Nothing makes a face look more beautiful than when it’s portrayed in gravel. Gravel art, or more professionally known as Crushed Marble Mosaic art, was massive in the 1950’s and 60’s. A cousin of the most popular DIY artform, paint-by-number paintings, hand-glued crushed marble mosaic art covered post Atomic Age walls as thick as shag carpeting smothered the floors. The most ubiquitous gravel paintings were made by the big dog of DIY kits, Craftmaster.

I have Jamaica Girl, 995-4-L, whose face looks suspiciously identical to Jamaica Boy, 995-4-L.

I don’t know who made my pretty girls but each of them stand 13″ x 7″ tall. The girls are much more colorful than the earth-toned Jamaica Girl.

Flowers were very popular to incorporate into gravel art as many they allowed for an unexpected splash of color:

Attempting to create shadows was also very popular in gravel hair sculpting:

It seems to me that gravel on one’s face is the perfect solution to perfect skin as blemishes are hardly noticeable amidst such a bumpy texture.

But as much as I love gravel art, when it comes to actual human faces they look much better on top of the gravel than under it.

4 Responses to “Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1960’s Pretty Girl Gravel Art”

  1. Troy

    Wow, Allee. I honestly haven’t seen gravel art since I was a pre-teen… what a wild thing to suddenly be reminded of out of nowhere.

    • missmoppetkitty

      I really want to make some, but am finding little info on how to. Do you think I could buy white fish tank gravel and dye it various colors with fabric dye? BTW, I have some mosaicy goodness for you.

  2. margaret y.

    I’m surprised at how much those girls’ faces resemble modern Japanese anime, with the big eyes and round faces. Interesting!

  3. Therese

    Hi Allee, I just came across your site while researching gravel art, I am writing an article about a piece of gravel art I recently purchased on eBay that is just like one on Mad Men that is owned by Peggy. It is the same piece pictured in your blog here on the catalog page, lower left. Thanks to your excellent scan, I was able to see that my piece is called ‘Market Place’. I love it, and I hope to find the mate ‘Market Place Boys’ to go with it! The article will be posted probably within the week, and you can check our Mad Men blog “Basket of Kisses” here:
    Great article, Thanks! -Therese