On my final evening in Viareggio, Italy working as an au’pair for a summer, I was asked by an Italian friend what I would like to do next with my life. I heard myself declare ‘I am going to be a mosaic artist’. To this day I still marvel at where those words and thoughts came from! I was 20… The friend I was talking with invited me to come to Milan and visit a working mosaic studio, and from there I learnt about a school for mosaics in Northern Italy, where I then studied for a year. Thirty years later and the path continues to be just as exciting.
Part of what is so thrilling about mosaics the wide spectrum of techniques and materials that can be used. Perhaps it is because there is so much room for potential, flexibility and creativity that it has held my interest all these years. Some of the materials I’ve worked with are tile, glass, porcelain, stone, china, and metal. I’ve carved into wet concrete and high density foam to make sculpture… used recycled items, experimented with tools, saws, grinders, glues, paints, clay, paper-mache, plaster, grout and thinset… taking ideas from the internet, books, friends, nature, photos and of course the greatest source of inspiration we all have, the right side of our brain!
Over the years, I’ve been commissioned to make private and commercial mosaic projects, public art, signage, gallery pieces and have taught classes with adults, mentored teens and worked hands on with children. Being creative for me is truly a place of self-discovery and meditation. It has been a relationship where I’ve struggled to learn to trust my hands and let go… to let go into the place where time is lost, the place where ideas are limitless and the place where mistakes are strokes of genius. Working with others is especially fun as the creative energy takes on a life of it’s own… it is so satisfying to watch the mosaic fever take over with an equal passion!!