MOSAIC ART WORKSHOPS at the SAN DIEGO MOSAIC SCHOOL

WELCOME to the SAN DIEGO MOSAIC SCHOOL!

All our workshops are instructed by Kim Emerson and assisted by her husband Dennis Reiter in the Normal Heights community of the City of San Diego, California, USA.  Kim has been creating mosaic art for galleries, public, and private spaces since 1991.  The workshops take place in Kim and Dennis’ private home and working studio spaces.  The San Diego Mosaic School was established in 2015.

Would you like to receive current information about mosaic art workshops in San Diego, California?  Please email Kim to get your information on the contact list:  kim@kimemersonmosaics.com

WE WILL RESUME OUR MOSAIC ART WORKSHOP SCHEDULE IN THE FUTURE – Until then stay healthy and creative!

PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE ON OUR MAILING LIST!

HERE ARE DESCRIPTIONS OF THREE OF OUR FAVORITE WORKSHOPS:

SPONTANEOUS MOSAIC with MIXED TESSERAE

ROMAN REPRESENTATIONAL with SMALTI (glass)

ABSTRACT with SMALTI (glass)

The price for each and every workshop includes all materials, use of professional mosaic tools and adhesives, 14 hours of serious instruction, an invaluable materials resource list, endless inspiration, new artist friends, AND so much more!  In each workshop you will create and finish a fine art mosaic of your own design on a quality wood panel to be ultimately displayed in your own interior wall space.  Individual weekend workshop hours are Saturdays and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

More information below here about each workshop:

SPONTANEOUS MOSAIC METHOD – Price – TBA:

This intuitive method of creating mosaic art is inspired by what Ilana Shafir called the Spontaneous Mosaic method.  Ilana Shafir of Ashkelon, Israel was widely known, respected, and adored throughout the contemporary global mosaic community. The Shafir family has given permission to Kim Emerson to share and teach Kim’s version of Ilana’s philosophy and her intuitive approach of creating mosaic art at the San Diego Mosaic School. 

Utilizing the Spontaneous Mosaic method is thought to be the most comprehensive way to gather a serious understanding of the medium of contemporary mosaic art, whether you are a beginner AND/OR if you are an experienced mosaic artist.  In this workshop, you will have a variety of “tesserae” (little pieces of stone and/or tile) available to choose from to build your own unique compositional design, that being abstract or representational.  We will be utilizing what Kim calls the “directly-direct” way of adhering the tesserae with thin-set.  The mosaics will NOT be grouted in this workshop.

You will be adhering your mosaic “opus” to a quality wood panel to be displayed in an interior space.  The panel sizes to choose from are either 9” x 12” or 12” x 12”.  Kim and Dennis will be sharing many other tips and details of how to professionally finish your mosaic to take home on Sunday.

Upon request, you have the option to learn what Kim refers to as “transfer techniques”, that being assembling your mosaic design with either MESH or TILE TAPE or both.  Also by request, you can learn about which materials are most appropriate for exterior mosaics.

Student works: Images below of mosaic art created in the SPONTANEOUS MOSAIC METHOD workshop:

REPRESENTATIONAL ROMAN with MEXICAN SMALTIPrice – TBA:

The inspiration for this workshop came to Kim Emerson during a 2017 trip to Italy while visiting ancient Roman mosaic sites.  Particularly in Aquileia on permanent exhibition at the Museo Nazionale, there is one of only five discovered 2nd century still-life themed floor mosaics known as “the unswept floor”.  The imagery of these infamous floor mosaics are literal representations in stone tesserae of edible elements from nature and Roman times.  Using the square and cubic geometry in the Roman style, we will have fun recreating detailed representations of what was left on the floor after the dinner party! 

In this workshop, using only Mexican smalti glass, we will recreate imagery of still-life subject matter, such as a lemon or an olive branch.  We will focus on the geometry of the main element, and fill-in the background in classical andamento, as well as play with shadows in tesserae.  This is an excellent workshop to better understand representational design in mosaic, and practice precision cutting using modern materials, adhesives, and tools.

The size of the mosaic panels (on wood for interior display) will be your choice of an 8” x 10” or 10” x 10”.  We will NOT be using thin-set adhesive in this workshop, but we will employ what Kim Emerson refers to as the “directly-direct” method technique.  Grouting your finished mosaic will be optional, possibly after the workshop, if necessary.

Student works: Images below of mosaic art created in the ROMAN REPRESENTATIONAL with MEXICAN SMALTI workshop:

ABSTRACT with SMALTI – Price – TBA:

Smalti is glass and is the only tesserae made especially for mosaic art.  Over time, smalti for mosaics was developed by the Romans and perfected through the centuries by the Italians.  There are only a few smalti glass factories still in production today.  This beautiful glass material has been especially developed to be easily cut by hand with a mosaic hammer and a hardie (chisel) on a wooden stump.  These are the traditional metal tools designed especially for the mosaic artist.  This amazingly colorful and reflective glass tesserae is what was used during the height the Byzantine era to embellish interior walls of churches in Europe – particularly Ravenna, Venice, and Rome in Italy and beyond.

The prerequisite for this workshop is that you have already taken the Spontaneous Mosaic method workshop at the San Diego Mosaic School, or another equivalent workshop elsewhere.  You will be designing and building your mosaic composition while utilizing the intuitive design process of Ilana Shafir (see description above).  

In this workshop you will also be cutting and creating only with smalti glass made in both Italy and Mexico.  We will be discussing and sampling the unique properties of each.  You will be encouraged to cut with the hammer and hardie to prepare your smalti tesserae that will ultimately be incorporated into your own unique abstract composition.  Both “normal cuts” and “pizzas or tortillas” of smalti will be available.  The panel size (on wood for interior display) will be approximately 8” x 8”.  We will be using thin-set and NOT grouting in this workshop.  Smalti is not typically made for or meant to be grouted.

Student works: Images below of mosaic art created in the ABSTRACT with SMALTI workshop:

We look forward to creating beautiful and meaningful mosaic art with you!

Questions? Call Kim Emerson at 619.379.1123

ALL PHOTO CREDITS GO TO DENNIS REITER

INTERNATIONAL VIRTUAL SYMPOSIUM OF TURKEY: March 13 – 28, 2021

“CELESTIAL PORTAL: DISCOVERING GOBEKLI TEPE”
 
By KIM EMERSON
SAN DIEGO, CA, USA
www.kimemersonmosaics.com
#kimemerson
#symposiumturkey
 
INTERNATIONAL MOSAIC SYMPOSIUM TURKEY
THEME: “FROM STARS TO STONES: TRIBUTE TO KARAHAN TEPE & GOBEKLI TEPE – THE ZERO POINT OF HISTORY”
MARCH 13 – 27, 2021
 
TESSERAE MATERIALS: Marble, limestone, quartz crystals, smalti (glass), glow-in-the-dark tesserae, mille fiori stars & handblown glass cabochons – on a wood panel
 
Wall panel: 20” x 30” (50 x 76 cm)
 
Photo credit: DENNIS REITER
 
SCOPE – The creation of this mosaic art project took me on a very personal and virtual journey to a faraway place I have always wanted to go – but never knew that it had existed.  Ancient archeological sites located in Southern Turkey is where the theme of this symposium takes us as a virtually gathered group of talented and very determined women mosaic artists.  The theme From Stars to Stones is the perfect topic for mosaic artists who love to smash stone and glass into tiny fragments and arrange them in a way that tells a story – who are we, where do we come from, what happened, why, and where are we going?  I learned in my research that the relatively recent discovery of Gobekli tepe has caused the rewriting of the historical timeline for humanity because its assemblage is over 11, 600 years old.  The location of this architectural and structural marvel, with stone carvings of exotic animals, in the Middle Eastern region known as the fertile crescent is where its placement provided the perfect environment as being one of the most important cradles of civilization where agriculture first emerged.  And some believe the sites also had a celestial connection with the stars.
 
DESCRIPTION – I wanted my mosaic design to be a beautiful map of time, borrowing lines from the actual archeological site of Gobekli tepe, and building it in a way that appears thin, light and transparent, like it is floating in space – thus drawing the viewer through a portal into universal energy or Qi.  The star that is most prominent in the composition is Sirius, and it is fashioned in-part with glow-in-the-dark tesserae.  The placement of and the ray-points mark the consecutive circles that are traced footprints of the actual stone structures that make-up the site.  The black and dark blue in the upper section represents the night sky.  The three glow-in-the dark stars in the upper left are intended to be the part of Orion’s Belt that directs one to find the brightest star in the sky – that being Sirius.  The seven stars in the upper right represent the Pleiades constellation, or the Seven Sisters.  The bright blues and deep greens at the bottom portion represent the fertile crescent with its rich gifts and offerings from the Earth.
 
PERSONAL NOTE – I wish to express my sincere gratitude to my dear and beautiful friend Neriman Güzel for her organization, professionalism, and grace while virtually inviting us to visit her fascinating country of Turkey.  I also want to thank Giulio Menossi of Italy for the invitation to participate in this virtual project, and especially for his development of all the international mosaic symposia of the recent years.  I am honored and humbled to have worked in-tandem and along-side (virtually in our own private studios scattered around very different time zones) with this group of 22 amazing mosaic artists from Turkey, Greece, Israel, Holland, Russia, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Puerto Rico, France, England, and the United States.  I long to meet you all!
 

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM of CONTEMPORARY MOSAICS, Ploaghe, Sardinia, Italy

In August of 2018 Kim Emerson participated in the 3rd annual INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM of CONTEMPORARY MOSAICS in Ploaghe, Sardinia, Italy! This three week artists’ residency was an intense artistic exchange of ideas, support, and extreme hard work of 9 determined women mosaic artists from 7 countries, with one theme, who each created their own 3-dimensional wall mosaic (approx. 70 cm x 80 cm) while working in front of and open to the public.  The theme for this year’s symposium was TEXTURES,WARPS, PATHS – FRAGMENTS OF COLORS FROM THE EARTH.  The creator and artistic director of the symposium is Giulio Menossi from northern mainland city of Udine, Italy.  The event was facilitated and organized by the Sardinia Contemporary Mosaic & Art.  It was a huge honor to be invited and hosted by local sponsors and the municipality of the City of Ploaghe during their 500 year traditional festival known as “Ferroagosto”.  This was truly an amazing celebration of mosaic art, culture, friendship, and the world coming together in this small and enchanting Sardinian village!  Grazie mille!

During the symposium Kim Emerson created her opus mosaic that she entitled “Primordial Elements”.  Here below is the description of her work, or artist’s statement:

While researching for inspiration for this project I came across a scientific explanation describing the island of Sardinia as being “likened to an unconnected mosaic” due to the tectonic divisions of fractures and fissures that has divided it.  This geologic fact inspired my overall design of fragmented sections that seem to have been once connected but now divided.  These fragments represent the rich earth that has given Sardinia its many treasures.  Five primordial earth elements are represented in the blue tesserae for water, red for fire, actual copper for metal, actual cork for wood, and locally sourced stone for the earth.  The andemento and arrangement of the volcanic stone and other found elements suggest the footprint of the ancient Nuragic Civilization as layers of events and culture from the past who inhabited this beautiful rustic island. Ke