Impel splash2 project

Goal.  To create bold and modern mosaic elements for this compact farmhouse kitchen backsplash.  

A larger ceramic field tile was a great way to create a clean, modern, urban look with minimal grout lines.  The client and I both loved this 12.75" x 4.25" rectangle shape in the Dal-Tile Modern Dimensions line.  The 'urban putty' color provided us with a sophisticated neutral surround.  The color palette needed to integrate the mahogany of the cabinets and pull out the terra cotta, cinnamon and burnt sienna tones from the arandis rose granite countertops.  Transparent glass was incorporated to create a sense of fluidity and depth.  Blue color accents were used, invoking both sky and lake from the surrounding natural landscape.

Color palette

Concept.  Impel is all about movement and change.  Using three mosaic elements gave me a chance to explore this concept in a new way.  The two small insets are each essentially 'portraits' of a single element found in the central inset.  They appear in relative isolation in the small insets and then in a broader context in the center inset.  In the center insets, we see the changes that result from the inherent impingements, interactions and connections in context.


color patterns are developed

Fabrication.  All work is done in my studio.  For this project, I used the double reverse method to avoid using mesh--which would have shown through the transparent glass.  Pieces were individually cut and adhered to sticky shelf liner paper.  This was then face-taped for transportation to the project site.

Insets ready for installation

insets ready for installation

Installation.  Surround tile was installed by professional tile installer Michael Cozzi, Artistic Tile Concepts.  The ceramic surround tile and mosaic insets were adhered to the drywall with thinset.


Michael Cozzi finishing setting the ceramic surround tile

The surround tile was grouted with unsanded oyster gray grout.  I grouted the mosaic insets with sanded charcoal gray.


Grouting insets

surround tile is taped off while grouting the mosaic insets

Finished Project.  Proportions work well in this compact kitchen, adding bold visual elements that are in keeping with the scale of this backsplash.  The installation is dynamic dependent on lighting conditions.  Bold direct overhead light brings out the intense color and strong contrasts.  In low light and from angled perspectives the iridescent glass and 24k gold smalti literally gleams, creating a different visual experience.

Full kitchen 8x5

Impel splash2


Inset detail

Impel splash2 inset detail

Impel splash2 Photo Gallery | Slideshow