Green With Envy

If you read the story from the last post, you will understand what this is all about. If you didn’t then read it here  Moths on the Moon

To purchase any of these mosaics, click the pictures.

Green with Envy in the Morning

Green with Envy in the Morning

Green with Envy at Noon

Green with Envy at Noon

Green with Envy in the Evening

Green with Envy in the Evening

Green with Envy during the Night

Green with Envy during the Night

Green with Envy over the Sea

Green with Envy over the Sea

I also have a cluster of moon moths that I had gathered together from a recent trip on the moon. All these and more are available from my Artfinder shop. You can view the works without having to join by clicking the cross at the top right hand corner of the page. Or you can have £10 off any Artfinder art work by clicking this link and joining.

Moon Moths (1)

Moon Moths (1)

Happy Butterfly Days 🙂


Moths on the Moon

Once upon a time, a very long time ago, before humans attempted to rule the earth, before a human was even born in fact, back in the time when the earth was made of blue butterflies, there was a very beautiful blue butterfly Queen, her name was Arion. Her particular skills were sky dancing, and she was admired by all the other butterflies for her grace and her ability to leave a  trail of beautiful patterns in the sky as she danced.  Now it came to pass that her best friend gave birth to another blue butterfly who grew up very strong and  beautiful , graceful and clever. Her name was Asthena. So clever was Asthena she was able to not only imitate Queen Arion and her wonderful dances in the sky, but she was able to turn the trail of patterns into little golden balls of dust. All the other butterflies admired her so much and asked her to dance for them every day. This made Queen Arion jealous and she began to turn green with envy, and one day in a fit of rage and mad fluttering she turned Asthena  white and banished her from the earth. Disagreeing with Queen Arion’s actions, many of the other blue butterflies on earth became agitated and began an uprising, but Queen Arion was having none of it and she turned them all white and banished them all from the earth.
Meanwhile Asthena flew in the dark away from the  blue earth below and became afraid, but when she turned to see her beautiful blue earth one more time she saw lots of white butterflies coming towards her. Together they flew on in the darkness until they became tired and there they formed a new world, we call it the moon.
Back on earth Queen Arion became sorry for what she had done, so she allowed the white butterflies to visit the earth at night, (in that way she wouldn’t have to see them and feel even worse for what she had done) she also gave them a new name – moths. However not being able to see very well the moths rarely visited earth at night, that was until humans invented artificial light …

Part 1 - Full Moon

Part 1 – Full Moon


Moths - Crescent Moon fb

Part 2 – Crescent Moon


Part 3 - New Moon

Part 3 – New Moon

Click the pictures for more details!

Story and art work © Kate Rattray


Bah Humbug!

Oh yes it’s that time again when we are all scrabbling around trying to find interesting presents for our families and friends. And there is news that we might have a white Christmas here in the south west UK, so all the more reason to get the shopping done now and then hopefully we can relax!
Well I am using this post to shamelessly plug my new pieces available to buy on my Folksy shop. Hey, you don’t need to behave like Scrooge! Don’t go yet! Talking of Scrooge, I would like to introduce you to my Bah Humbug Bee Pendants and brooches.

bees folksy

Bah Humbug Bees!

Then there are my Fish for the Funky Punks Brooches

shoal folksy

Fish Brooches for the Funky Punks

Both the bees and the fish can be ordered without backs and fixed straight to a wall or as part of your personal mosaic project.

They are made by hand-gilding glass with metal leaf and cutting it to shape. Once used for mosaic the glass is on top because if used gilded side up even after sealing, the grout will ruin the metal leaf.   The substrate for the brooches is aluminium, hand cut and filed. For the bee’s thorax I made some polymer clay half bead shapes that are fired in the oven and then varnished. They were great fun to make and finally we found a use for my daughter’s pasta machine!


I have also made some more box frame mosaic art pieces.

This is my series “Three Golden Birds at Sunset” I think these precious little mosaics made with Venetian gold leaf glass and smalti look quite eye-catching  in the deep boxes, what do you think?

You can see more details about each of these items and more on my Folksy shop

Happy Shopping and have a Very Merry Christmas!

While the Moon Gently Weeps

The title of this piece came to me through the radio whilst I was making it. That beautiful song written by George Harrison “While my Guitar Gently Weeps,” was playing. All I had to do was replace the guitar for the moon!  It was exactly how I saw my mosaic. A waning moon weeping pieces of itself . Leaf shaped pieces that could also be tears.
I had made the first sketch a few months ago and after a couple more drawings I was ready to start.


Final cartoon

Final cartoon

This piece was not without it’s difficulties. I made it using the indirect method to obtain a flat surface. I wanted to  use my metal leaf glass together with the thicker depth of the  ceramic and glass mosaic tile.

indirect method

indirect method

I removed the paper whilst the adhesive was still wet so that I could change anything I wasn’t happy with, and I realized I had forgotten to add more adhesive to the metal leaf glass that I had used for the rings around the moon. I could have removed the pieces and added more adhesive to make it level, however I found that I rather liked the effect of the moon that stood out in relief from the rings. It’s difficult to show it in a photo, you will have to imagine it! (Sorry I can’t just show you the moon, I have to show you the owl too!)


I attempted to make the shadows contrast with the shafts of moonlight  like I had drawn them. I used paler glass for the leaves in the moonlight, but my attempt to define this even more by use of pale grout and then silver ink just didn’t work, so I grouted it all in black. If you screw up your eyes you can just make out the rays of moonlight across the leaves 😉


Finally I used silver ink around the trees to emphasize the moonlight and allow some contrast between the trees and the dark blue night sky.

While The Moon Gently Weeps

While The Moon Gently Weeps

Again it is very difficult to show the mosaic accurately in a photo. I took the photo outside on a dull day and I even shone a light on the leaves, but they look almost as if they are made of paper coloured in with crayons, you can’t see the shine on the glass.  I’ll try again when it is framed and on a  wall.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Where The Flying Things Go

The design for this mosaic was a culmination of ideas and past work. I was still working out how I was going to put it all together when one day last week the sky gave me the final piece of the puzzle and the motivation to start. This was how the sky looked that day:


I made a quick coloured sketch. I wanted to use some of the motifs I have used in previous mosaics; birds, butterflies and Bella, and I added to them bees, a Boeing (beginning to see a connection?) , and I added a few more flying things that don’t begin with B (see if you can spot them).


As I began the mosaic I decided to use some pinks and iridescent glass as well as white for the clouds – sunrise colours. I also began to stack the clouds together as they were in the photo, instead of spacing them out like in my drawing.
I thought I would try out some blue grout around the clouds and flying things, but as you can see it didn’t work:

It’s a bit …how can I say it … yuck! From my experience coloured grouts can work well when used with similar colours and tones, for instance in How the Sun Wakes Up and in Larks.

But in this case although some of  the tones of the glass have a similar value to the tones of the grout,  the hues are different. However I think the main reason why the overall picture doesn’t work is because the clouds and flying things are not defined enough. It needed black grout to define the shapes like the shapes in the sun.
So to plan B after digging out the blue grout which is still soft after I have had my dinner due to the acrylic paint I added to it.


Plan B = filling in the spaces with blue glass.


Sometime later, I re-grouted in black:

Where The Flying Things Go

Where The Flying Things Go

Come back soon to see another mosaic inspired by that mackerel sky!


Where the Earth Meets the Sky

I have been invited back again this year to work with Kings Hall School in Taunton. This time they want to make some colourful mosaics for the music department. I have cut out three instruments from mdf with my jigsaw, but you will see the finished mosaics in the next post.
As we will use graduations of coloured glass tiles to cover the shapes, I decided to make an example piece which shows a transition of greens to blues, as well as demonstrating the shape of tile and andamento we will use.

It seemed to make sense to make a piece for display, not just a demo piece, and as I was out walking through the fields one evening I was mesmerised  by the beautiful daisies and buttercups in the green grass and the blue sky above me, and it all seemed to merge together in my mind.

So I made Where The Earth Meets The Sky:

Where the Earth Meets the Sky

Where The Earth Meets The Sky

Here’ s a close up of those daisies and buttercups made of little millefiori tiles.


The school musical instrument mosaics will be edged in tiles, so I thought I would treat this one in the same way. It is the first time I have edged a mosaic in tiles and I am quite pleased with the result…


Thanks for reading


The Storm

I’ve been working on a final set of mosaics which will bring an end to a “concept album” of work. There are over 40 mosaics in my album (some of which you can see on my website) and they will soon be produced in a book I hope to publish through “Blurb” before Christmas.

The Storm is one of the final mosaics.

My original idea for The Storm was as a series of 5 large stained glass  mosaics and a subsequent video. It was inspired by a cold windy autumnal day last year with many birds flying high in the distance. Every so often the sun would send shafts of coloured light from behind the clouds, catching the birds wings so they appeared to “flash” as they flew. The weather was changeable that day and soon the clouds that came across were heavier and the birds disappeared into them. But then came the rain, great long hard drops of it and as I ducked my head under my jacket I felt as if it wasn’t raindrops hitting me but bits of swooping birds. It was a real Daphne du Maurier/ Hitchcock moment.

I felt as if the storm was caused by the birds, the storm was the birds, the birds were the storm …

Unfortunately I couldn’t make 5 mosaics as my budget wouldn’t stretch to it (I tried to win an award to pay for it but was unsuccessful) so I decided to make 1 mosaic and incorporate the whole concept and changing sky.

I’m pleased I did this as I am pleased with the outcome and quite excited by it.

But on planning the design I came across some mind mangling problems and thoughts. This was my first quick coloured pastel sketch.

Thinking about the sky without a horizon of distant land or sun seemed to turn my ideas of perspective upside down, back to front and inside out.

First, would I illustrate the sky so that it had distance or depth, both, or something else? If it was to have distance then the supposed horizon (at the bottom of the picture) would be the furthest point and there the birds would be smaller, just like in my mosaic “Gathering Darkness” and so I colour sketched this picture.

This would also give it depth but only into the distance. What if I wanted the depth to be above me and the storm and the birds to come down on me? So I sketched this picture.

Then I struggled to decide which drawing to use. Perhaps the first is most understandable and the second is more abstract, but the latter seems to be more interesting. It also describes what happened that day. And not only does it “feel” as if the storm was coming down on me, but it also looks like a view of the sky from the sky, as if I am viewing it from above, perhaps from a plane or a bird.

The Storm (view 1)

The iridescent black glass represents the flickering birds in the rays of sunshine. If you walk past the mosaic the birds flicker and move…

The Storm (view 2)

This is one of my new mosaics that will be included in my exhibition “Crust” with Marcelo de Melo at Bath Artists Studio Gallery fro 23 – 28 October.

I am working on an accompanying video …stay tuned