

When The World Was Old

When The World Was Old

Go and see the exhibition  if you are nearby, it’s sure to be a good one.



Shift : What is the Work of Art?

Last night I went to the preview of “Shift : What is the Work of Art?” at the Black Swan Arts Centre in Frome  where I have the pleasure of being one of the artists chosen to take part.

Curator, Kim Wood, picked my animations “The Storm” and “Rain” .

Outside a glass blower was making a shape with the words art and craft written on it just to get us in the right frame of mind!

Upstairs in the gallery the exhibition consists of work by 7 of us ranging from Max Jacquard’s iconic recycled glass figure “Albion” stitched with bronze wire to Tom Bayliss‘s structures as “hobbyist model maker”.

Kim writes that our work ” sits on the fluid boundaries between what could be perceived of as ‘art’ and ‘craft’”

Johanna Dahn, Senior Lecturer in Critical Studies in Art and Design at the Bath School of Art and Design gave a short talk which highlighted the art/craft debate and the relationship to the work on show. She talked about how craft is process driven and how it has been seen in recent years as the inferior partner to art. She suggested how the pieces in the exhibition question our notions of what is art or craft, how the artists have played with the materials, integrated art forms, challenged our perceptions, and have extended the design process and made something else.

Johanna finished her talk with words to the effect of “Art or craft? Or is it something else? …and who cares anyway as long as it is an expression of the artists intent”  

 I think her last words were the best answer.

Come and see the exhibition and see what you think. It runs until the 16th February.Shift

animationSee more information about the exhibition here and here on Facebook

Can’t get to the exhibition and want to see my animations?

Click here

Unfinished Symphony

I thought you might like to see one of my new pieces included in the “Crust” exhibition in Bath (see last post for details).

This was a piece that has been in my sketchbook for a couple of years, and at last I had a chance to make it. The inspiration came from the crows that line up on the telegraph wires. This was one of my sketches.

Pen and coloured pencil drawing of Unfinished Symphony

I didn’t follow it to the recipe as you see.The sky was fairly spontaneous although I wanted to communicate a stormy sunset sky. I also used a couple of bars (I think it is the chorus) from Schubert’s  score “Unfinished Symphony”. It is my favourite part of the symphony, it is so exciting and uplifting, as if something quite spectacular is going to happen.

Unfinished Symphony

There is still time to come and see the exhibition – it runs until Sunday 28th – don’t you miss it!