31 December 2021

Review of 2021

I usually do a review of the year that has been on New Years Eve, however, there is not much to review this year.

Apart from the the major milestone at the end of June, of leaving my paid employment to follow my dream of being a full time artist, Covid has has put a stop to nearly everything else.

I decided early in November to focus on mosaic art and design, so I know where my plans lie for 2022, I just need to ensure that my opportunities to sell are not thwarted by any Covid restrictions that may be imposed.

16 December 2021

Photo in the Hauraki Coromandel Post 16.12.2021

I got quite shock this morning, when I was looking through the local paper, to suddenly see myself staring back.

12 December 2021

Polymer clay UV light fastness trial

For some time I have felt it is a shame that I cannot sell my polymer clay mosaics/creations for outdoor use, as the colours will fade if exposed long term to sunlight. How much and how quickly this will happen, I do not know, so I have decided to set up a trial. I wanted to get this going now, as we are just entering the summer months (in New Zealand) and our sunlight is extremely harsh, so it will be a good test.

I am currently using the New Zealand made brand of polymer clay, called Du-Kit, as it has been hard to get Sculpey Premo (my prefered brand) since the Covid Lockdowns. To save mixing colours, I am using the ends of some canes that were made for a project, which have a range of colour blends within a particular hue (shown to the left in the photo below). I have also included some neutral colours (shown to the right in the photo below): black, grey made from 50% black and 50% white, white, pearl, transluscent and Super Sculpey (grey). 

The polymer clay tiles have been stuck and grouted to the back of a couple of ceramic wall tiles, as this was all that I readily had to hand. 

The top half of the coloured tiles have been masked off with opaque black plastic tape. I am hoping this will hold up to the long term effects of the weather.

There are two rows of tiles in the neutral colours. The top half of the top row has been masked off with opaque black plastic tape. The bottom row has been used to test UV protective varnish; the upper half of the bottom row has 2 layers of Josefine Very Matt Varnish and the bottom half has 2 layers of Josefine Satin Varnish.

Today (12th December 2021) I have placed the trial tiles on the bottom rail of the garden fence that gets plenty of sunshine during the day.

I plan to check how much colour fading has occurred after 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. Then, depending on the results, I may continue to monitor.

06 December 2021

Dot Painting versus Dot Mosaic

A. Dot Painting

B. Dot Mosaic

I finally got the chance to show my two pictures, both of the same flower design, one done by painting the dots (A) and the other done with round mosaic tiles (B). I wanted to get public opinion as to which was preferred. There were enough people at the Art in the Park event to get a reasonable response. Of the 74 votes cast, the results were:

A. Dot Painting - 34%

B. Dot Mosaic    - 66%

I am happy with the result, as I did not enjoy doing the dot painting, which is a very different technique to the dot mosaics that I love creating. The result of two thirds in favour of the dot mosaic validates my decision to continue with mosaics.

05 December 2021

Photos from Art in the Park

We were so lucky with the weather, which had been rainy all week. It could not have been better on the day for this event. There were lots of visitors, soaking up the wonderful atmosphere in the grounds of Bushlands. Art, music, wine, food, and sales - what a perfect day!

This was my set up

Some general shots

and me

This photo is courtesy of the Arts Collective Whangamata

28 November 2021

Art in the Park - Sunday 5 December 2021

Really looking forward to taking part in this, as so many other events have been cancelled this year, due to Covid 19. Fingers crossed it all goes to plan, and the weather is kind to us.


26 November 2021

"She loved yellow flowers"

Today, it is a year since my mother passed, so I thought it fitting to present the mosaic that I did in remembrance of her. It was the first piece of mosaic art created in my studio since I became a full-time artist back in July of this year. 

It is titled “She loved yellow flowers” because when my husband met my mother for the first time, he gave her a bouquet of yellow flowers. I remember my mother saying that yellow flowers were her favourite. Now, whenever I look at this mosaic or any other yellow flowers, it always makes me think fondly of her.


01 November 2021

Figuring out the way forward

Since leaving my job at the end of June, I have spent the last four months considering, researching and trial designing many different and varied creative ideas.

For various reasons, either in terms of design/manufacture or selling (all major markets in the region have closed down due to Covid 19 restrictions), I am no further forward. I have even considered changing medium but I keep coming back to polymer clay mosaics. I think this is because it is where my enjoyment, satisfaction and skill lies. So, now I am finally settled on my way forward, I will try and develop my mosaics to be more profitable.

In the New Year, I will re-brand my website, simply as Claire Fairweather – Mosaic Art and Design. I will create the ‘mosaic art’ that I so love to do, and the ‘design’ allows me the freedom to include other designed items, whether they include mosaic or not.

31 October 2021

Whangamata Lions Craft & Farmers Market cancelled for the foreseeable future

The Labour Day market was cancelled, due to Covid 19 restrictions, so I was really hoping that the Anniversary Weekend market in January would go ahead. So, I was absolutely gutted to receive the news that all markets are cancelled for the foreseeable future.

I have spent a lot of time and money over the last couple of months, creating a new display for my Swirl-StoNZ, specifically for this and other such indoor markets. It looks like I am going to have to re-think things, so my display is suitable for outdoors, as the small local Whangamata Sunday Market is the only market that is continuing at this current time.

28 October 2021

Alphabet Orb - photos

Here is my recently completed piece, titled Alphabet Orb. I will try taking a video of it on my electric turntable, when it is quiet, and add that later.

Alphabet Orb - front and back shots
15cm (6 inches) diametre

24 September 2021

New Zealand Mosaic Art National Exhibition has been Cancelled

So disappointed, but not surprised due to Covid 19, to learn that the Zealand Mosaic Art National Exhibition to be held in Orewa (Auckland) this October/November has been cancelled. It will be re-arranged next year in Whanganui (not so easy for me to get to). Instead, there will be an online competition in November, so I will enter the piece I had created for the exhibition. I will post photographs once the competition has been judged.

22 July 2021

The next Arts Collective event is the Mid Winter Mingle

I will be exhibiting two pieces at this event, held at the Whangamata Club, 404 Port Road, Whangamata. They are not my usual polymer clay mosaics but large sand paintings on canvas. One is titled 'Daybreak in Paradise' and the other, 'Moonlight Glow', incorporates photoluminescent powders so it will glow in the dark.


01 July 2021

A new chapter in my life

The 30 June 2021 was a momentous day for me - my last day of guaranteed financial income. After working part-time for the last ten years, as an accounts assistant for an engineering company, I have finally taken the plunge and terminated my contract. So, today is the first day of my new life as a full-time artist/creative. While a little daunting, I am really excited to start following my true vocation.

18 May 2021

Daybreak in Paradise

Daybreak in Paradise

Inspired by a local photograph (not taken by myself) Daybreak in Paradise measure71 cm x 71 cm. It is a sanding paining on canvas, with acrylic paint glazes.

My method of sand painting is to coat a bare canvas with glue and cover with an even layer of fine white sand. This is sealed with several layers of acrylic medium, to keep the sand in place, and then over painted with acrylic colour washes, so the sand tecture still shows through. For effect, I have included fine glitter for sparkle over the blue sea and used a gloss finish on this and wet sand areas.

26 April 2021

Moonlight Glow

Moonlight Glow - shown in daylight and in the dark

I have just completed
Moonlight Glow, measuring 50.5 cm x 76 cm. This is a sanding painting on canvas, with acrylic paint glazes and glow in the dark powder. I am really pleased with the way it has turned out, especially when viewed in the dark. 


01 April 2021

Whangamata Arts Collective - Easter Open Studio Trail is this weekend

I will be displaying some of my work at the Information Centre Hub on Port Road, Whangamata. 

Hope you can drop in and say hello.

05 February 2021

My display at the Big Arts Day Out - Waitangi Weekend 2021

Here is my display on the opening (Friday) night of the exhibition. I will be demonstrating how I make my Swirl-StoNZ throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. 

02 February 2021

Exciting event coming up this Waitangi Weekend - 6 & 7 February 2021


In addition to my entry in the Harcourts Challenge, a sand painting titled 'Essence of Aotearoa', I will be having a space at the Big Arts Day Out showcasing my polymer clay mosaics and also demonstrating how I make my Swirl-StoNZ.

28 January 2021

Exhibition entry gets a mention - Hauraki Coromandel Post 28.01.2021


The next Whangamata Arts Collective event is the Harcourts Challenge/Big Arts Day Out, over the Waitangi weekend, 5-7 February 2021. This years Harcourts Challenge theme is Aotearoa Inspired. My entry is titled 'Essence of Aotearoa' and it gets a mention in the local paper. Really looking forward to this event.