Because of the carefully designed shapes, precisely fitting connections, and beautiful colors of LEGO pieces, they are perfect for building mosaics and other symmetrical patterns. One LEGO fan who has been creating some very sweet three-dimensional mosaics goes by the name Azurekingfisher. I have been following their flickr gallery for some time now, and am always amazed by the delicate beauty of their creations. Today, I thought to share some of them with you, and also discuss a bit of how they were made. 🙂
Creating pretty patterns with LEGO only requires having multiplies of the same piece, however some parts are better than others for this purpose. Ideally, the best pieces have multiple connection-points, so they can attach to each other, and also provide attachment-points for other elements.
One of the most interesting LEGO pieces in this regard is the leaves element. The LEGO leaves piece comes in two sizes; the small leaves piece has one main branch with four side branches, and the large leaves piece has three main branches, and numerous side branches. The pieces can look either mechanical (like a circuit board) or organic (leaves, vines, etc.), depending on how you use them and in what color.
At the end of each branch, there is a small loop. The small leaves piece comes with a total of six loops, and the large leaves piece has a total of fourteen loops. On the small leaves piece, two of the loops are similar to hollow-stud 1×1 round plates with a narrower top and wider bottom; you can attach standard LEGO pieces at the top, at the bottom, and through the hole in the middle. The other four loops have an even width all the way through, and are like rings. You can attach pieces on top, or rods through the hole in the middle. The large leaves piece comes with six stud-like loops and eight ring-like loops. That’s a lot of connection points!
Having so many connection-points makes the leaves ideal for building three-dimensional mosaics. In addition, because the connector loops are set fairly far from each other, there is plenty of wiggle room to attach additional leaves and other elements in many different angles.
But that’s not all! Both the small and large leaves piece is made of a softer, somewhat malleable plastic. This allows the leaves to be slightly bent to create some interesting shapes, without putting stress on the pieces.
LEGO introduced both the small and large leaves in 1987, but for many years they were only available in standard green (and thus greatly limiting their usage). In recent years, however, LEGO introduced the leaves in a whole range of colors besides standard green; bright-green, dark-green, olive-green, lime, dark-orange, dark-pink, dark-red, dark-purple, magenta, lavender, and white. This allows LEGO fans to build some very beautiful landscapes, and colorful mosaics like the ones featured here.
The leaves themselves give you plenty of patterns, shapes, and colors to work with to create three-dimensional mosaics; pretty wreaths, creeping vines, flowing drapes, lacy pieces, and more. And you may decide to just stop there. However, you could also consider the shapes created with the leaves as the foundation to build on. Because of the abundance and variety of connection-points on the leaves, you can attach other decorative pieces of your choice. Also, remember that these mosaics don’t have to be standalone creations. They can be incorporated into larger settings, like the wings on the swans, the plumage of the flamingos, and various landscaping elements on the first picture above.
For decorative elements, you don’t have to worry about having lots of attachment points; just one connection to the cluster of leaves is perfectly fine. The focus here is more on shapes and colors. Flowers, fruits, flames, wings, horns, minifigure accessories, and various translucent pieces can all look beautiful when arranged in a pattern. Also, don’t forget about playing with all the different colors these pieces are available in! For example, the same pieces and patterns could look very different in bright colors versus all white. It’s up to your own imagination, creativity, artistic ability, and patience to decide how you want to connect everything.
Speaking of patience and connecting pieces, I should also mention that the connections the leaves provide both to each other and to other pieces is quite sturdy and working with them is not fussy at all. Even though these mosaics look delicate, they are actually easy to keep together and even transport. In case you plan to make a very large mosaic or wreath, some of the attachments might want to fall apart, but you can just push a rod through the holes on the leaves to keep everything together. If you have several leaves on top of each other you can use the standard LEGO lightsaber blade, or the somewhat shorter wand. And, when you have just a couple of leaves to connect, you can use the carrot top (very short rod with two little decorative leaves at one end).
If you would like to experiment with making your own three-dimensional mosaics and wreaths, I encourage you to check out all the beautiful examples at Azurekingfisher’s gallery. It’s also pretty obvious that you will need leaves… lots of leaves, and some optional decorative pieces. If you don’t have them already, you can get them from LEGO resellers via the BrickLink marketplace, or directly from LEGO at the Pick-A-Brick section of the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? How do you like these LEGO flower mosaics? Would you like to try building some yourself? Or have you made some already? What other pieces work well for such patterns in your experience? Feel free to share your thoughts and own design ideas below! 😉
And you might also like to check out the following related posts:
- The Expanding Color Palette of LEGO Trees
- Custom LEGO Tree Houses & Tree House Sets
- LEGO Fairy Forest – Enchanted & Magical…
- How to Make Beautiful LEGO Trees
- How to Build LEGO Trees – More Techniques
- How to Make a LEGO Flowering Tree – Tutorial
- Nature with Bricks: Beautiful LEGO Wild!
- Building with LEGO: Beautiful Landscaping