Perhaps the most magical thing about mosaics is a sense of many small pieces of different materials coming together for our eyes to interpret as a cohesive image. As in life, mosaic making sometimes flows smoothly, and other times it gives us obstacles and a lack of clarity. Usually my most successful work begins with a loose line drawing or plan, and enough patience and persistence to keep changing and rearranging the pieces until it’s right. Mosaics is a medium that allows me to build the work one piece at a time. As I work, I look for the development of interesting patterns, textures, movement and unity. Because my success at achieving this unity is often not directly linked to how hard I try, I have come to believe that there is another force at work here, that the art flows through me, and it is my job to respond in the moment. For me, this process is both an adventure, and a means of discovery, and I learn new things every time. Discovery is what pushes me to make art. I get a thrill out of taking a bunch of broken shards and turning them into a finished piece.
I first discovered my love of mosaics while on a semester abroad in Spain in the spring of 2000, with Gaudi’s architectural and artistic works in Barcelona as the focal point of my inspiration. Through my post-college community-based work in Los Angeles, upstate New York, and various villages in Guatemala and Peru, I began to use mosaics to bring people together with a common goal of creating something beautiful that tells a story. For the past five years, I have been teaching Mosaics Classes at Snow Farm: The New England Craft Program, as well directing and administering Snow Farm’s high school summer art residency program. I no longer work in the office at Snow Farm, but I continue to teach there and at other venues. I devote much of my time to working in my studio in Florence, and expanding her teaching practice.
Of the many workshops I have taught, the highlight has been teaching a group of 40 women and teenage girls in a small fishing village in Peru. Together we created a mosaic mural for their community center. A highlight among my architectural installations is a 7’x 8′ mural I created for The Food Bank of Western MA that commemorates the donors to their capital campaign “Room to Grow”.