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Mosaic Guitar: Conquistador

Silva has a technical background and is self-taught in the art of mixed media and mosaic. Her works are scattered all over the world.

- Inspired by the Procol Harum song from the 1970s -

Conquistador mosaic guitar

Conquistador mosaic guitar




Conquistador, the dramatic 1970s song performed beautifully by Gary Brooker and Procol Harum, provides the theme for this mosaic guitar. Here are some of the lyrics:

Conquistador, your stallion stands
In need of company
And like some angel's haloed brow
You reek of purity

I see your armour-plated breast
Has long since lost its sheen
And in your death mask face
There are no signs which can be seen
. . .
Conquistador, a vulture sits
Upon your silver shield
And in your rusty scabbard now
The sand has taken seed
And though your jewel-encrusted blade
Has not been plundered still
The sea has washed across your face
And taken of its fill

. . .

The first thing I do is read the lyrics carefully and note the images that stand out to me, in this case, the sea, the sand, the angel, the waiting stallion, and the weapons and armor a conquistador might wear.

I chose the colors red-orange, black, and 24K gold for a Spanish influence, pale turquoise and mottled blue for colors of the sea, and pale brown grout to represent the sand of the beach.

I gathered costume jewelry including a silver saddle and a silver disc to represent his stallion and his shield, and a strange brass piece that might have once been a belt buckle and looks like a conquistador's axe, a white seashell that represents an angel's wing, and a round turquoise tile and a sea turtle for the sea.

I covered the hole with a piece of stained glass and then trimmed around that with first a piece of black leather bolo tie and surrounded that with a bit of gold necklace. I scattered a few glass globs (flattened marbles) because I like the way they look but I use them sparingly. The guitar is outlined with 24K gold plate rim that I nipped using Lepponit wheeled nippers.

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I cut out the stained glass flames with a Toyo oil hand cutter. I score the glass free-hand and use a Fletcher tool (looks like pliers) (both tools came from stained glass shops) to put pressure on the scored line, and, voila, the glass pops apart right where I scored it (well, most of the time). I nipped the other pieces of stained glass with Lepponit wheeler nippers and ground all the edges smooth with a carborundum stone. I used MAC glue. The tuners are represented by turquoise glass beads and the strings by dichroic stringers. The grout is sanded Mapei Keracolor, pale brown for the body and black for the neck.

Every time I look at this art piece, I think of Gary Brooker, a multi-talented musical genius who is still performing today, and I hear a faint whisper of the song that always brought tears to my eyes.

I see the image of a great stallion, patiently standing beside his dead rider. I hear again that final line that makes such a major statement about the futility of war: "You did not conquer; only die."

For detailed instructions for mosaic work, please visit my hubpage:

For more details on how I made the tuners for the Conquistador guitar, go here:

More mosaic projects and photos are on my blog:

Procol Harum


Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on September 16, 2010:

Polly and hippi, thank you both for your comments. The guitar is almost finished and an Outer Space one is next.

theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on September 08, 2010:

THIS is just stunning!!! Wow! I really want one! lol

Pollyannalana from US on September 08, 2010:

Wow that is beautiful. Welcome. Polly

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