Glass Art Symposium 2021

mosaic, Workshop

FREE Glass Workshops Oct 22nd- 29th!

Have you heard of the Glass Art Symposium?

It’s hosted by Curious Mondo and it’s 8 days of glass classes in fused glass, mosaic and stained glass that are held online and available for FREE!!!

You can register in advance of the event so you’re ready to take part right here.

No Days Instructor Carrie Strope will be teaching how to make Basketweave Groutless Mosaic Mirrors on day two and will be available for live chat at 12pm EST on October 23.

If you’d like to purchase access to all the classes to view after they are live and to get bonus materials, there’s an early bird special that is $77 for all of the classes!

Again, during the conference classes will air for FREE for 20 hours each. So, you don’t have to pay a dime to enjoy access to all of the wonderful knowledge that will be shared.

Register today so you don’t miss any of the action!!!

CoExist in Kindness Global Mosaic Mural – Steelton, PA

CoExist In Kindness Mosaic Project, mosaic

The CoExist in Kindness Mosaic Mural Project in Steelton, PA has come to a close! CoExist Gallery owner Shawn Gold brought together lead artists Carrie Strope and Natasha Moraga to team up with the community and many volunteers who learned how to make mosaics. Here are some of the finished mural photos. If you look closely you can see the submissions sent by members of the global glass and mosaic community.

To see more of the submissions and the process, check out the CoExist in Kindness Instagram page.

CoExist in Kindness Global Mosaic Mural Project – Steelton, PA

CoExist In Kindness Mosaic Project, mosaic

My involvement with the CoExist in Kindness Global Mosaic Mural Project began in the Lobby Bar at the Society of American Mosaic Artists’ Annual conference. The hotel lobby bar is where all of the after hours chatter regarding the mounds of inspiration provided by the days’ classes, tours or lectures make social connections stronger. The networking is invaluable, and this year’s virtual conference was no different, except that more than just the usual suspects could be found hanging out after hours in the bar area at the conference venue.

Hosting the virtual Lobby Bar hangout at the end of the day…looks convincing, doesn’t it?!?

While it was mostly mosaic artists and conference attendees, there was a smattering of visitors who were curious about the notifications they received about a “Lobby Bar room.” It was specifically one of these chance encounters that spurred on an idea that began to come together in Shawn Gold’s mind. He had visited Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and encountered some public mosaics that caught his attention.  He tracked down Natasha Moraga, the local mosaic artist highly inspired by a trip to Barcelona where she witnessed works of art by Gaudi and her formative training experience with Isaiah Zagar (the Philadelphia mosaic artist responsible for Philly’s Magic Gardens).

Carrie at a two day intensive Isaiah Zagar workshop at the SAMA conference in Philadelphia, 2015.

Natasha’s work is community based, street art, meant to be accessible and enjoyable to all, largely funded by sponsors, and her goal is to add to the unique aesthetic of the community to beautify run-down public areas making them more attractive as not only tourist destinations, but as local gathering spaces.

Shawn Gold found Nat Moraga working at her mosaic park during a public workshop.

Nat’s latest project, El Parque de los Azulejos (https://www.tileparkpv.com/) is what caught Shawn’s eyes when he was visiting Puerto Vallarta. She explained her work and pricing for sponsorships, and Shawn’s enthusiastic vision kept growing.

He saw the mosaic bench spaces that were available and went back every night to look at benches, sitting and looking at the space multiple times. Nat’s work in the community convinced him that he wanted to play a larger part by sponsoring one of the larger monolithic sculptures that are part of Nat’s public mosaic workshops. Shawn connected deeply with the message “when we all work together, we make this a more beautiful place” and wanted to contribute to the work Nat is doing in her community.

Shawn adding tiles to a bench at El Parque de los Azulejos

Fast forward a few months to the chance encounter in the Lobby Bar. Shawn had been percolating this idea of bringing community mosaics closer to home, in the small town of Steelton, PA where he lives and owns a small business.

His business, the CoExist Glass Gallery is on the historical Front Street which has always been the town’s social center. He is opening a coffee shop soon, helping to organize a local farmer’s market in the lot across the street and hosting a Mardi Gras in July party before finishing the summer off with the installation of the CoExist in Kindness Global Mosaic Mural Project. Shawn endeavors to bring not only economic stimulus to the community, but community members closer together with the family friendly events that he hosts. The non-profit CoExist Alliance will also be sponsoring after school arts and mentoring programs in Steelton and other communities, and I’m excited to be a part of the team bringing the mosaic project to life!

CoExist in Kindness Global Mosaic Project Calyx Glass

The Coexist in Kindness Mosaic Mural is a collaborative, community project inviting glass and mosaic artists worldwide to submit a piece for inclusion. The goal of the project is to create a colorful and inviting space for the celebration of community, as well as a gathering place to exchange ideas and celebrate. This is the flagship project for the Coexist Alliance dedicated to empowering community through arts and education. This episode details the beginnings of the project and the details for submissions for anyone wanting to participate.

The installation of the project will occur in late August, but the initial stages of the collaboration have begun. We are putting out a call to artists who would like to be involved with the project by submitting a mosaic flower on mesh, fused glass flowers or garden themed items (think small bugs and garden creatures), or blown or sculpted glass objects for the magical mosaic garden that will live on the exterior of the gallery wall on Front Street.  

One of the flowers I have put together for the project already. There’s a flame-worked lensed, borosilicate eye cane in the middle of the cut stained glass mosaic on mesh.

We’ve started a facebook group, (and an instagram feed) if you’d like to join or follow to see the progress, share photos of your submissions, or learn more about the process.

Update? We’re still accepting submissions! Installation begins August 16th!

Thank you for participating in the project! Please have your submissions in the mail by July 1, 2021.
Image source attribution: Abstract vector created by macrovector – www.freepik.com

Submission guidelines for flowers on mosaic mesh:
-any size up to about 8″-10″

Suitable materials are:
-glass and mirror are suitable for use

If using tile or ceramics, please remember that Steelton, PA is located in an area that gets winters, with a freeze/thaw cycle. Tile or ceramics should be high fire and pass the no water absorption test. (That’s my fancy term for it. If the unglazed tile surface absorbs water, then it isn’t suitable for outdoor applications in areas where it freezes.)

To do this test: Turn the tile over to the back side and put a drop of water on the unglazed surface. If the water beads up on the surface, the tile is suitable to use. If the water absorbs into the piece, then it will absorb water and possibly freeze and crumble after installation.

If you have questions as to whether something you want to include in your mosaic is suitable, ask in the comments section, and I’ll be happy to help you decide!

It will be easiest for you to pack and ship smaller pieces. We’re asking that you build your creation on fiberglass mesh, and there are two resource videos you can watch to get an idea of how you’d like to proceed in putting your piece together. (Remember that if you use transparent glass, the mesh will be visible behind the glass!)

Building on mesh without using thinset, and packaging your project for mailing: https://youtu.be/ZsslWNbV-O0

No Days Mosaic Mesh is a no mess way to make a mosaic submission. (Full disclosure: I’ve worked with the No Days Adhesives folks for 9 years before purchasing the product line in January, 2020. I really love the product, otherwise I wouldn’t support it, so thank you for your support of my small business!)

If you prefer to build your mosaic using mesh and thinset, Jennifer Kuhns has prepared a great video showing that process for a public mosaic project she is working on:

Submission guidelines for fused glass items:
-any size up to about 4″-6″
-theme: flowers, bugs or garden creatures

Fused glass flowers and cabochons will adhere to the wall if they have a flat back, if they are dimensional, they shouldn’t stick out from the wall more than one inch.

If you have questions about a design you’re thinking about or wondering if something fits the theme, feel free to ask in the comments below 🙂

Submission guidelines for blown and sculpted glass:
-any size up to about 4-6″
-theme: flowers and garden themed items

Let your imagination run wild,  BUT for ease of installation and to ensure the longevity of the mural, flat backed items work best.

If you would like to submit a marble, we can use it, but it will need to be cut or ground to have a flat bottom (if you don’t have access to the equipment, we will be able to make the adjustments on site, so if you have a particular idea, please make a note when you send in your submission)

3D objects should not be thicker than 1 inch for stability. If you have a marvelous idea and want some clarification or want to discuss how to incorporate it into the installation, please ask!

Thank you to everyone who is interested in participating! This will be a really dynamic mosaic mural with all different kinds of submissions bridging various techniques in the mosaic and glass communities. I’m incredibly excited to see it come together! We’re accepting submissions until we begin installation on August 16th!

Address the submissions to:
CoExist Mural Project
310 S Front St
Steelton, PA 17113 USA

stained glass mosaic of flower

100 Moments in Mosaic – Season 3

mosaic

For Season three of the 100 Moment in Mosaics project, I decided to explore the strip technique that I used for the background of the flower pattern from last year’s submission. It is a slow and very tedious process involving first cutting the strips to the correct size with the mosaic nippers, and then grinding down each piece to get just the right angle for a proper fit. It’s definitely a technique I’d like to explore more.

stained glass mosaic of flower
“Paper Pieced Mosaic” stained glass and tinted mortar 6″ x 6″ 2019

I first remember being wow-ed by this way of laying stained glass strips while in Murano for the Glass Art Society conference. The lovely textile inspired and pillowy pieces beckoned to me from the walls of Berengo Gallery. I was so entranced, I must have missed the artist’s name. (I’m still searching and will update here when I discover the talented person behind these wonderful mosaics! UPDATE: With help from a friend on the island, I can credit the artist, Dusciana Bravura.)

From the SAMA website:

The One Hundred Moments in Mosaic project is a non-juried collection of work representing the full spectrum of SAMA’s diverse and richly creative membership. For a third season, an open call was issued to members to create a 6” x 6” mosaic, using materials of their choice and original design.

The work of seasoned professionals is displayed alongside enthusiastic newcomers to the mosaic making process, culminating in 100+ moments of life rendered in mosaic by artists from all over the world.

This collection was presented on October 31 – November 3, 2019, at the Sculpture Objects Functional Art & Design Expo in Chicago, Illinois at the famed Navy Pier.

The collection will be on view here on the SAMA Website with select works available for sale beginning December 1, 2019.  

The collection will also travel to Tucson, Arizona for installation in conjunction with the American Mosaic Summit, May 12 – 17, 2020.


My first season participating in the 100 Moments in Mosaic project was Season 2, which was on display at SOFA Chicago and the Parthenon Museum in Nashville, TN for the SOFA conference. “Applique Mosaic” is pictured below.

stained glass mosaic flower
“Applique Mosaic” stained glass and 24 kt gold paint 6″ x 6″ 2018
Stained Glass Window Nebraska Landscape

Nebraska Landscape Commissioned Lightbox Window

Commission, fused glass, mosaic, stained glass
Stained Glass Window Nebraska Landscape
Detail of fused glass hills, mosaic flowers, painted church and cloud

During my last visit to Flowing Stone Art Gallery in Beatrice, Nebraska, I was able to slip into the public library to see my piece installed. The remodeling of the library has taken a bit longer than planned, so the piece has been waiting to go up for awhile. It looks so great on the wall, all lit up in it’s own framed light box. I heard that the family who commissioned it was all really excited to see it and happy with how it turned out. It’s a memorial piece for their father, and they all agreed that he would have been very happy with it.

The window is a combination of techniques in glass. The whole thing is leaded together in the traditional leaded glass technique. The cloud and the church are painted on with stained glass paints that are fired in the kiln to be permanent. The flowers are glass on glass (GOG) mosaics, glued and grouted, then leaded into the panel. The landscape glass is all fused glass, with several bits of glass tacked together to make it layered and textured.

Stained Glass Window Nebraska Landscape
“Nebraska Landscape” Lightbox Stained Glass Window
mosaic, leaded glass, painted glass, fused glass
48″ x 48″ x 6″
2015

To view the window in person, visit the newly remodeled Beatrice Public Library.

Girl Scouts artVenture 2015

fused glass, girl scouts, mosaic
Beaded Fused Glass Suncatchers
2015 Fused Glass Suncatchers with Daisies & Brownies 6″ x 18″

This year’s projects were a bit of a departure from the norm, as I wanted to experiment with a few different techniques to see how the girls interpreted them. I was not left disappointed!

The Daisy and Brownies made fused glass flowers to be incorporated into fused glass sun catcher / windchime pieces, while the Juniors worked together to make glass on glass mosaics with the theme and title of their choosing. Below, the finished pieces are: “Love,” “Hope,” “Fire,” and “Fish.” Very elemental and encouraging!

Stained Glass Mosaic Windows
2015 Mosaic Windows 12″ round