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2011 March




In Et cetera

By man-admin

Let the Bidding Begin! Doctors Without Borders Mosaic Auction Opens Today

On 30, Mar 2011 | 4 Comments | In Et cetera | By man-admin

Le Rouge et le Noir  Francoise Moulet  (France)
8 x 8 inches  Mexican, Venetian and French Albertini smalti

Starting today, you can bid on the gorgeous mosaic above at and – should you be the lucky high bidder – you will be supporting the important, humanitarian work of Doctors Without Borders–Medecins Sans Frontieres.

In fact, there are over 125 mosaics for you to choose from in the DWB-MSF Auction, each an original work designed and donated by a mosaic artist and curated by the seemingly indefatigable, Lin Schorr of Lin Schorr Mixed Mosaics.

Bronwyn  Lin Schorr (USA)
10 x 10 inches Stained glass, glass beads, orange jade beads, metal ballchain, metal beads, metal pendants.

If we were ever in need of an Iron Fist In A Velvet Glove to get something huge done, we would speed dial Schorr.  The DWB–MSF project is just the latest in her personal history of coordinating large, complex projects that harness the energy, artistry and heart of the international mosaic community to the benefit of others.  Because of Schorr’s rigorous planning and artistic vision, the results are always beautiful.   Be sure to look at Schorr’s previous projects here.

Tear ~ Larme  Isabelle de Sa Moreira (France)
20 x 20 cm  Gold, goldstone, grès cérame

DWB–MSF is a Nobel prize winning international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe.  Wherever in the world things are at their worst, you will find the volunteer doctors and nurses of DWF-MSF working without judgment or politics.  They do the work of the angels.

Under the Same Moon  Kelly Knickerbocker (USA)

10.25 x 10.25 inches  Stained glass, copper smalti, gold smalti, unglazed porcelain, Swarovsky crystals
All of the artists have submitted statements to accompany their works.  Here is what Knickerbocker wrote about Under the Same Moon.
For each of us there is a place where we have been, where we are at the present, or that we are looking for that is where we feel most relaxed, safe, and free. Whether that place is an empty beach, a dusky hillside, a seat beside the fire, or the still point within, we all look for it – and we will all find it – under the same moon.
Ripple Effect  Helen Nock (UK)
6 x 8.5 inches Transparent Smalti glass, stained and mirror glass on heat formed perspex substrate: will also stand freely on either long edge.
As you can see from the examples here, the mosaics offered run the gamut from representational to abstract, from 2-D to sculptural.   All manner of materials are used from the traditional to the unexpected.
Connections  Ayka Bumin (Turkey)
15 x 20 x 3 cm   Marble, silver, glass canes, and sand beads on canvas.
This mosaic especially made for the Doctors Without Borders Exhibition stylizes the organization’s helpful connections around the world and uses designs and materials from nature.
The artists have set values of $60 $2,000 for their works and each mosaic has an opening bid price of $50.  Given the quality of the mosaics, this is a fabulous opportunity to add to or begin a mosaic collection.
 15.5 x 15.5 inches framed.  Stained glass.
We are especially taken with Bloom by award-winning artist Carol Shelkin.
 Bailando en cobre  Luz Mack-Durini  (USA)
9 x 9 inches framed.  Silver-gilded stained glass, dichroic glass spirals
Then again, we’re enchanted with Luz Mack-Durini’s use of silver-backed stained glass with dichroic glass.  We expect that there is lots of energy and depth, here.  It looks like it just might vibrate off the wall.

Atomic Wheel  Flair Robinson (USA)
9.75 x 10 inches.  Royal Mosa ceramic tile, glass, vintage letter, glass cabochon (c. 1895), vintage Bakelite cabochons, vintage domino, Bakelite dice, vintage bottle cap, self-designed and heat-pressed ceramic tile.

Atomic Wheel gets our prize for “Sheer Fun With a Timely Edge.”  Robinson’s use of game pieces with the graphic structure of atoms has a distinct relevance given recent events in Japan.

The On-Line Auction Facts:

Auction opens at  April 1, 2011, 9am EDT
Auction closes at April 27, 2011, 5pm EDT

You will need to register with the site before you can see the mosaics which will be listed as DWB-MSF.

See The Mosaics Live in Northville, MI  
All of the auction mosaics will be shown at Northville Art House, Northville, MI  in conjunction with an exhibition of Michigan mosaic artists.  Schorr selected 21 works representing 14 artists for the Michigan-centric show which is small but impressive.  (Didn’t we say indefatigable?)  The double-exhibit runs April 1 through April 27.
Now, go and bid on something!
Enjoy – Nancie




In Artisan Tile

By man-admin

Susan Tunick: The Color of Clay

On 27, Mar 2011 | 7 Comments | In Artisan Tile | By man-admin

Mt. Top Trio:  Violet (side 1) 2008 – 2009  53.5 x 36 x 16.5 inches
(Photography by Russel Hurlburt)

This month, The Tileista (aka JoAnn Locktov) introduces us to ceramic artist Susan Tunick, a woman who makes her own tesserae and uses it to glorious effect in her site-specific sculptures.  No less engaging are her more architectural bricks and tiles.  Enjoy – Nancie

Ceramic artist Susan Tunick has a penchant for scale and surface. All of her creations, site-specific sculptures, mosaic murals and individual bricks and tiles are testaments to architecture. The surfaces are intricately laced, lush in color and texture. Studying architectural ornamentation has given Tunick a heightened awareness of edges, shadows and context-both physical and historical.

Tunick was inspired to work spontaneously on her recent site-specific commission, Mt. Top Trio: Vert, Violet & Rouge. Located on a 600-acre Vermont farm, the land is fertile with wild flowers and grasses, pear, apple and plum orchards. These are three sculptures that provide permanent landscapes of color.

Mt. Top Trio:  Vert  2008 – 2009 53.5 x 36 x 16.5 inches
(Photography by Russel Hurlburt)
Mt. Top Trio:  Violet (side 2)  2008 – 2009  53.5 x 36 x 16.5 inches
(Photography by Russel Hurlburt)

Mt. Top Trio:  Rouge  2008 – 2009  53.5 x 36 x 16.5 inches
(Photography by Russel Hurlburt)

The sides of each organic shaped cedar sculpture are clad in ceramic tile.

Detail of Mt. Top Trio:  Rouge (side 2)
 (Photography by Russel Hurlburt)

Each side of clay bands was created at the same time to insure that they would shrink at the same rate and fit in their respective place. Tunick chose a completely new glazing method that allowed her to “build the colored surface from one firing to the next.” She allowed the color to evolve by glazing non-adjacent elements. By staggering the glazing, she could watch it blossom, a process Tunick compares to “the way a pointillist painting was created.”

Detail of Mt. Top Trio:  Vert
(Photography by Russel Hurlburt)

There is a mesmerizing quality to the sculptures. The trio of forms reverberate color perhaps most vividly when seasons are harsh and nature is devoid of any strong hues.

Mt. Top Trio:  Violet (side 1)  53.5 x 36 x 16.5 inches
(Photography by Russel Hurlburt)

Inspired by haystacks found throughout the countryside, Tunick says, “I didn’t want the shapes to be so symmetrical. Thus, I felt that adding curves and some type of opening in the center could work well. The tile bands reiterate the circular motion of the haystacks – around and around and around!”

Cranberry Double Screen  2008 – 2009 6 x 6 x 6.75 inches
(Photography by Malcolm Varon)

On a smaller scale are Tunick’s perforated tiles and brick units. Both forms explore dimension. The perforated tiles are built with layers revealing surprising glimpses of pattern and depth.  The perforations are witty reminders to both inspect and respect what lies beneath the facade.

Blue Night  2007  12 x 10 x 4 inches
(Photography by Malcom Varon)

Tunick explores the rectangular brick by forming them in wooden molds, stacking and carving them. Constructed of thick hollow backed slabs glazed in radiant colors, the pedestrian brick is elevated to iconic status.

 Klee’s Clay #1  2005  15.25 x 9.5 x 3.5 inches
(Photography by Amiaga Photographers)

Used throughout the world for thousands of years as a humble building material, Tunick has given reverence to the shape by invigorating the surface with color and texture. The bricks vary in depth, creating shadows in their concave spaces and staggered edges. Tunick’s bricks are investigations of architectural masonry in a way that Vitruvius could have never imagined.

Corner Bricks  2005  10 x 9 x 4 inches
(Photography by Amiaga Photographers)

As President of Friends of Terra Cotta, a preservation organization devoted to protecting historic and architectural ceramics, Tunick has studied clay in architecture for over 25 years. She is invested in “seeing ceramics re-integrated into our environment…into landscape, interiors and into the facades of new buildings.”  Her work represents this evolution precisely.

Mount Kisco, NY  2005-2006
A two-part mosaic sculpture; the front was designed to be visible from the road (about 50 feet away) while the back blends into the landscape
(Photography by Peter Maas)

For more information:
Friends of Terra Cotta

“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. Her public relations firm Bella Figura Communications represents individuals and businesses in the visual and literary arts.  Follow her musings on design, tile and Italy on Twitter:

To see previous posts by The Tileista on MAN, use the Search widget in the right hand column and type “Tileista”




In Artists

By man-admin

My Art Is A Burning Fire In My Heart: John Botica’s Pebble Mosaics (Part Two)

On 16, Mar 2011 | 3 Comments | In Artists | By man-admin

Compass Rose, 2006 2.4 meters in diameter
Private commission for residence in Remuera, Auckland.

Today we’re posting Part Two of our look at the extraordinary pebble mosaics of New Zealand artist, John Botica.  In Part One, we focused on Botica’s talents as an artist.  Today, we’ll look at how he came to the art form, how he makes his large-scale installations, and see more of his passion for pebbles at work.  Again, we’ll be quoting fellow mosaicist and New Zealander Con Kiernan who conducted extensive interviews with Botica in preparation for these posts.  (click to enlarge)

Given the unique voice and technical excellence of Botica’s pebble mosaics, it is hard to believe that he has only been making them since 2004.  He comes from a family of noted stone masons, but it wasn’t until his uncle noticed that Botica and his wife were doing tile mosaics that pebble mosaics came into his life.  “My uncle put a book on the table and said, ‘John, you should be doing this stuff.’”

The book was “The Complete Pebble Mosaic Handbook” by the English grand dame of pebble mosaics, Maggy Howarth.  “John never looked back,” says Kiernan “and now Maggy has included John’s work in the latest (2009) edition of her book.”

What is it about pebbles?
Frangipani, 2010  2.4 meters diameter
Botanic Gardens, Manurewa, Auckland

Con Kiernan:

John is obsessive about the beauty of pebbles.  Maggy Howarth says of John, “He gets excited about pebbles!  Perhaps, this is the reason why his style is so remarkable for the sheer perfection of his pebblework, almost to the point of obsession.”

Tree of Life, 2007 4.2 meters diameter
Commissioned by the North Shore City Council,
Children’s Playground Wainoni Park, Greenhith on North Shore Auckland

The range of pebble colors found in New Zealand’s alpine country and on its beaches are matchless.

They are colourful, very hard, quartz and, in some instances will not crack if placed in a heavily trafficked area.  He is blessed with one of the best possible colour palettes in the world.

Botica also sources pebbles from Indonesia and China, but he is extremely selective about his tesserae. Says the artist, “Every single pebble that is laid is ingrained with the love and passion that I cherish towards this irresistible art.”

Restricted palette?

John says he has to had to turn down jobs because the client’s wishes exceed the palette that is available.  However, John has a keen skill in being able to make full use of the available colours; especially when he details native images of New Zealand’s birds, trees and flora.

Tane Mahuta and Kereru, 2009  3 meters diameter
 Wilson School, Takapuna, Aukland

The Flat of the Pebble or the Edge?

John uses the edge of the pebble pointing upwards in his mosaic.  While it means that he uses a lot more pebbles in each piece, he gets the benefit of flow and strength.
 Pebble Carpet (pre-installation) 2010
Commission for private residence in St Heliers, Auckland
When stones are placed on the flat side, they lose their flow and the mosaic is robbed of its dynamic.  They can also loosen and pop off.

Pebble Carpet, 2010  in situ

When they are inset on their edges, there is more concrete to hold them in place and the resulting work is able to withstand the rigors of traffic as seen in the Porte Cochere example seen above.

Pre-cast Slabs Require Great Physical Strength
John Botica rests on a section of Tuis in Kohai, 2010 a work in progress

From Botica’s website:

This mosaic in progress of 3200mm X 2200mm depicts the Tui, the most fascinating bird of New Zealand that feeds in the spring time on nectar of Kowhai flowers that are depicted in this mosaic.  Kowhai flower is the national flower of New Zealand and in Maori language it means yellow.

Con Kiernan:

John works from home, out of the end of a shed, half exposed to the elements while constructing these precast slabs of concrete and pebble masterpieces.  Each piece may weigh as much as 75kgs.  His wife, Karin, assists when slabs must be shifted.  John loves the masculinity of it; he is a strongly physical person and delights in using his strengths in a creative way.

Again, we are struck by the embroidery-like quality of Botica’s work.  We cannot imagine what it takes to cull and select pebbles of the same color, let alone the same dimensions, so this effect is achieved.

Worldwide Possibilities
While John’s work to date has primarily been in New Zealand, because of his pre-cast techniques, his work would be easily shipped and installed anywhere in the world.
Mamaku Koru, 2008 8 meters approx.
Commissioned by the Waitakere City Council.
Mamaku Koru sits in front of the Global Cafe at the Youth Arts Center in Henderson.  The theme is an evolving frond of the native black fern or Koru.  Used in carvings, sculptures, jewelry and tattoos for centuries, the koru mimics the shape of an opening fern frond and suggests new life, peace, tranquility, personal growth, positive change and harmony.
Here one can see the individual pieces of the mosaic pre-installation (along with several other works as well in the background).
Because each piece is made off-site and is designed to be structurally strong enough to withstand both transportation and tough in situ usage, Botica’s work is easily packaged and shipped.  This means that his work can be truly global.
We sincerely hope that the world welcomes this artist’s genius.  All it will take is a homeowner, architect or planner with the same passion for excellence and heart for design that is at the core of John Botica.
Again, our sincere appreciation to both John Botica and Con Kiernan.
Enjoy ––  Nancie
More information:




In Artists

By man-admin

My Art Is A Burning Fire In My Heart: John Botica’s Magnificent Pebble Mosaics (Part 1)

On 14, Mar 2011 | 7 Comments | In Artists, News | By man-admin

“We do not invent our mission in life, we detect it”  — Hyrum W. Smith*
This quote is featured on every page of John Botica’s Power of Pebbles website.  The New Zealand based artist firmly believes that making pebble mosaics is his destiny – and he pursues it with a passion, power and joy that is evident in every one of his works.
John Botica:  “You know when people say you have to find your passion in life to enjoy life – to find it meaningful?  Well, I’ve found it – and I am lucky.  I’ve always loved beautiful things and now I’m able to do beautiful things.   I’ve detected my mission in life.  Pebble mosaics are my sculptures in the ground.  My art is a burning fire in my heart.”
 The artist’s pallette
Fellow New Zealander and mosaic artist Con Kiernan brought Botica’s work to our attention last fall.  We had noticed Botica’s work before and asked Kiernan he would interview Botica and provide us with photos.  This Kiernan did with enthusiasm and a deep appreciation for his fellow artist.
We’ll be devoting two posts to Botica this week.  First, we’ll focus on Botica’s incredible gift for design and pursuit of perfection.  In the second post, we’ll talk about how he creates these durable, permanent works of art – trust us, the images in the second post will be no less spectacular than what you see here.
 Tane Mahuta and Kereru, 2009  3 meters diameter
 Wilson School, Takapuna, Aukland

Botica’s genius as a designer of pebble mosaics is stunningly evident in the mosaic shown above, Tane Mahuta, a commission for a school for the disabled based upon Maori mythology.   

Tane Mahuta, the tree in the center of the medallion, is the the most famous tree in New Zealand; a giant Kauri said to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years old.  For the Maori, Tane Mahuta is the lord of the forest and gives life to all the birds and insects.

Later, he becomes the Sun God, indicated by the golden orb in the center and the lines radiating from it to the outer edges of the medallion.

Tane Mahuta’s friend is Kereru – Maori for wood pigeon, the two beautiful birds at the bottom of the medallion.

Says Kiernan:

Getting shapes of native images to their most reduced state as John does is, in itself, a significant skill.  John’s sense of the mysticism surrounding these images helps him get to the very essence or heart of things.  He’s not just dealing with smart looking objects.  He’s showing the World of Nature as the human mind and heart have interpreted it.   This has to be done with honesty and a willingness to let the real thing enter the artist’s soul.  John gives it all he’s got.

We couldn’t agree more.  That a Caucasian male could embrace the Maori and Polynesian lore and  mythology so authentically is a wonder.  Indeed, the core of his work has been public commissions centered around these themes.  What we see is that Botica connects personally with the intent of each commission.  The result is art work that is universally charismatic.

Frangipani, Detail.  2.4 meters diameter
Botanic Gardens, Manurewa, Auckland

Let’s go to our second example of Botica’s remarkable design capabilities, Koru Land.

Koru Land, 2010 2.4 meters in diameter
This precast pebble mosaic links one of the Maori’s most spiritual icons, the koru, with Polyenesia’s beloved flower, the frangipani.  Used in carvings, sculptures, jewelry and tattoos for centuries, the koru mimics the shape of an opening fern frond and suggests new life, peace, tranquility, personal growth, positive change and harmony.    The frangipani is referenced by the petal shapes that encompass korus.
 In situ
Mangere Arts Center, Manakau Auckland
A fitting symbol for a multi-cultural arts center, no?

Look at how perfectly each one of these pebbles has been placed to create flow or andamento.   (click to enlarge) So tightly and regularly are these stones laid that they resemble the fine, intricate needlework used to embroider the robes of ancient Chinese emperors.

And yet, the whole is simplicity itself – breathtaking in its elegant symmetry.

Maori blessing the installation of Koru LandSeptember 3, 2010.

An earlier work commissioned by the Auckland City Council is installed in a large public park.  Again, there is a multicultural theme combining images important to both Maoris and Polynesians.

Across the Cultures, 2007  3 meters diameter
Ponsonby’s Western Park

Here, the iconic motifs embellish a mosaic “bowl” with a brass drainage cover in the center that echos Botica’s design.

The photo below, taken while the mosaic was under construction, shows how the play of light on the on-edge pebbles creates an ever changing image throughout the day.
Palms, korus and frangipani flow with elegance and power – what we see as the hallmarks of Botica’s work.
Given the mastery of Botica’s pebble mosaics, it is very hard to believe that he has only been making them since 2004.   In our next post, we’ll learn more about how he came to the art form, see what it takes to make these large-scale installations, and view more examples of Botica’s passion at work.
Enjoy – Nancie




In Artists
Exhibits & Museums

By man-admin

The Mosaic Skulls of Andres Basurto

On 09, Mar 2011 | 2 Comments | In Artists, Exhibits & Museums | By man-admin

Mexico has a long tradition of mosaicked skulls, like the one of Tezcatlipoca seen above (currently housed at the British Museum).  Dating from the 15th-16th century, this mosaic “is believed to represent the god Tezcatlipoca, or ‘Smoking Mirror’, one of four powerful creator deities, who were amongst the most important gods in the Mexica pantheon. The name ‘Smoking Mirror’ derives from the Nahuatl (Mexica) word tezapoctli, meaning ‘shining smoke’”

The ancient artisans who meticulously created this work scoured the farthest reaches of Mexica empire to collect the rare and beautiful turquoise, lignite, pyrite and shell used in it.  Via both process and materials, this mosaic proclaims godliness and power.

Contrast Tezcatlipoca with the work of Mexican born artist Andres Basurto currently on display at the Lyons Wier Gallery in NYC.

Whiskey and Soda, 2010
Broken bottles and epoxy putty.  7 x 8 x 6 in
Image:  Courtesy of Lyons Wier Gallery, New York
Constructed of shards from glass bottles that at one time held wine and beer, Basurto creates “specific shapes that evoke the human skull and skeleton as a container of the soul.”
Vicky, 2011
Broken bottles and epoxy putty  7 x 8 x 6 in.
Image:  Courtesy of Lyons Wier Gallery, New York
Mr. Basurto is also a painter and sculptor of some fame whose work has been shown extensively throughout Mexico and has been featured in a number of art fairs and galleries in New York, Miami, England, and Scotland.
Soda and Sol, 2011
Broken bottles and epoxy putty  7 x 8 x 6 in.
Image:  Courtesy of Lyons Wier Gallery, New York
We can’t help but contrast the ancient and the contemporary mosaic skulls of Mexico.
The ancients used precious materials and the substrate of a human skull to construct objects that would convey the power of a divinity over man.
Vicky, 2011
Broken bottles and epoxy putty.  7 x 8 x 6 in.

Image:  Courtesy of Lyons Wier Gallery, New York

Mr. Basurto’s skulls, on the other hand are made of refuse, some of which originally contained liquids known to be toxic to mere mortals.  Further, the materials are the substrate – there is no human remnant to be found.
From the press release from Lyons Wier:

. . . Basurto’s sculptures represent the essential and primitive human desire to preserve and hold life together with the inutile need to control death, making evident the fragility of our existence.

Yes, we can see that.
Enjoy ––  Nancie
Andres Basurto, Inspired by a True Story
March 5 – April 2, 2011
524 West 24th Street, New York
(212) 242-6220
The Mosaic Mask of Tezcatlipoca (fascinating, really)




In Artists
Exhibits & Museums

By man-admin

Point in Time: Ann Gardner at Winston Wachter, Seattle

On 06, Mar 2011 | 2 Comments | In Artists, Exhibits & Museums | By man-admin

Mosaic Art NOW’s 2010 cover artist, Ann Gardner, is exhibiting new works at the Winston Wachter Gallery in Seattle, WA now through April 21st.  Once again, we are enchanted by Gardner’s soulful, elegant and uplifting sculptural forms with meticulously mosaicked surfaces.  Gardner has told MAN:

Whether I create a sculpture for a private or public commission, I am interested in the same issues:  I want my work to elicit an emotional response, such as celebration, quietness or calm, and facilitate a connection to that response for the viewer. 

In Points In Time, Gardner presents some works smaller in scope than her well-known architectural installations – she calls them Lyric Drawings.  There is something achingly personal about about these mosaic “doodles.”  It is as if Gardner is sending hand-written messages into space, letting light do the talking for her.

Lyric Drawing (white), 2011  Glass epoxy, plaster wire.
24″ x 16″ x 6.74″

From the Winston Wacher website:

Winston Wächter Fine Art is also pleased to present Point in Time, our third solo exhibition with artist Ann Gardner. Northwest artist Ann Gardner is known for her unique sculptures that use hand cut, tinted and etched glass to create elegant mosaic-covered forms that challenge the physical boundaries of the medium. In Point in Time, Gardner continues her captivating exploration of light, volume and pattern with stunning results and an uncanny ability to capture a sense of movement and fluidity.

From an essay on the exhibit by art consultant Pablo Schugurensky:

Lyric Drawing (dark red), 2011  Glass, epoxy, plaster, wire
19″ x 10.5″ x 9″

The works in Ann Gardner’s current exhibition at Winston Wachter in Seattle, Point In Time, reflect her long exploration of light, volume, and pattern, revealing her mastery of those elements. She has pursued this exploration through various approaches and methods, creating sculptures that challenge or disregard their own physical boundaries, underscored by a keen use of contrasting color, for something she has called a “simple truth” – distilling the character of an artwork to its essence.

They appear to recede and protrude, suggesting a body much larger than the place each actually occupies. Gardner explores the dimension of light and reveals our perception of it, fragmenting and reconstituting it to affect our experience of space and how we occupy it.

Lyric Drawing (blue), 2011  Glass, epoxy, plaster wire
22″ x 13.5″ x 6″

A hanging sculpture, Drawing (light), which Gardner calls a “drawing” (as in drawing in space), presents her inquiry into the line and how it can gain character from bends and folds. The feeling of this sculpture is indeed that of a three-dimensional drawing, and its expression reminds the viewer of handwriting, a perception that is reinforced by the restrained and deliberate use of color and contrast. Suspended in air, this work’s voids become especially charged, with great resonance in the surrounding space.

Again, from the Winston Wachter website:

By focusing on the formal qualities and potential of her medium, Gardner is able to discover infinite possibilities within this seemingly limited framework. She applies mosaic tiling to create patterns, as well as uses the varying reflective and matte surfaces to experiment with fields of fluctuating color and light.Gardner explains, “My intention is to make work of presence and harmony from the intersection of three very simple elements: light, shape and color. When these elements play with the surface, I want them to reveal a complexity that changes as the day passes over the work.”

Oculus #1, 2011  Glass Steel
30.5″ x 30.5″ x 6″
Fuse, 2011  Glass, composite, concrete, steel
108″ x  132″ x 20″

Of Fuse, Schugurensky says:

A large sculptural installation, Fuse, brings to mind Gardner’s ability to think big and understand scale – usually seen in her commissions for large public and private environments. Two arcs with suspended elements almost intersect to form a mesmerizing curtain.

This is Gardner’s gift.  The ability to use shape, form and reflectivity to create universally engaging moments – or “Points” – In Time.

Our thanks to the artist and the photographer, Lisa Jacoby, for contributing to this post.

Enjoy –– Nancie


Ann Gardner:

Point in Time, Ann Gardner
Winston Wachter Fine Art
203 Dexter Avenue North
Seattle, Washington
206 652-5855

Previous MAN posts on Ann Gardner:
March 2, 2010  “Convergence”

October 26, 2010  “Lumen”




In Artists

By man-admin

Video of Drostle’s “River of Life”

On 04, Mar 2011 | 3 Comments | In Artists, News | By man-admin

Thanks to Lisa Bookstein of Heath Ceramics, we are reminded of this video of Gary Drostle and his assistants, Giulia Vogrig, Julie Richey and Levente Borvak installing Drostle’s masterwork “River of Life” in the University of Iowa’s Wellness Center.

As noted earlier this week,  River of Life just won the Tile/Letter Award from the National Tile Contracts Association in the Commercial mosaic/Glass category.  In February, Drostle spoke about the project to a rapt audience at the Society of American Mosaic Artists conference in Austin, Texas.

The project is also featured in the 2011 edition of Mosaic Art NOW, soon to be available online.  Correspondent Julie Richey wrote several posts during the production and installation of Drostle’s works for the MAN blog.  Links to previous posts are below the video.  Enjoy –– Nancie

For our Facebook folks, here is the link:

April 25, 2010 “River of Life”
May 2, 1010 “It’s All About the Andamento
May 5, 2010  “Tweaking Gary Drostle’s River of Life”
June 13, 2010  “Greetings from Iowa City”
July 26, 2010 “The Path to Great Mosaic Design”




In Exhibits & Museums

By man-admin

SAMA’s Best: Mosaic Arts International 2011

On 01, Mar 2011 | 6 Comments | In Exhibits & Museums | By man-admin

Best In Show
Great Red Spot, 2010  Yulia Hanansen  36″ x 56″  Stained glass

The Society of American Mosaic Artists’ (SAMA) Mosaic Arts International (MAI) at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) in Austin, Texas is simply the best exhibit that the organization has ever produced.

The mosaics selected serve as excellent ambassadors for the art form.  Kudos to jurors JeanAnn Dabb, Professor of Art History at the University of Mary Washington, Nola Diamantopoulos, President of the Mosaic Art Association of Australia, and Jean Graham of Austin Art in Public Places for a job extremely well done.   With 42 works, this show is smaller than past MAIs.  However, what was lost in numbers was certainly gained in the quality of the exhibit.

Photo courtesy of Ed Kinsella

The venue is exquisite and – hallelujah – has a lighting scheme that seems custom-made for mosaics.  Texture, relief, reflectivity, and luminosity are captured by both natural and incandescent light.  MACC’s curators and the SAMA Exhibit Committee should also take a bow.  Hurry, because this show will run only through March 30, 2011.  (Can we do this again?)

Best In Show
Great Red Spot, 2010  Yulia Hanansen


36″ x 56″  Stained glass

Yulia Hanansen’s fascination with the cosmos is a consistent theme in her mosaics and her latest, Great Red Spot, is a masterwork worthy of the designation, Best In Show.  Hanansen’s inspiration came from photographs of space exploration that she found somehow lacking.  “I wanted to create an experience that would go beyond the photograph and explore the feelings, the flow of matter, which would have motion and defy a freeze-frame moment.”
We are sorry that this work was only represented as a photograph itself in the exhibit; it is permanently installed in a private residence.  However, if you click to enlarge this photo (as you should with every one in this post) you will be able to see her deft use of stained glass in pursuing her goal.  The background is composed of dreamy, mottled color fields that indicate depth and large, slow movement.
The tiny, lozenge-shaped pieces meticulously layered on top of the background provide a staccato, quick-moving counterpoint.  Here is the mighty force of the universe at work up close and personal – the energy of chaos and creation personified.
Best Two-Dimensional
Evanescence, 2010  Sophie Drouin

Sophie Drouin "Evanescence" 2010 30x24 in

 24″ x 30″ x 9″
  Marble, gold, dichroic glass Blenko slag and glass, smalti, granite, slate, snowflake obsidian, tourmaline and stybnite.
We love the way Drouin captures the last fleeting moments in the lives of sheets of cardboard as they are consumed by fire.  Evanescence, according to one online dictionary, is defined as “quickly fading from sight, memory, or existence.”
The title is apt.  There is still heat in those glowing pieces of glass at the center of the work even as the edges cool and turn to ash/marble.  A moment in time is captured beautifully through Drouin’s mastery of her materials.  Brava.
Best Three-Dimensional
La Corrente (The Current), 2010  Julie Richey  
29″ x 22″ x 22″
Italian and Mexican smalti, marble, 24k gold leaf, seashells and chalcedony on mixed media base.
Juror JeanAnn Dabb said of this work:

La Corrente is an elegant sculpture expertly executed in traditionally durable mosaic materials with imagery that comments on the fragile ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico. Richey’s recent sculptures have clothing or dress forms as shared structures and the environments referenced in their individual subjects range from the rural to the urban; all linked by the actions of humans and the forces of nature.”

We’re going to admit that Ms. Richey is a good friend of ours and we’ve followed the creation of La Corrente via photographs.  However, we were not prepared for how captivating this piece would be in person.  In La Corrente, Richey has succeeded in making hard materials — stone, glass, and shell — appear to float and fold with the gentle grace that only wind and water can bestow. We are reminded that all in nature is fragile.
Best Architectural

Eternity Revisited  2010  Kimberly Schonfeld

33″ x 33″ x 18″
24K Colored gold smalti.

From the Artist’s Statement:

The mosaic sculpture was created when a mobius form that had been playing in my mind for several years merged with the body-mind-spirit philosophy of the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer center at Providence Saint Joseph Center where it now resides.

This is a striking piece and we can only imagine what it looks like in person as natural light catches the richness of the colored gold smalti and sets the work to shimmering and vibrating.

Schonfeld used a single, continuous red-orange line to signify eternal life.  Subtle.  Gorgeous.

Juror’s Choice:  JeanAnnDabb
Untitled, 2010  Laurel True
21″ x 32″ x .5″  Asphalt and concrete gathered from Oakland, New Orleans and Haiti, vintage gold smalti, recycled glass smalti from Kenya and salvaged mirror.
Ms. True has been featured in MAN’s magazine and blog for her outstanding work in community mosaics in the US, Ghana, Kenya and, most recently, Haiti.  Frankly, we don’t know where she finds the time to pursue her studio practice, but we’re grateful that she does.
This work immediately called to mind some of the classical patterns used in ancient mosaics, like the “shield pattern” used in this second century Head of Medusa.
National Roman Museum, Rome
A friend suggested that there is also something very 50′s in the work as well.
 1950′s graphic via the web

That works, too.

A second look at Untitled shows us True’s ability to find grace, beauty, and opportunity everywhere as she juxtaposes her “collected rubble” with classical mosaic materials.  Who knew asphalt could look so good?  Maybe everything old is new again – and visa versa.

Editors Note:  After the original publishing of this post, Ms. True contacted us with additional information on this work:

Sakre, (Sacred)  Design inspired by African house painting and decorative patterns used on household objects.  The simple, rhythmic repetition of pattern references comfort, beauty and sacredness imbued in our differing concepts of home and the objects we live with – however temporary.

Juror’s Choice:  Nola Diamantopoulos
Gilbert’s Swirl, 2009  Lenni Gilbert
 30″ x 11″ x 11″
Italian smalti and stanied glass on a hand-carved polystyrene and concrete substrate.
What’s not to love?  We could rhapsodize about sculptural technique and color blending and using hard glass to make soft ice cream but, who cares?  This is joy on a pedestal!
We grinned like an idiot every time it came within view during the opening night festivities.  The artist’s “day job” is being a food stylist – of course.
Call it Pop.  Call it kitsch.  We just adore it.
Juror’s Choice:  Jean Graham
The Little Froggie Played Zorro, 2009  Drucilla Perez-Tubens
30.5″ x 20.5″ x 17″
Concrete and wire armature with stained glass.
Perez-Tubens continues to delight and amaze with her whimsical, beautiful mosaics.  We have no idea what the inspiration for this work was – her Artist Statement offers no clues and a Google search came up empty – but again, who cares?  We immediately started to create our own stories about Froggie.
We swear we saw Antonio Banderas in this work.  Can you say “Attitude?”  Delightful.
Members Choice Award
Miss Anita Cocktail, 2010  Michael Kruzich
  28″ x 12″  Stone, smalti, vitreous glass
This mosaic was a clear crowd favorite during the opening night festivities for MAI and easily won the coveted Members Choice Award.  Artist Michael Kruzich says this about the piece:
Anita is the first in a series of seven San Francisco Drag personalities that I am rendering in mosaic to celebrate and honor their heroic charity work on behalf of our local LGBT community.
There is so much energy, vitality and sheer joie de vivre jumping out from this image that we expected it to glow in the dark.
Kruzich did a wonderful job of using andamento  (check out that radiating background) and materials (more smalti plumage, please) to bring Miss Cocktail to life.  She was, indeed, the life of the party the opening night of MAI.
Finally, we’re going to take editorial privilege and include photos of MAN publisher, Michael Welch and his work Timeless Vortex – Antelope Canyon which was also selected for MAI 2011.
15″ x 24″  Italian and Mexican smalti.
These photos don’t do the work justice – an iPhone will only give you so much – but we think the work and the man are extraordinary.
The glories of the American Southwest were a continual source of artistic and spiritual inspiration for Michael and his husband, the late founder of MAN, Bill Buckingham.
This mosaic is a testament to Michael’s love for Bill and their mutual love of mosaics.  While all else in their world was crumbling, these two men continued to create beauty – one tesserae at a time.  This is what art is all about.
Enjoy –  Nancie
Photos of MAI works courtesy of SAMA and the individual artists unless otherwise noted.
Information regarding ancient mosaics, courtesy of Lillian Sizemore.
Exhibition Details:
Society of American Mosaic Artists 2011 Mosaic Arts International
600 River Street  Austin, Texas
February 17 through March 30, 2011
To order the catalog from SAMA, click here.

Adams.jpgAndrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  VideoHouston.jpgJim_Bachor_This_is_not_a_craft_2010_11inx14insara.jpgWebb_Bryant Patio RaysMohamed Banawy  "City 1" 2011  49 x 49 cm  Clay, glass, cement.Luca Barberini Bone Flowersandres_basurto_large08.jpgBeauchamps-SeasonofSunandwind-2AprilBegayhungry-for-gold-320x312Jolino_Bessera_DontCutYourTongueOnTheRhinestonesMarie-laure-BessonFragmentsIVBiggsTide6272969822_38f84a7e5f_z.jpgMeredith Live Oak bark, recycled tempered glass, paint, metallic powders39.jpgMangere+Mosaic.jpgGerardBrandGerstheim2014JesusJo BraunMarco_Bravura_Recuperi_d'_OroSunflowers+smalti+unglazed+ceramic+63+x+48+cm.jpgLilian_Broca_Queen_Esther_Revealing_Her_True_IdentityCarl&SandraBryantCaco3+movimento+n7full.jpgPixel_Context_Pixel_TributeToNicanorParra_2014_150x200cm (3)Photo:  APLaura Carraro "Breath" 2013  123 x 40 cm.  Stones, marble, tile, silicone tubing, PVC, inverted mirror.  Photo courtesy MARRaffaella Ceccarossi "Emerging" 2013 37 x 140 x 12 cm  Smalti and marble.mail-2.jpgCharny Birds in Hair 1000LChinn ArabesqueRamblings_for_sending_copy12.jpgSergio Cicognani Untitled 82 x 90cm  Marble, smalti, fresco paintingSelf-Portrait, 2004-2005 102 x 86Clough.jpgBiggs_and_CollingsRebecca_Collins_StrengthToStrength_2011Luca_Carlo_Colomba_4552.jpgKeKe Cribbs "Casa PapaDoble"  Photo from the artist's Facebook page.DSCN0270.JPGCzapracki.jpgJeanAnn Dabb "Assay 1: Delamar" 2012  20 in. diameter  Bone ash cupels, ceramic crucibles, glass, porcelain.  In the background:  "Core:  Tintic District"  2012  Triptych 70 x 13 in panels.  Stone core samples, ceramic, smalti, woodAndrea Deszö  "Community Garden"  2006Julie_Dilling_Keep_Me_WarmDimit.jpgKatrina Doran  Noli Me TangereGary Drostle, 2010 "Movement and Vitality" DetailDrouin.jpgErcolani.jpgFaileSizeVisionMosaic.jpgneda-600x400.jpgRosanna FattoriniCynthia Fisher  "To Everything There Is A Season, Summer"  2011  25 x 33 in.  vitreous glass, stained glass, smalti, stone, unglazed porcelain, broken pottery, marble, mirror glass, groutSara Frost "Querty" Detail  Photo: via Colossal.comBenedetta Galli "We Are The 99" 2013 140 x 200 cm  Photos and silicone on canvas.Giovanna Galli (France)5pods.jpgRed+Pods.jpgLarry_M_Levine.jpgGoode.jpgElaine M Goodwin Touching ParadiseRoberta Grasso "Memory of a Dream" 2012  460 x 230 cm  Silicon, smalti, ceramic glass, organza, tulle.Jhgreen_wall.jpgfull.jpgErika+full.jpgYakov Hanansen "Brain" 36 x 36 in. Hand-made ceramic tesserae, porcelain, smalti.Hanansen_GRS_framed_2000Hisao Matsuo "Don't Tell What Was Seen In The Woods" 24 x 35"Kim Jae Hee "Corea del Sud" (Uncomfortable House) 2010 40 x 40 cm Nails & felt  Photo courtesy MARProgressonIII Rhonda HeislerIMG_1199.jpgLaura Hiserote "No Time To Be Koi"  DetailSamantha Holmes "Absensce (Moscow)" 2012  260 x 150 cm  Marble, smalti, ceramic glass, gold.hubbell-intro.jpgTessa_Hunkin_Varieties_PeakingDog_PhotoTHHutchinson_Tango_Corto1Iliya Iliev  "Sesif"  2010  70x120cm diptych.  Stones, glassMombasa.jpgPamela Irving "Mr. Logomania" 2013 (Australia)Iskander+Impromptu-in-Blue+2000.jpgKate Jessup "Tense Twinships" 2012  36x52 in.  Glass, wood, thinset, stone, found objectsjones-time-for-lunch-1000Francien Jongsma Simonemichaelferris.jpgZhanna Kadyrova "Diamonds" 2006  Variable. Cement, tile.Kaitis.jpgVadzim Kamisarau "The Main News 3"  2012  50 x 95 cm  Cement, smaltikenawy-memories-full1Keren.jpgKate_KerriganWalkingInRainMatko_KezleInki-400-bimg-kii-blue-grids-in-blue-big.jpgPermafrost+King.jpgAndrej-Koruza-Structured-1-2011-Detailkozachek+Three+Intruding+Fanatics.jpgMichael_Kruzich_SylvesterKazumi Kurihara "Il Libro Legge" (The book reads) 2011 (Japan)Melaine_Lenoelevy-a-man-in-a-waiting-room-300dpi-1000Bett Ann Libby "China Leaf Tea" 2006  13 x 13 x 10 in.  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Photo: Helen Miles MosaicsAndrea Deszö  "Community Garden"  2006Julian_Modica_zappa.jpgMosaic RhinocerosLynnMoorPipgtailGirlBOMIMG_6541.jpgJinette+Mosaique.jpgMosaïzm "Gallaxiam" 2013 Detail  Photo courtesy MARCleo Mussi "Mind"  2012Silvia_Naddeo-Transition-2012Megumi-Naitoh-4192010-detail-Michael-WelchFamiliarGroundNewton Serenity 2FelicesBalls_4546.jpg8419_1251766378980_1374130919_703135_1818425_n.jpg"Cerulean Rendesvous" Carole Choucair-Oueijan 53.5 x 45 in.    Smalti, 24 karat gold smalti, cristallino, marble, granite111_0424.jpgFamiliarGroundNiki_de_Saint_Phalle_Tarot_Garden114Picasso.TeteFauveSergio-Policicchio-Corpi-celesti-2011"Dama-Dama" (2014) 1385 x 1165 cm.Elena Prosperi "Wakan-Tanka" 2013  60 x 198 cm  Tiffany glass, glass metal leaf, stones, feathers.Allan Punton "The Three Doges" 2014 Inspired by a ghost story by Alberto Toso FeiRebecca+detail.jpgAndjelka Radojevic  My Little ChickadeeGila+Rayberg+Morning+After.jpgSonya Louro do Rego "Fall" 2011 150 x 50 x 25 cm Shells and marble on wood and polystyrene  Photo: NTMP3312140193_3f2f0905ec.jpgNightshirt-Richey.jpegMo-Ringey-Stools-2004Faith Ringgold "Flying Home:  Harlem Heroes and Heroines (Downtown and Uptown)" 1996  Photo via MTA Arts for Transitdiego_rivera1-320x160Anna Rommel "Green Fish"clug romaniaAndrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  VideoRuth_Minola_Scheibler_nightflight_024"x4"Peter Rabbit & fence Beatrix Pottermedium_Reminiscence.jpgWINDSTILL+1.jpgGino-Severini-Church-of-St-Mark-Cortona-Mosaic-wiki-cropIlana Shafir WhirlBeneath+1.jpgmail.JPGVox+Sizemore.JPG100_5652.jpgJasna SokolovicSollinger+Old+Growth+2000.jpgCarol Stirton-Broad "From My Sister's Garden #3" 2013 3.5 x 10.5 inPam Stratton "Twin Lights"Hisao Matsuo "Don't Tell What Was Seen In The Woods" 24 x 35"Carol Talkov "What's Inside" 2012  14 x 17 x 4tavonatti+4+close+up.jpgKathy Thaden  The VisitCynthia Toops "Wolf and Dog" 2012 2.75 x 2.75 x .25 in. Plymer clay, sterling silver metalwork by Chuck Domitrovich  Photo:  Michael WelchBrooks Tower "No Pants"  2004  24 x 14 in.Matylda Tracewska "Untitled" 60 x 48 cm. Marble and paint.Matylda Tracewska "Black Square III"  2011  80 x 80 x 4 cm.  Marble, smalti.Crack+true.jpgTunick_07_1Federico UribeVital CU 02vortex+close+up.jpgennisHouse_1428291c.jpgIsaiah Zagar    Photo WikipediaAleksey Zhuchov "Still Life With Bottles" 2012  50.5 x 47 cm  Natural and artificial stone, smalti.