Shards and Tesserae

Christa Lamb is a mosaic artist from Cottonwood HeightsUtah, who has ordered small shard faces from my Etsy shop several times. She sent me a message last week saying, “I thought you might be interested in seeing how I use your beautiful faces in my work,” and she attached some photos.

 I was amazed at her work. I often wonder how artists use these faces, but never expected to see them incorporated into such fantastic mosaics!

I asked her if I could share them with SHARDS readers, and she agreed – thanks, Christa!

She sent several more examples, all of which use mixed media materials to create rich panoramas in tiles, glass and found objects. I love these fabulous “storyboards.”

Here are some more of Christa’s mosaics:

The details are endlessly intriguing.

Look at this mysterious mixture, below!

I found more of her work on Flickr – along with some gorgeous photos of Utah.
Thanks, Christa – so grateful for your work and your email ! Do you show your work in a gallery? We’d love to see more!
Keep in touch,




Sunday’s workshop rocked

GET IT? It was a Pebble Mosaic workshop! Well, the pun may be bad, but the workshop was great – David Chidgey, Master Mosaicist, did a splendid job of teaching us how to turn pebbles into art. We learned new terms, such as “Interstice” (pronounced inter-STEE-cee) and “scratch coat.” We delighted in picking through bins of tiny multi-colored pebbles looking for just the right one to fit our designs. There wasn’t (much) rock throwing. Honest.

Free free to admire our results in the video (below). Not bad for beginners – high fives to everyone, especially David!

I was afraid for a while that I’d never make it home in time for the workshop. My plane out of Boston was delayed and I missed a connection in Minneapolis and had to stay there overnight. Unfortunately, that caused me to miss the opening of the HotWax/Cold Wax show in Kerrville. Bummer. But I’ll get there soon.

One good thing the trip delay provided was extra time to play with some iPad art. I’m trying to learn ProCreate, a really cool digital art program that I had mentioned in an earlier blog post. The experimental work below is a photo of my water bottle in the seat-back pocket on the plane, combined with a selfie and some other stuff, including some filters and special effects. (You can see a warning about keeping your seat-belt fastened while seated if you look closely.)


So, see – you can make art anywhere, even on a plane (especially if you have an iPad), and out of anything, even plain old pebbles (especially if you have David Chidgey). Artists are never at a loss for fodder.

Hope you all have a great week – it sure is nice to be back in Texas.

PS – Registration for most of the summer workshops at the Studio is now open at this link – yay!

Tesserae, tessera — the art of mosaic

davidDavid Chidgey is a member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists and a dedicated artist in his chosen field. When we heard him speak about his passion for the art of mosaics at a recent Show and Tell at the Studio, we wanted to learn more! He agreed to teach a workshop on the foundations of mosaics, and the eight students who gathered yesterday for a workshop at my studio gained a new appreciation and respect for this art form – including me!

Among the many things we learned from David is the importance of surface light and tonal value in tile choice. We also learned about andamento, the flow in mosaic design that carries your eye from place to place. We also learned that if you are cutting your tile with your special Leponnitt nippers and the back piece sproings off into your neighbor’s wine glass, your neighbor is not happy. Ah, the artists’s life. 

Mosaic artistry is far from easy, but it can be addicting. David is a very patient and knowledgeable teacher, and he has promised to come back soon to teach another mosaic workshop – I’ll update you. In the meantime, enjoy the video from yesterday’s Celestial Gaudi: Inspiring Mosaics Workshop – and a thousand grazies to you, David. Caio til next time!