Mosaic Candy Shop X Rubinski Works Mosaic Process

Mosaic Candy Shop X Rubinski Works Mosaic Process

Our Waabigwan kit was created in tandem with Madison Holler of Rubinski Works. It was our very first (and certainly not our last) collaboration we did with another artist. As with any of our other kits, the design didn't just come together on our first try. It took months of planning, research and development, trial and error until finally we got a design that we knew would be a hit. 

Here's a little look behind the scenes on what it took to create our ever-favorite Waabigwan kit. 



We first met with Madi and began pouring over the vision & dream for our kit. First stop was our Mercury Mosaics warehouse where all tile reclaiming is organized. Here, Madi began sifting through the piles of tile and started pulling colors that resonated with her. A broad color palette was selected and some sketching led to our mosaic design beginning to take shape.


Madi’s first round design did this really cool dance between custom, waterjet cut shapes and hand cut pieces using our tile nipping strips. Once that first design was in our hands, it was time to play in the research part of Mosaic Candy Shop to see how the design could translate to tile.


One of the most fun parts of collaborations is the back and forth, stretching and forming how something works. At this stage in our process, it was incredibly satisfying to make the border with the ease of translating the digital design into tiny squares. What made it most enjoyable was our tile nipping strips are these perfect long, lean tools that can make little organic squares. They felt like beads and that made such a connection to Madi’s work, knowing this is the primary medium she works with. 

Then that got us thinking...what if the entire mosaic was composed of these teeny tiny squares??



Madison was totally in on the “all nipped” mosaic direction and came back with this super star design in just the next try. Once we gave her this direction, she said the design just flowed out of her. Mercedes couldn’t WAIT to get to the studio to try it out and the tiny squares were flying from her tile nippers – making large piles of the vibrant pieces to bring Waabigwan to life!




Once we locked in a design, it was off to the races to: finalize the size of the base, reclaim the tiles to cut into strips for the kits, and create a tutorial for how to put the kit together (which you can watch here!). All this so we could get the kits ready to be in your hands by February!




Three months after we initially began talking about collaborating on a kit, we brought Madi back in. We wanted to reflect with her on the process of collaborating together. We talked about her art as well as what inspired her design and about letting go of perfection and embracing the wabi-sabi in art and life. You can watch that interview in it's entirety here


One of the beautiful things we love about mosaics is how they take these individual pieces and put them together to create something new and more beautiful than the pieces stood on their own. Collaborating with Madi was about more than just making a beautiful mosaic. It was about taking the time to connect and learn from one another. We can't wait to do it again! 


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