Daily Archives: September 27, 2006

Itching to get started?

The FAQs aren’t ready yet but this should get you started…

* make whatever creature that inspires you. any size. (you may send
your mesh mosaic in segments if necessary – info on this coming for those
who need it)
* make it on the mesh (use Weldbond, thinset or pva) – Note thinset
may make your postage a little more expensive.
* if possible and it suits the mosaic put an opus vermiculatum
(imagine a line or shadow surrounding the outline of your mosaic) around the
mosaic in black or a dark colour or perhaps a colour in the mosaic that
works well. The opus may be traditional small cuts, or it may be a flowing
opus, irregularly shaped, but forming a shadow in black around the mosaic
you have made. The opus could be pebbles, or mirror, whatever works. This
will be shown in the fact sheets. If this is a problem, don’t do it – we
will do it here.
* please do not fill in any background as we won’t to meld all the
mesh mosaics into the background we create when piecing all the mesh mosaics
together (however the mosaic may feature a lizard on a rock or a crocs
coming out of water, so to speak. If you are unsure please post a pic of
your design or photo
* make as many as you want
* if your mesh mosaic has something unusual re the tesserae, possibly
send a few spare pieces with the mosaic so we may add a few extra touches in
the main mosaic, if it works.
* keep a spare copy of the sketch or photo that inspired you for our
records (we are going to make a story of the making of the mosaic for
everyone)
* send us a bio, a photo of yourself, perhaps one of you making the
mosaic, pics in progress and your story of your mosaic. materials used –
what inspired you to make the mosaic creature/s.

Need Mosaic Mesh? We can help!

This project seems to have captured people’s imagination and we have several very generous offers of FREE mesh [and maybe even some tiles] for those who need some!! 🙂 Contact these people to discuss the details of postage and the like.
Here are the contacts we have already…

Australia: Sandy Robertson of Ozmosaics [the link for her website is in the links section on the right]. Her email is sandy@ozmosaics.com

Jacqui Douglas of www.smashingthings.com.au lives on the Sunshine Coast and is willing to give away some of her materials if you call in. Contact her first to arrange a time whether via the website or by email at jdmosaics@optusnet.com.au

USA: Kathy Scherr from Maryland Mosaics will send a few sheets of 12×12 mesh sheets and/or 1 lb of tiles to anyone who needs them. This also includes Canada :). If you want the tiles you will have to talk to Kathy to discuss shipping costs. Email her at Kathy@MarylandMosaics.com .
UK/Europe: Angela Kingshott who can be emailed at akingsho@yahoo.co.uk
Canada: Belinda Robinson can be contacted at beedragon@yahoo.com

I have always been impressed with the generosity of spirit in the mosaic world to share information and promote mosaics. It’s bloomin’ marvellous to see it here too! 😀


Crocs Rule!

 

 

 

Black Caiman, originally uploaded by Alexander Yates.

 

rise, originally uploaded by ZaksterNT.

A crocodile is any species belonging to the family Crocodylidae (sometimes classified instead as the subfamily Crocodylinae). The term can also be used more loosely to include all members of the order Crocodilia: i.e. the true crocodiles, the alligators and caimans (family Alligatoridae) and the gharials (family Gavialidae). The crocodiles, colloquially called crocs, are large aquatic reptiles that live throughout the Tropics in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia. Crocodiles tend to congregate in freshwater habitats like rivers and lakes and wetlands. Some species, notably the Saltwater Crocodile of Australia and the Pacific islands, have been known to venture far out to sea. They mostly feed on a wide variety of vertebrates like fish, reptiles, and mammals, sometimes with invertebrates like mollusks and crustaceans, depending on species. They are an ancient lineage, and are believed to have changed little since the time of the dinosaurs.

Crocodile pool, “The Gambia West-Africa”, originally uploaded by Dennis Bouman.

Crocodiles are ambush hunters, waiting for fish or land animals to come close, then rushing out to attack. As cold-blooded predators, they can survive long periods without food, and rarely need to actively go hunting. The crocodile’s bite strength is up to 3,000 pounds per square inch, comparing to just 100 psi for a labrador retriever or 350 psi for a large shark. [1] Despite their slow appearance, crocodiles are the top predators in their environment, and various species have been observed attacking and killing big cats like lions [2], large ungulates and even sharks. [3] A famous exception is the Egyptian Plover which is said to enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the crocodile. According to unauthenticated reports, the plover feeds on parasites that infest the crocodile’s mouth and the reptile will open its jaws and allow the bird to enter to clean out the mouth.

 

Dedicated to my Friends at Delete Me!, originally uploaded by Pandiyan.

Crocodiles eat fish, birds, mammals and occasionally smaller crocodiles. Wild crocodiles are protected in many parts of the world, but they also are farmed commercially. Their hide is tanned and used to make leather goods such as shoes and handbags, whilst crocodile meat is also considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. The most commonly farmed species are the Saltwater and Nile crocodiles, while a hybrid of the Saltwater and the rare Siamese Crocodile is also bred in Asian farms. Farming has resulted in an increase in the Saltwater Crocodile population in Australia, as eggs are usually harvested from the wild, so landowners have an incentive to conserve crocodile habitat. Crocodiles are more closely related to birds and dinosaurs than to most animals classified as reptiles , the three being included in the group Archosauria (‘ruling reptiles’). See Crocodilia for more information.

[edit]

 

 

Openmouthed Saltie for satosphere, originally uploaded by Pandiyan.

The larger species of crocodiles can be very dangerous to humans. The Saltwater and Nile Crocodiles are the most dangerous, killing hundreds of people each year in parts of South-East Asia and Africa. Mugger crocodiles and possibly the endangered Black Caiman, are also very dangerous to humans. American alligators are less aggressive and rarely assault humans without provocation. Crocodiles are the leading cause of animal related deaths as of 2001.

 

 

INDIA- Wild Crocodile, originally uploaded by BoazImages.

Crocodiles are the largest of all reptiles. Size greatly varies between species. From the exceptionally small dwarf crocodile to the enormous saltwater crocodile, they range in all sorts of sizes. Large species can often reach huge sizes over 5 or 6 metres and weigh well over 1000kg. Despite their large adult size, crocodiles start their life interestingly small. Crocodiles when first hatched are around 20 cm. Sizes vary depending on the season and health and blood composition of the mother. The largest species of crocodile, also Earth’s largest reptile, is the Saltwater Crocodile, found in northern Australia and throughout South-east Asia.According to some scientists, there are no truly reliable records of any non-prehistoric crocodiles over 8.64m In the town of Normanton, Queensland, Australia, there is a fibreglass mould of a crocodile called “Krys the Croc.,” shot in 1958 by Krystina Pawloski, who found the animal on a sandbank on the Norman River. There is a report of a saltwater crocodile in Australia that was 8.2 m long. There is also a skull of a salt water crocodile from Orissa, India that is very large and the animal is estimated to have been 6.4 to 7 m long.

The other two larger certifiable records of complete crocodile are both of 6.2 m crocodiles. The first crocodile was shot in the Mary River in the Northern Territory of Australia in 1974 by poachers and measured by wildlife rangers. The second crocodile was killed in 1983 in the Fly River, Papua New Guinea. In this latter crocodile it was actually the skin that was measured by zoologist Jerome Montague, and as skins are known to underestimate the size of the actual animal, it is possible this crocodile was at least another 10 cm longer.

The largest crocodile ever held in captivity is an Estuarine/Siamese hybrid named Yai (Thai: ใหญ่, meaning big) (born 10 June, 1972) at the famous Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo, Thailand. He measures 6 m. in length and weighs 1,114.27 kg.Another huge captive crocodile was a saltie named Gomek. Gomek was captured by George Craig in Papua New Guinea and sold to St. Augustine Alligator Farm in Florida. Although George captured an even larger crocodile with Gomek, it is uncertain whether this animal is still alive on Green Island in Queensland where George Craig now lives. After many years, Gomek unfortunately died of heart disease in February 1997. By this stage, he was a very old crocodile. When he died, he was 5.5 m long – as confirmed by St. Augustine Alligator Farm – and probably between 70 and 80 years old.

On June 16, 2006, A 7.1m giant saltwater crocodile in Orissa, India was crowned the world’s largest living crocodile. It lives in Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and in June 2006, was entered in the Guinness Book of World Records. [1]

Wildlife experts, however, argued that the largest crocodile so far found in the Bhitarkanika was almost 7.62 m which could be traced from the skull preserved by the Kanika Royal Family. The crocodile, probably was shot dead near Dhamara during 1926 and later its skull was preserved by the then Kanika King. The crocodile experts said as per the parameters, the crocodile would be about 7.62 m since the size of the skull was measured one seventh of the total length of the body.

 

 

Half Sunken, originally uploaded by Robby Edwards.

  • The crocodile gets its name from the Greeks who observed them in the Nile river. The Greeks called them krokodilos, a compound word from kroke, which means “pebbles” and drilos, which means “worm”. To the Greeks, this “worm of the stones” was so named because of the crocodiles habit of basking in the sun on gravel-covered river banks.
  • Petsuchos was the name given by the Greeks to the live crocodile at Crocodilopolis in Ancient Egypt, which was worshipped as a manifestation of the Egyptian god Sobek; the deification of crocodiles.
  • Crocodile embryos do not have sex chromosomes, and unlike humans sex is not determined genetically. Sex is determined by temperature, with males produced at around 31.6 degrees celsius, and females produced at slightly lower and higher temperatures. The average incubation period is around 80 days, and also is dependent upon temperature.[5]
  • Many of the extinct crocodiles were herbivorous.

 

 

Caiman, originally uploaded by khosey1.

 

 

Sunbathers, originally uploaded by tomato umlaut.

[Info from Wikipedia]

Get the stories about Steve Irwin love of crocs and his family’s efforts at crocodilian conservation at his International Crocodile Rescue website!

 

Wombat Surprise!

Wombat, originally uploaded by Ben Harris-Roxas.

 

 

Shlumping wombat, originally uploaded by Timmy Toucan.

The wombat lives across the seas,
Among the far Antipodes.
He may exist on nuts and berries,
Or then again, on missionaries;
His distant habitat precludes
Conclusive knowledge of his moods,
But I would not engage the wombat
In any form of mortal combat.

— Ogden Nash

Bundy, originally uploaded by Sandy Fernee.

 

 

Enigmatic Wombat, originally uploaded by Ben Harris-Roxas.

 

 

 

wombat, originally uploaded by Theremina.

Wombats are Australian marsupials; they are short-legged, muscular quadrupeds, approximately one metre (3 feet) in length and with a very short tail. The name wombat comes from the Eora Aboriginal community who were the original inhabitants of the Sydney area. Wombats dig extensive burrow systems with rodent-like front teeth and powerful claws. Although mainly crepuscular and nocturnal, wombats will also venture out to feed on cool or overcast days. They are not as easily seen as many animals, but leave ample evidence of their passage, treating fences as a minor inconvenience to be gone through or under and leaving distinctive cubic scats. Wombats are herbivores, their diet consisting mostly of grasses, sedges, herbs, bark and roots.

Wombats, like all the larger living marsupials, are part of the Diprotodontia. The ancestors of modern wombats evolved sometime between 55 and 26 million years ago (no useful fossil record has yet been found for this period) and about 12 species flourished until well into the ice ages. Among the several diprotodon (giant wombat) species was the largest marsupial to ever live. The earliest human inhabitants of Australia arrived while diprotodons were still common, and are believed to have brought about their extinction through hunting or habitat alteration.

Wombats have an extraordinarily slow metabolism, taking around 14 days to complete digestion, and generally move slowly. When required, however, they can reach up to 40 km/h and maintain that speed for up to 90 seconds.

When attacked, they can summon immense reserves of strength — one defense of a wombat against a predator (such as a Dingo) underground is to crush it against the roof of the tunnel until it stops breathing. Its primary defence is its toughened rear hide with most of the posterior made of cartilage which, combined with its lack of a meaningful tail, presents a difficult-to-bite target to any enemy who follows the wombat into its tunnel. One naturalist commented, that a predator biting into a wombat’s rear would find it “comparable to the business end of a toilet brush”.

There are three species, all around a metre long and weighing between 20 and 35 kg (44 to 77 pounds):

mr wombat, originally uploaded by emmareeves.

 

 

Vombat baby, originally uploaded by Eivind.

About the project – Sandy Robertson

Steve Irwin was a great Australian bloke who passionately cared about the world’s wildlife, apart from being highly interesting, entertaining and proud of his family.

Tonight I watched his wife on the Ray Martin Interview and I sat for a while afterwards on my Queenslander deck, listening to the gentle rain falling (at last) and thought deeply about her words about her husband. It was one of the most touching interviews I have ever been privileged to watch and she touched me and my husband. Dave and I were moved to tears. Terri is an incredible woman and she and Steve were lucky to have had what most people often wish for, a happy marriage, a family and a passion that could set other people on fire and follow their dream. I feel so sad for Terri and the children but pray they will find strength and comfort keeping Steve’s dream alive.

So, this mosaic project started last week after I was shocked to hear of Steve’s passing away, so tragic. As I worked on a mosaic that day I could not get out of my head the vision of how so many people were paying tribute with flowers, kindness and messages at Australia Zoo and the outpouring of emotions worldwide.

I posted a note on the mosaic addicts group about how said I felt and later posted again with the idea of making a mosaic mural and presenting it to Terri, perhaps for the Australia Zoo or somewhere in Queensland. I had decided to make the mosaic with the help of some amazing friends, all mosaic addicts, here in Brisbane but thought how many people may get behind a community mural, but from around the world!

I should have known that the support will be there and I am stunned at the positive reaction to the idea. So many have pledged to make a mosaic on mesh of any wildlike creature and send it Downunder. It’s wonderful.

I am currently drawing up a proposal and when a decent time has passed to approach Australia Zoo, I and another lady will organise things at that end and find out what may eventuate as a place for the mosaic. That will all transpire in due course and be advised.

To get the mosaic rolling, the brief is simple:

Make a mosaic, on fibreglass mesh suitable for mosaic art, and send it to OzMosaics in Brisbane. Make as many as you desire, whatever you desire. Information on packing, how to pack the mesh mosaic, where to send it, adhesives, mesh instructions and much more will be uploaded by me to this blog, my website and the mosaic addicts group in the next few days. If you wish to get started, please do so or post a question on this blog or the addicts group or email sandy@ozmosaics.com for any further info until the FACT SHEETS are uploaded.

If you join mosaic addicts group, you will be able to ask questions regularly.

A cartoon will be made at Sandy’s studio and as segments are received or photos received of mosaics made, they will be photographed and placed on the mosaic cartoon and this will be shared. It should be amazing. I will co-ordinate a team here in Brisbane to put the mesh segments together as one large wall mural on moZboard, so that it will be easy to install and be transportable. The mosaic will be grouted in the studio for easy management. OzMosaics will donate all the materials needed to put the mosaic together and the team will do the labour (of love).

So if you make a mesh mosaic, you will be donating it to the mural project and paying for the postage to Brisbane Australia.

If you require materials or mesh, contact the members who have offered these services. If you are in Australia and would like mesh, I will provide it.

So, the Fact sheets and photographs will be here in a day or so, after I have finished compiling info suitable for this project. I will advise here and on mosaic addicts group when the file is ready.

Please submit ideas via mosaic addicts or here, all are appreciated.

Thank you to everyone who has become part of this wonderful tribute – it means to much to me that you are care enough to be part of the “bigger picture”. I believe Steve and Terri and family really got the message out there for conservation and wildlife and this is a thank you to them and an enduring tribute from artists who also care.

Thanks

Sandy Robertson

Geckos Galore!

Shadow, originally uploaded by konaboy.

 

 

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming, originally uploaded by konaboy.

 

 

Agent Smith, originally uploaded by don_vandyke.

 

 

Macro gecko eye, originally uploaded by Photo_Freak.

 

 

Nephrurus Wheeleri, originally uploaded by Dean.Bradshaw.

 

Geckos are small to moderately large lizards belonging to the family Gekkonidae which are found in warm climates throughout the world. Geckos are unique among lizards in their vocalizations, making chirping sounds in social interactions with other geckos. Geckos are unusual in other respects as well. Geckos have no eyelids and instead have a transparent membrane which they lick to clean. A few species have the ability to shoot an irritating liquid out of the end of its tail. They are also known to have the ability to change the colour of their skins although they have not mastered it like the chameleons and can only go pale. Many species have specialized toe pads that enable them to climb smooth vertical surfaces and even cross indoor ceilings with ease. These antics are well-known to people who live in warm regions of the world where several species of geckos make their home inside human habitations. These species (for example the House gecko) become part of the indoor menagerie and are seldom really discouraged because they feed on insect pests.

Most geckos are tan to dark grey, subtly patterned, and somewhat rubbery looking. Some species can change color to blend in with their surroundings or with temperature differences. However others can be brightly colored.

Some species are parthenogenic, the females capable of reproducing without copulating with a male. This improves the geckos’ ability to spread to new islands.

The toes of the gecko have attracted a lot of attention, as they adhere to a wide variety of surfaces, without the use of liquids or surface tension. Recent studies of the setae on gecko footpads demonstrates that the attractive forces that hold geckos to surfaces are van der Waals interactions between the finely divided setae and the surfaces themselves. That these kinds of interactions involve no liquids (or no gases) is important; in theory, a boot made of synthetic setae would adhere as easily to the surface of the International Space Station as it would to a living room wall. [Wikipedia]

 

 

8691 Leezard, originally uploaded by jasondunsmore.

 

 

Leaftailed Gecko, originally uploaded by Naomi Lara.

 

 

gecko, originally uploaded by giantkillerrobot.

Gecko, originally uploaded by zoom_eric.