This blog describes the process and inspirations for the creation of Kanika Marshall's mixed media sculptures.


| 04 December, 2013 17:21

Well it's been a whirlwind fall for me traveling to Georgia for genealogy work and the AARP convention and then visiting my darling grandchildren in Japan. So my blog has suffered a bit from disuse, but I'm back now! Having to prepare for my largest indoor show of the year, the three-day Crocker Holiday Art and Gift show right after Thanksgiving, forced me to get ready real fast! This is the 20th time I've done this venerable show, and each year I try to bring different sculptures for people to buy.
So I made more Kwanzaa ornaments because everybody loves how bright and interesting the African fabrics are, with the principles of Kwanzaa written on each ball. I sold so many last year that I needed to make more (Note: There are some gifts on my website for purchase: ). 
And everyone likes tile trivets (hot pots) that are beautiful to look at and protect the table or counter from hot pots. I also packed hearts, masks, platters, long mosaic pieces, a few African figurines and pottery.  But was that enough?
Maybe it was time to make some of my tile tables for other people to enjoy. Over the years, I've painted on floor tiles and smaller tiles to create, in essence, large murals. Those are then glued to OSB wood with glass and metal and beads to make my tile mosaic sculptures. For example, small 2x2 tiles were used on my custom kitchen and mixed-size tiles were installed in my bathroom.
Large 16x16 tiles were used to make this "Journey" coffee table. 
That's it! Tables! Furniture with clay tiles. I had already made several 22"x22" tables for myself to use on my covered patio, but maybe it was time to share them with you. I found a source for easy-to-put-together tables and had already painted many dozens of 4"x4" tiles with various moifs, such as: trees, women, flowers, and abstracts. They were fired in a kiln and stored in boxes for later use.
The fun part was being able to create different layouts of tiles and glass and stone, with the help of my Facebook friends. Here are some examples of layouts hat I asked FB friends to comment on:
Once the layouts were decided, I used industrial strength adhesives to adhere the tiles to the table top. Applying tape was important to ensure the tiles did not shift/move while they were drying. On some tables, I pour several layers of resin on the top to create a smooth surface. I use these tables on my patio outside as a breakfast/computer/reading table. And several tables are inside as coffee tables, puzzle tables and pedestals for sculptures. Since the table legs do not like moisture, I bring the tables inside during inclement weather.
In 2014, I will conduct a class on how to make a tile tabletop at the Elk Grove Fine Arts Center, in Elk Grove , California. More information on my clay and mosaic classes is contained on my website: