Marvellous Mosaics, Peter And Janice's Passion
What were your previous occupations?
Peter was with Amcor for 42 years in various management roles (transport & customer service), Janice was with Myer in a variety of Management roles for 25 years. Janice has always been very creative. However, until taking up this hobby, Peter’s creativity had been well hidden.
How long have you been involved in mosaics?
Peter took up mosaic about 6 years ago (2 years prior to retirement) until then he had no idea what his retirement would entail. After seeing a mosaic table that Janice made at a mosaic class Peter knew that he had found his interest. Peter had never been involved in creative activities but knew that this had some appeal. Peter is very organized and structured and his work area is probably the neatest mosaic work area ever seen.
Did you do a course before retirement?
Peter did not do any course prior to commencement, he read many books and is fully self taught. Peter has done some brief workshops since then to see how others do their mosaic.
Where do you get your inspiration/s from?
Inspiration can come from anywhere mostly they are our own ideas and some work and some don’t. Janice, being an artist, is great for suggestions on what colours will work and what won’t. An example of what works (perhaps too well) was a lazy susan with a tic-tac-toe design on it. Peter had been making lazy susans with various designs but wanted something that allowed it to be used between meals. He supplied the lazy susan with the noughts and crosses pieces and couldn’t keep up with demand, despite increasing the price. We use a lot of recycled materials, pipes, pots etc from recycling centres.
Do you sell your work?
We mostly sell at a local farmers market and have a new outlet with the Dayboro Art gallery www.dayboroartworks.asn.au Our profile will eventually be on this site but is not there currently. We do not have a website as most of our products are quite heavy and postage costs are usually more than the item cost.
Despite this we have had tourists take lazy susans home to Spain and Norway. (We have not heard how they travelled)
What are some of the more unusual pieces you have created?
The list is endless however the most spectacular was a full size surfboard, a football, chair and various guitars, also garden art eg pipes, pavers etc. The items that are currently selling well are wall art (beach hut scenes, children’s animal art etc) We also do a lot of photo frames and house numbers.
What is your concept of retirement
The original plan was to do something that we enjoyed (not necessarily together, but complementary) and to do it because we wanted to, not because we had to. The intention was not necessarily to make money but if we were doing what we enjoyed and “broke even” then we would consider ourselves successful and content. It has certainly worked out that way and could be a lot more if we wanted that.
About a year into the process we realized that the hobby was controlling our lives. The demand was such that Peter was working day and night to fulfil orders and struggled to produce enough stock. We found a quieter market and started controlling sales so as to take back our lives. We prefer to keep our prices low (cover costs) so that more people can enjoy the artworks. We only produce as much as fits with our lifestyle.
Retirement is what you make it and we enjoy ours.