I started this gravel art project six years ago and finished it one year ago. I’m finally getting around to blogging about it. The project didn’t have to take five years to make, it just got set aside often to finish other projects, such as my kitchen remodel. It does, however take several days or weeks, depending on how many hours you put in each day.
Explaining the birth of this project requires a little back story. My grandmother had this exact pair of peacocks hanging on her living room wall. When I decided to remodel my kitchen and chose blues as my color palette, I wanted big, bold artwork on one wall that would coordinate with the blues. I immediately thought of my grandmother’s peacocks.
My grandmother died several years ago, and I didn’t know who in my family, if anyone, had ended up with them. I called my dad and asked if he had a picture of the peacocks so I could copy them. He said no, but then he told me the story behind them.
He said that he made them himself as a kid in the 1960s, when gravel-art kits were popular. They were also called crushed marble mosaic kits. You’d buy a kit, which included the pattern on fabric with a wooden backer board and side frames, cord, gems, and colored crushed marble to make the art.
I searched the Internet for examples of 1960s gravel art, and that’s when I found a picture of the same peacocks my dad made. You can still buy many of the vintage gravel art pieces made from these kits on Etsy.
Unfortunately, my grandmother’s pair of peacocks weren’t exactly as beautiful as a had pictured them from memory. Then I found this Joan Baker glass art panel online. It’s a popular stained glass pattern, and it was perfect. But it was way too complicated to make with gravel art (I didn’t want to spend five years making it after all, haha!), so I simplified the pattern.