Mosaic Demonstration at the San Diego County Fair

On July 3, I enjoyed demonstrating mosaics in front of the Fine Arts Building at the San Diego County Fair. This was a really interesting and fun new experience for me.  I had four hours and was given a table with a mirror above it which allowed the audience to see my hands while I was working. There were so many questions asked about the process and the materials, and one couple sat for two hours chatting with me so that they could see the entire process of mosaicing the seahorse from start to finish. When I was mosaicing the dragonfly, I had a young boy come up and stand right in front of me to watch, and then he assisted for probably forty five minutes. He was so interested and he did a wonderful job. It made him so happy to learn how to cut the glass and then set the pieces on the sticky mesh and he stayed until he had completed all the gold around the outside of the dragonfly wings.

I hope they will give me the opportunity to demonstrate again next year. I love sharing my love of mosaics with the world!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Hidden Gem in Encinitas

On June 17th, I had the pleasure of teaching at The Center for Creative Renewal in Encinitas, CA.  The owner, Ellen Speert, is an art therapist and has owned the three acre property for over forty years. From the street, you would never know what lies beyond the gate to her back garden. She and her partner have lovingly created an amazingly beautiful environment that is filled with art and includes a building for her art therapy, complete with a deck that looks out over the mountains. In addition, there is an outdoor deck for art classes as well as a new yoga deck. Ellen teaches classes herself, leads art therapy groups, and hosts visiting artists several times a year. You can visit her website at www.artretreats.com for more information and to see all of her classes and events. Taking a class here offers so much more than just the content of the class. The location is spectacular.

The class Ellen and I chose was Mosaic Mandalas, one of my current obsessions. The word mandala means circle, and represents wholeness and divine harmony.  It was the perfect project. Students created the mandalas on Wedi board, making them waterproof and suitable for hanging in a garden environment. I brought a huge selection of my own handmade tiles to offer as focal points as well as to radiate from the center. As you can see from the photos, everyone’s interpretation of the project was their own unique vision. The results were beautiful. Thanks to all of you for coming!

If you would like to create a mandala in Ellen’s beautiful garden, I will be teaching this class again in April of 2018.

Megan Hoopes with her piece incorporating my handmade tiles in a paisley design.

Rosemary Stark with her beautiful piece incorporating a center medallion and radiating “leaf tiles”.

Carol Denenberg with her piece primarily all in blues using only glass.

A unique piece that I do not remember the name of its creator. It is so beautiful and creative. Let me know if you were in the class and can identify who made this one.

A beautifully planned and executed piece with complimentary colors created by Gail Gerbie.

The lovely yellows in this piece by Mary Beth Casement are so happy. And Mary Beth learned how to add glass rods vertically in the center.

Love the blues and purples Ellen Speert chose. The pink and aqua add a nice contrast.

The chartreuse green tiles in Susan Pierce’s piece are my absolute favorite.I just love that color. She ended up changing this from black to white grout. That was beautiful as well.

San Diego Botanic Garden Sculpture Show 2017

June 25th was the reception for the artists in the San Diego Botanic Garden’s 2017 Sculpture in the Garden Show. I am so happy to have had four pieces selected for the show. The first, my 36″ mandala, is installed near the entrance to the garden up in the plant shop (which is by the gift shop). The others, three of my sculptural “flowers” (mandalas), provide bright splashes of color down in the Hamilton Children’s Garden. The opening reception was a lovely brunch and a presentation by the CEO Julian Duval, and the curator of the show, Naomi Nussbaum.      Here is a link to the garden’s website and a map of the locations of the sculptures in the garden:     http://sdbgarden.org/sculpture.htm

And here are a few photos of the show.

A group shot of the artists in attendance.

My mandala up in the plant shop. It’s a perfect location. The photographer for the Encinitas Weekly grabbed me for a photo for the newspaper. 

Explaining my work to attendees who were on a tour of the sculptures.

A closeup of one of my mandala flowers in the show.

 

My husband, Mark’s dragonfly that is in the show.

 

 

Ruth Bancroft Garden Sculpture Show 2017

On June 15th I drove up to Walnut Creek, Ca to install three of my sculptures in the Ruth Bancroft Garden. This was my first visit to the garden and  I found it to be a very special place filled with beautiful succulents and cactus. The garden is just over three acres, and it was quite a spectacular show as there were 103 sculptures. What a perfect setting for the amazing art selected!

I stayed for the opening reception June 17th and several of our friends were able to attend. It was a fun event in spite of the 103 degree temperatures. What crazy weather. The week prior it had been 30 degrees cooler.

You can read more about the show here on the Garden’s website. http://www.ruthbancroftgarden.org/2017SculptureShow.html

And here are some photos of my work, my husband’s work, our friends, and some of the other sculptures. Enjoy!

 

My dear friend Kendall Butler attended the opening.

My husband, Mark, and my dear friend, Leslie Meehan. Mark has two dragonfly sculptures in the show.

 

Awesome chicken!

I love this totem.

Beautifully executed mosaic pillow.

 

 

 

Memorial Bench Installation for the Butler Family

On May 18th and 19th, I was in Auburn, Ca for the installation of my second memorial bench. My good friends, Kendall and Eric Butler, lost their son, Justin, five years ago when he was sixteen. I was asked if I wanted to create a bench for them  and of course I said yes, I would be honored. The infinity symbol is an eight turned on it’s side which was Justin’s football number. Kendall loved the whimsical butterflies and dragonflies she had seen on my previous bench and wanted to keep the design simple so that was all we added.  It was such a joy to be able to have Kendall there helping with the installation. We had a great time and she loved it.

All packed and ready to fly to Sacramento.

Unpacked and ready to go to work.

Buddies. We had fun.

Thinset going on the stone.

Laying the glass.

 

Having fun with thinset.

Kendall helping with the grout.

Done!

San Dieguito Art Guild Art in the Garden Tour

Mother’s Day weekend was absolutely beautiful weather and a perfect weekend for the San Dieguito Art Guild’s annual Art in the Garden Tour. There were eight homes in Encinitas and Carlsbad on the tour and there were 6-8 artist’s at each location. I was so fortunate to be at the home of Holly Ripkin with a prime spot by the pool with a gorgeous view of her pool, garden, and the mountains in the distance. This tour has been going on for years and was very well attended. I am happy to say that I had a very successful weekend.

Here are some photos.

The artists

Our wonderful host, Holly.

The garden setting for my work.

The view I had all weekend.

Eileen with her newly purchased mandala.

Annette and Evan Friend with their new mirror.

 

I’m really looking forward to next year!

 

SAMA Conference 2017

The Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA) conference was in Detroit this year May 2-6. For the first time ever, I didn’t take any workshops but instead I was a vendor at the, always popular, vendor marketplace. I brought lots of pre cut wedi board shapes as well as handmade tiles. They were a big hit and I almost sold out. One of the best parts was sharing the booth with Ilse Cordoni who is the former owner of the Institute of Mosaic Art. We had such a great time getting to know each other and she was a huge help.

Part of one day I spent touring Detroit on their “people mover”. The Detroit Institute of Arts was a highlight. The largest mural Diego Rivera ever created is there and it spans four walls of an atrium in the museum. It was phenomenal. This is just one wall of it.

 

The ever popular Mosaic Arts International Show was outstanding as always. Here are some of my favorite pieces from the show.

 

If you are interested in SAMA, go to their website at www.americanmosaics.org and check it out. Next year the conference is in Boston. Can’t wait!

A Tour of Anado McLauchlin’s Studio and Home

I just returned from five days in San Miguel de Allende. What a beautiful and fun city! The trip was fabulous and one of the highlights was visiting Anado McLauchlin. He’s a mosaic and assemblage artist and has an amazing compound in the country outside San Miguel that includes his home, studio, and two galleries. I just loved him and was so impressed by all the work he and his partner have done to the place over the last sixteen years. There is art everywhere you look. Here are a few of the photos.

Myself and Anado in front of one of the many installations on the property.

Anado’s mandala on a tractor tire.

The composting toilet.

The arch leading down to the Chapel of Jimmy Ray,

which is a gallery named after Anado’s father.

The staircase down to the Chapel of Jimmy Ray.

Anado explaining how he built the bottle wall.

One of Anado’s mosaic works. He also does assemblage work.

Tuesday Morning Classes in the Studio

Tuesday morning classes have been super fun lately. Everyone is working on a different project and students are all learning from each other. It’s a relaxed and therapeutic time for us all. Some of the skills being taught are: different types of substrates and when to use them, which adhesives to use, ways to hang your pieces, tabletop designs, cutting skills, design principles, andamento, and of course there’s always claywork being done. Come join us. It’s just such a fun way to spend a morning hanging with other women.

Here are some of the photos of happy mosaicists.

Here’s Chris working on her border tile for her Tree of Life. This project is huge and I admire her for taking on the challenge. This one combines working with clay for the border and the tree, and the background will be glass mosaic.

Here’s Jody working on glazing her heart for her Sagrado Corazon wall piece. Glazing was not her most fun activity because of the addition of the little balls, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. This piece combines clay work with handmade background tile and glass gems around the border.

Here’s Gina’s second tabletop. Love all the color. Looks like candy doesn’t it?

This is Gina’s first tabletop which is much more complicated and much more detailed. She stopped midway, finished the easier one, and is now back to working on this one. It’s really beautiful and I can’t wait to see it finished.

Here’s Collen’s drawing of her newest piece with dragonflies and flowers. It’s all stained glass and glass gems and I can tell already it’s going to be a beauty.

Here’s Pam glazing her sun which is a ceramic piece.

Here’s Pam’s sun all completed. Isn’t it gorgeous!

A Week With the Italian Master Giulio Menossi

What an experience! I was so fortunate and happy to have had the opportunity to attend a workshop at Casa Valencia in Tijuana, February 2-11, with Italian Master mosaicist, Guilio Menossi. His talent and gentle teaching style amazed me! I have watched and appreciated his work for years, and was so lucky to have seen a post on FB about the workshop. There turned out to be several cancellations the week before, so we were to lucky there ended up being only two of us in the class. I had lots of one on one time with Guilio and the information, skills, and inspiration were perhaps the best of any workshop I have ever attended.

Monday morning when we arrived, we were given our substrate, which was a very three dimensional heart made of plywood. We began Monday morning with Guilio teaching us the fundamentals of andamento. Once we had the fundamentals down, Guilio explained that with the knowledge we’d gained we could choose to break those fundamental rules but still use them within our own style.  It was such a  different and new experience learning from someone who did not speak English. Fortunately, Aida and the other student spoke some Italian and were able to translate for me.

After lunch, we selected our base color, selected our smalti and began working with the hammer and hardie. I wish I could’ve had a week there to practice prior to creating the piece since I haven’t worked in this style of mosaics much at all. Not being skilled with the hammer meant that a lot of smalti is wasted from bad cuts and that it took much longer to make progress on the piece.

For six days I worked from 9:00-6:30 on this piece. Every single tessara was set into colored thinset, using a pair of tweezers. To say it is tedious work is an understatement, but I loved it! And most of all I am so happy with the outcome.

Aida Valencia was such a wonderful host for the workshop. Her working studio was the location, and so we were able to watch as she and her studio employees worked on a large and beautiful commission piece of Jesus. Every night Aida took us to one of her favorite local restaurants. The food was always so delicious- even the Chinese food! Hotel Palacia Azteca, where I stayed, was very nice and being only a block and a half away it was a very easy and safe walk.

I can’t wait to go back and visit Aida. I know we will enjoy being friends for years to come. I am already working on getting my Sentry pass so that crossing back into the US will be quicker.

What a joy to have a full six days immersed in nothing but the work. Here are a few photos.

My completed heart.

A detail shot- making color selections.

Guilio and I enjoying our tamarind margaritas- a first for me.

Aida, me , Guilio, and Tere Ramos.