I received a correspondence from the mail deliverer in Oakes, North Dakota (I think she's the only one!), asking about the price of an XL mailbox for the local newspaper, whose building recently burned down and they are in a new space. Because it was a sad story and also because it was a mail deliverer who asked, I donated it to them (just charged shipping). They put it on the front page of the paper!
My studio at the Harwood Art Center on Mountain Road is shaping up! Everything is organized on new shelf units and I tiled the window sills and painted the window frames green. I also have music and a pet mouse named Connie there. I get so much done there with no distractions from home. There was a gallery opening at the Harwood last week, along with open house for studios and I had a lot of visitors. Am so impressed with the amazing, eclectic artists upstairs from me at the Harwood!
Works in progress: Currently I am working on a commission mosaic mailbox, of course, and also adding to my Re-purposed Iconic Household Appliance collection. About seven toasters are tiled now and I have about 10 more vintage toasters ready to tile (help me stop looking at ebay, please). Some of them are so shapely and beautiful - shiny chrome with art deco etchings - that, if I have a show at some point (hopefully at The Range Cafe), I will have to display a few of them as is in their original 1930s condition so that people can appreciate them. On a whim, I picked up this coffee maker and re-purposed it for a betta fish tank.
People always ask if the coffee maker still works, but I don't think the fish would appreciate it if I plugged it in.
I did a free mosaic workshop at Habitat for Humanity ReStore recently and, while I was there, I scored a vintage sink. I coated it in a primer, "Eco Prim Grip", and am tiling it using thinset. When it's done, my plan is to put it on a pedestal with a tube and pump inside so that water will flow out the faucet. It will go in the front yard as a birdbath.
And look what just came in the mail today! It's from the year I was born...
Stay tuned for progress on this one.
Last weekend, 12 people came to my house for a Thinset Mosaic Workshop. The students tiled stepping stones which all turned out unique and beautiful (see below). For another piece, they layed a thick layer of thinset mortar (tinted black) onto a HardieBacker substrate and enbedded shells, wood, pebbles, nuts and bolts, smalti, etc. into it. No grout. This is basically how the ancient Romans worked.
Beautiful mosaic pieces! I hated to break them up when people took them home individually.
I have another thinset workshop at my house in August, mosaic classes coming up at Alegria (a retirement community in Bernalillo), a two day workshop through Oasis and one through UNM. They are all full. I will teach two 6 week mosaic classes through UNM starting on Sept. 12th (one in the afternoon, one in the evening.) I don't think they are posted yet so, if you are interested, watch for them because they fill up quickly.
Will post more pictures soon!
April, 2018: Lots of classes this month; in my home studio, Harwood Art Center and a Mosaic Mural class with Lisa Dominici at her studio. The April classes are all full, but I have classes coming up in June and July in my studio at UNM Continuing Education and through Oasis Albuquerque. Check the Classes page here for information and links to register. Drop me a note if you want to get on my mailing list to find out when new classes are added! Here is a picture of the beautiful pieces created by students in the weekend class on Apr. 7-8, 2018 at Harwood Art Center.
Next week I will get the keys to my new little studio at Harwood Art Center! I have a studio at home, where I also teach workshops, but I decided I also need a place away from all the distractions at home to work on commission mailboxes and toasters. I'll still be doing all kinds of mosaic madness at home too, of course.
March, 2018: I attended the Society of American Mosaic Artists conference in Boston this month! Blizzards outside, but incredible, inspiring (if not intimidating, in some cases) artwork inside. I met some great mosaic artists who I will now pester for advice on some of my new projects. Went on a mosaic tour of the city (old Italian mosaics in a church, floor mosaics at the state capital, the Ayer Mansion designed by Louis Tiffany, two fantastic local mosaic art shows). I attended a couple of workshops and - one of the highlights of the conference - helped work on a large mosaic mural that will be installed at the Boston Harbor.
One of the three panels that were connected into one mural.
February, 2018: I love transforming common household items into works of mosaic art that highlight the innate, iconic beauty of their shapes and purposes. My mosaic mailboxes have been very popular. Recently I started collecting vintage toasters, in love with their elegant shapes and art deco design elements. Toasters are a simple, mundane part of all kitchens that we take for granted. When re-purposed as art, we see them in a whole new light.
Some of these are still in-progress. I'm going to try to set up a Mosaic Toaster show, once I get them all finished (I now have about 20 vintage toasters, waiting to be dressed!)