This month, The Tileista (aka JoAnn Locktov) brings to life the sumptuous work of tile artists Lisa TeviaClark and her husband James Clark. How wonderful to learn of artisans who want to
“. . . create art that speaks to and gives comfort. . .” Enjoy – Nancie
Lisa TeviaClark has immersed herself in the material language of her medium. For the past thirty years she has experimented with clay and the alchemy of heat, salt, ash, minerals, and glazes. With her husband James Clark, she established Bella Vista Tile in 2003, as both a limited production studio and a laboratory.
Her careful study of ancient Chinese wood ash glazes provides the inspiration for a contemporary interpretation. Every tree specimen, from Bull Pine to Madrone, interacts with the earth in its own way, resulting in an ash that is completely unique. More than fifty glazes adorn the tile collections, supporting TeviaClark’s desire “to make many different visual realities with tile.”
Making their own molds, hand pressing the clay, mixing and developing custom glazes, glazing by hand, carving and impressing bas relief patterns, together with the intimate and delicate dance of high firing, contributes to the artisanal nature of the tile.
Originally creating hand thrown vessels, platters and tableaux (clay icons), TeviaClark transfers the individual nature of her former art into the character of her tile. Each is complete and has the potential to transform the space in which it resides. “I usually get a strong sense of what our tile can bring to the atmosphere,” she says, “what our tile can contribute. I’m very aware of how our tile becomes part of the place.”
A visit several years ago to hot glass artist David Goldhagen resulted in bringing home buckets of glass, broken shards, powders, chunks, the raw materials with which to experiment and ultimately to give birth to a new collection. “Fascinations” brings together porcelain and glass.
It consists of delicate carvings, bas-relief dimensionality, matte and metallic glazes together with fragments of glass. Melted and merged, when fired, each tile is a window of light and a well of saturated color. They are reminiscent of stained glass but with light glowing from beneath, an effect made possible by the variable reflective depths of the glass.
When she saw that customers were reproducing sample boards as kitchen focal points, TeviaClark was inspired to create elaborate panels incorporating stones, gems, pearls, and ceramic medallions. Ornate, richly colored mosaics, they offer malleable concepts for materials and textures that invite close observation.
The work of Bella Vista Tile is an antidote to the demise of beauty in the world. “I see that beauty is diminishing in the world. More and more, spaces feel stark and oppressive. When I encounter something beautiful I feel human and somehow cared for. I want to create art that speaks to and gives comfort to the souls of sensitive people.” Encouragingly, she adds, “I believe we are all sensitive people.”
For more information: http://www.bellavistatile.com/
“Tileista” is a monthly column that explores the beauty of artisan tile. JoAnn Locktov is the author of two books (Mosaic Art and Style, The Art of Mosaic Design) and numerous articles on contemporary mosaics and tile. Her public relations firm Bella Figura Communications represents creative individuals and businesses in design, architecture, art, and travel. Follow her musings on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jolocktov
“Tileista” articles on MAN can be found here.
Ilana Shafir Exhibits in Philadelphia
If you are anywhere near Philadelphia, PA between February 25th and May 1st – RUN – Do Not Walk – to see the wondrous mosaics of Ilana Shafir on view at Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Gardens.
Better yet, make plans to hear this inspiring, energetic, 86 year old woman lecture on her work on March 6th between 6 and 8 PM. We have been told by many of her students that Ms. Shafir’s words and teachings have changed their lives.
We had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Shafir and her daughter, Leah Zahavi, at the Society of American Mosaic Artists conference last week. Ms. Zahavi is a talented artist herself who works in both ceramics and textiles.
Ms. Shafir was selected as one of Mosaic Art NOW’s Exhibition in Print 2011 (sponsored by LATICRETE) by artists by Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings who referred to her work as “magical.”
From Ms. Shafir’s Artist Statement in the 2011 edition of our magazine:
I try to express something beyond the mundane and the decorative and to create a fusion of elements that will touch the viewer and express something that can be said in no other way.
We can only imagine how powerful a visual experience it would be to see Ms. Shafir’s work amidst Isaiah Zagar’s brilliance. Details on the exhibit and events are below.
When: Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1022-24 South Street, Philadelphia PA
When: February 25 – May 1
Cost: Adults $5, Youth 6-12 years $2, Kids 5 and under free
Drostle Wins Major Tile Industry Award
We just received word yesterday that Gary Drostle has been declared the winner of the 2011 TileLetter Award given by the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA). His masterwork, River of Life (above), won the award for best Commercial Mosaic/Glass project. Drostle will receive his award at NTCA’s awards ceremony accompanying their mega-show “Coverings” in Las Vegas March 16th.
With the help of MAN correspondent Julie Richey, we followed this installation at the University of Iowa’s Wellness Center on the MAN blog here, here, here, here, and here. Ms. Richey has also written a feature article on River Of Life for the 2011 edition of MAN the magazine.
Mr. Drostle’s website: http://www.drostle.com
MAN 2011 Coming Soon!
The 2011 edition of Mosaic Art NOW debuted at the SAMA conference last week and met with wonderfully warm response for which we are very grateful. We are now hard at work making the internet magic happen to make it available for sale on the web. As soon as all systems are “Go!” we will let you know. Thank you for your patience.
Enjoy –– Nancie
For Baldwin, peacocks are almost a totem. “Peacocks are an important part of our culture here at New Ravenna. When I decided I needed a logo, the designers brought a dozen options; Tunisian mosaics, mosaics of Roman Africa. I wanted an element of fantasy in my logo. Something that would immediately say, ‘Anything is possible! Why not ride the peacock?!’”
Why not, indeed?
Why not fall in love with mosaics while walking through the Met as a graduate painting student? Why not start making mosaics on the floor of your family’s living room and then pitch your parents on the idea that you could make a living making these things? Why not tote your baby on your hip while sourcing materials from industrial tile stores? Why not jump into your car with a cardboard box full of samples, plant yourself at the concessions area at Coverings and start taking orders? Why not grow those samples into a multi-million dollar mosaic business, collaborate with some of the world’s top designers, employ almost 100 employees and have tons of fun doing it?
Baldwin and her company have been featured in every major design magazine and several business magazines as well. Her work is exquisite in both design and execution – often employing labor intensive methods to create works of art that are highly sought after by interior designers and home owners. While interviewing Baldwin last week, we were struck by what a fascinating human being she is. In this post, we’ll let images of her mosaics speak for themselves and spend our words telling the story of this most amazing woman.
Baldwin learned about possibilities from her father. “My father made us do crazy things when we were kids. He’d say, ‘Why can’t we make bayberry candles? I’ll tell you, you have to pick a lot of bayberries to make a candle and the first time we tried it, it didn’t work at all. Then we found out you had to add beeswax; we did it all over again and it worked! Then it was on to ‘Why can’t we make maple syrup?’”
While the peacock stands for possibilities, it is that every day magic called synergy that Baldwin believes propels her life forward. Synergy is often defined as: “The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects”* When Baldwin isn’t looking for synergy, she’s creating it.
“When I think about mosaics the concept of synergy immediately comes to mind. You start out with small, individual pieces and create something much bigger and more wonderful by putting them together. 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 10!” We asked for examples.
Two weeks later we played at a harbor party in Cape Charles and over 300 people showed up.”
Exciting news from the Israeli Antiquities Authority. Enjoy – Nancie
An Archeological Discovery of Major Importance, Including a Public Building and a Large Beautiful Mosaic, was Uncovered in Salvage Excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority Conducted at Horbat Midras
An archaeological discovery, including an impressive mosaic floor that is large and beautiful and a church, was uncovered in excavations carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority at Horbat Midras in the Judean Shephelah. Various scholars who visited the site during the excavation proposed identifying the place as the residence and tomb of the prophet Zechariah.
In recent months an archaeological excavation was conducted at Horbat Midras in the wake of an antiquities robbery during the course of which robbers attempted to breach and plunder an ancient underground complex.
Horbat Midras is known as the site of a large, important Jewish settlement that dates from the Second Temple period until its destruction during the Bar Kokhba uprising in 135 CE. Among the remains at the site are those of buildings, caves, agricultural installations and extensive hiding refuges. The site was identified by a number of scholars as the location of a major settlement and research of the site was begun in the late nineteenth century and continues until the present. In the 1980s a lintel bearing a unique decoration was discovered at the site. Due to the similarity between it and an identical lintel from the Horbat Nevoraya synagogue in the north of the country, Professor Amos Kloner and Dr. Zvi Ilan ?”? put forward the theory that an ancient Jewish synagogue is located nearby.
Recently, in the wake of the illicit excavations there by antiquities robbers, the lintel was rediscovered by inspectors of the Israel Antiquities Authority Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery. Following the discovery, an excavation was carried out with the aim of revealing the secrets of the monumental building which the lintel belonged to. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by Amir Ganor and Alon Klein of the Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery.
A public building of impressive beauty dating to the Byzantine period, in which there are several construction phases, was exposed in the excavation. In the last two construction phases the building was used as a splendid church. However, based on the results of the excavation and as evidenced by the artifacts, it seems that this church is built inside a large public compound from the Second Temple period and the Bar Kokhba uprising which was used in the first construction phases of the compound.
As previously mentioned, researchers who visited the site are of the opinion that this place is the residence and tomb of the prophet Zechariah. Ancient Christian sources identified the burial place of the prophet Zechariah in the village of Zechariah, and noted that his place of burial was discovered in 415 CE. The researchers believe that in light of an analysis of the Christian sources, including the Madaba Map, the church at Horbat Midras is a memorial church meant to mark the tomb of the prophet Zechariah. This subject will be examined and studied in the near future.
For the past month the Israel Antiquities Authority has been engaged in exposing the magnificent structure, unraveling its secrets and preserving the mosaic floors. In the coming days the spectacular mosaics will be covered and the planning process will begin for the conservation of the site and its future presentation to the public, as one of the sites selected for treatment within the framework of the prime minister’s national heritage project.
There is no doubt that the discovery is extraordinary and of great importance in terms of research, religion and tourism.
More great photos with close ups from UPI (Thank you, Sonia King) http://www.upi.com/News_Photos/Features/Archeological-Excavations-in-Horbat-Midras-Israel/4566/5/