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Why Mosaic? Sonia King

On 09, May 2012 | 30 Comments | In Uncategorized | By Nancie


Sonia King’s mosaic palette is a treasure trove of stone and tile, minerals and fossils, crystals and glass, gemstones and seashells. With these materials, King creates whole new worlds and galaxies that are exquisitely crafted and almost magnetic for the viewer.

Sonia King "Permafrost" 2009 24" x 18" Glass, ceramic, white gold, smalti, quartz, silver, marble, rock crystal, seashell, pearls, aluminum, selenite, abalone, pebbles.

"Permafrost" detail

King’s mosaics beg to be seen up close where the drama of the relationships between disparate materials unfolds and a mosaic “cast of thousands” whispers stories of places unknown.  

In the video below, the international award-winning artist talks about why mosaic is her medium of choice for artistic expression, how she came to the art form and what King strives to do with her work. –  Enjoy, Nancie

"Nebula Aqua" 2010 Residential commission; Special Recognition 2010 International Prize for Mosaic art and Architecture, Italy

“Nebula Aqua” Detail. Glass, ceramic, paua shell, golds, smalti, turquoise, malachite, labradorite, pebbles, chrysocolla, crystals, pearls, beach glass, amazonite, stainless steel, abalone.

"Meltdown" 2006 25.5" x 19.25" Glass, ceramic, raku pottery, slate, chalcedony, pearls, shell, copper, bone, gold, smalti

"Meltdown" Detail


Mosaic artist Sonia King creates one-of-a-kind, contemporary mosaics for gallery, architectural, community and home settings. Her award-winning mosaic art is exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented in private, public and corporate collections. Sonia was awarded special recognition in the 2010 International Prize for Mosaic Art and Architecture in Italy for “Nebula Aqua”. She won two Spectrum Awards for mosaic walls at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and one was featured on the cover of Healthcare Design magazine. She is a founding member and past-President of the Society of American Mosaic Artists and a Vice President of the Associazione Internazionale Mosaicisti Contemporanei. Sonia has been featured on HGTV’s popular show, “Modern Masters” and in numerous books. She instituted the mosaic program at the Creative Arts Center of Dallas and is a Senior Tutor at West Dean College in England. Sonia teaches advanced workshops around the world and is the author of the bestselling book “Mosaic Techniques & Traditions” from Sterling Publishing.


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  1. rachael

    Sonia, do you use ordinary brown paper when you place the tessera out ?

  2. Chuks Sunesis

    You do such an excellent work sonia.

    Your pieces are such an inspiration.

  3. celso adolfo

    Sonia,Teu mosaico flui como galaxias!
    um jogo de cores e formas que envolvem a alma de quem o vê!Parabéns!

    • Sonia King

      Online translation of your comment: “Your mosaic flows like galaxies!
      a play of colors and shapes that surround the soul of the beholder! Congratulations!”

      Tais palavras amáveis​​, muito obrigado, Sonia

  4. Elizabeth Whitley

    I have always admired and loved your work. Do you ever use grout?

    • Sonia King

      Hi Elizabeth, I consider the decision to grout an aesthetic one though practical considerations can demand it. Personally, I only grout for practical, functional reasons…like a wall in a hospital. I’m really interested in the interplay between pieces, the surface texture, the spaces, the shadows between the tesserae. And grout would negate all that. Great question, thank you.

  5. Marg Somerville

    My first mosaic book was your magnificent book and it is still my favourite. I love the way you make all the different materials come together and look perfect. I know it’s not an easy process, but you make it look so. Keep inspiring Sonia, you do it so well!

    • Sonia King

      How great that the book has been helpful! I tried to write the book I wish I’d had when starting out. And thank for your understanding. I really try to make it all look effortless… but it’s NOT! Kind regards, Sonia

  6. Betty Cleffman Hager

    I never tire of learning about what attracted Sonia to mosaic and the considerations that go into her compositions. Gracious, dedicated, and talented. That’s what she is.

    • Sonia King

      Such kind words, Betty. Many thanks, Sonia

  7. Ross Gamel

    I am doing an Art paper on you and your incredible mosaics. I do have a question for you. Have you ever started a piece, but then abandoned it because it just frustrated you or didn’t meet your expectations? If so, what was the piece? Thank you.

    • Nancie

      Ross, I am sure that Sonia would love to answer your question. The best way to reach her is Good luck with your paper! Nancie

    • Sonia King

      Hi Ross,
      Not very often. I almost gave up on one and told my mom I was stopping work on it when she came by my studio. She looked at it and looked at me and said “Hmmm, I never thought of you as a quitter.” I dug back in, finished the piece and it was the first I showed in Italy and the first that I sold for a lot of money. Go figure!

      Best, Sonia

  8. Dawn Chamberlin

    Love the different materials Sonia’s uses and the way they seem to all blend in together seamlessly, this is truly a very difficult to do and with such precise detail. Just lovely to look at.

  9. When contemporary mosaic art is accepted in all museums internationally, as easily as traditional art, we will have Sonia King to thank and remember.

    • I have discovered your work recently and found it beautiful, inspiring, peaceful. I am transfixed by it. Wonderful! Thank you.

      • Lilian, you are far too kind 🙂 And Laurence, many thanks for your kind words about my work.

  10. Your mosaics are always a pleasure to view and an inspiration too Sonia. Your ideas factory must be something else.

  11. Sonia truly is a fabulous artist who has inspired so many to create mosaic art! She has shared her knowledge and thoughts so generously with others, and deserves all the recognition we can give her!

  12. Thanks for this great article, Nancie. I love seeing Sonia’s work and her continued recognition in the world of mosaics, she has so passionately paved the way for many of us.

    When I am asked the question “why mosaic” myself, I can’t complete that without acknowledging Sonia, for her mentoring ways and constant love of mosaics she shares with all!!!

  13. Many thanks for the kind words, everyone and to George for the link to the audio interview. Special thanks to Nancie for her super work creating the new Mosaic Art Now website and showcasing my work with this post. I’ve been talking about world domination of mosaic for years and we’re getting closer 🙂

    • Great article . She succeeds in making her work seem “effortless “. Such a beautiful play of materials. Thanks

  14. Always love seeing and hearing Sonia at work. She is an inspiring lady and I quote her a lot when I teach my students. Thank you Sonia for sharing your love and knowledge of mosaics so freely.

  15. Very interesting article! Thanks for posting…

    • Nancie

      You are most welcome, Ms. Biggs. Stick around and check out more on MAN!

  16. Besides devoting herself to an extraordinarily high level studio practice (which the images here attest to), Sonia has always been generous in sharing all (or nearly all!) her hard-won knowledge and creative spirit – with the goal of elevating mosaics as an art form worthy of unqualified recognition. If you would like to hear another interview with Sonia, in which she touches on additional career and inspirational points…
    And great work, Nancie – why mosaic indeed!

    • Nancie

      Well said, George!

  17. Sonia inspires on so many levels with her work and her infectious enthusiasm for mosaic art. Enjoyed the video – very well done.

  18. Sonia and her work are inspirational! She does indeed ‘create whole new worlds’ with her innovative approach to the art of mosaic. Another great article showcasing her superb skills.

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