Welcome!  All of our workshops are instructed by artists Kim Emerson & Dennis Reiter of Kim Emerson Mosaics, LLC in San Diego, California, USA.  Kim has been creating mosaics for public and private spaces since 1991.

Our next series of mosaic art workshops will be in the Fall of 2018!  We do not have workshops during summer months.

If you are NOT already on our contact list, and you would like to receive future emails announcing our upcoming workshop, dates, and prices please email: 


We register artists on a first come basis via email with a reply confirmation and instructions about how to pre-register. Let us know which workshop you might be interested in and we will pencil you in to reserve your space!

COMING AGAIN this FALL of 2018 are the



This intuitive approach of making mosaics is inspired by the Spontaneous Mosaic” Method and philosophy made famous within the contemporary global mosaic community by the beloved late Ilana Shafir of Ashkelon, Israel.  The Shafir family has given permission to Kim Emerson to share and teach Kim’s version of Ilana’s method at the San Diego Mosaic School. 

The creative approach of Spontaneous Mosaic does not rely on an exact pattern or blueprint for the final mosaic, and in a way, there is nothing spontaneous about this process.  This method is about being inspired by the beautiful and meaningful materials in the moment that are available to the artist.  This method is more about the process and the artist’s approach to the design of the mosaic composition whether the mosaic is comprised of ceramic, glass, stone, no matter what type of adhesive or substrate.  How do the materials and the way that they are arranged together inspire you?  What pleases you aesthetically?  What is your story?

“My mosaics evolve from the thoughts I have while I am working…I try to express something beyond the mundane and the decorative, to create a fusion of elements that will touch the viewer and express something that can be said in no other way”.

– Ilana Shafir

This workshop is open to beginners as well as the experienced mosaic artist.  We will be working with a variety of “tesserae” (that being all the pieces of material that make-up a mosaic design).  You will have the opportunity to learn how to cut tesserae with a hammer and hardie, and also use various types of nippers, cutters, or a wet-saw if desired.  We will utilize what Kim Emerson refers to the “directly-direct” method using thin-set adhesive.  We are NOT typically grouting in this workshop. 

Quality wood panels for interior wall display will be your choice of a 9″ x 12″ or a 12″ x 12″.  The available tesserae will be everything from ceramic and glass tile, smalti (glass), dishware, beads, found objects, and natural stone.  All levels are welcome in the same workshop weekend, as we learn from one another – together!

Available upon request, in this workshop, you will have the opportunity to adhere your mosaic by using what Kim Emerson calls “transfer techniques” with TAPE and/or MESH.

Mosaics by students of the Spontaneous Mosaic workshop are:

Click images to enlarge

Mosaic by Susan

Mosaic by Julie

Mosaic by Gloria

Mosaic by Tanya

Mosaic by Lee


Mosaic by Erin


Mosaic by Stephanie


The inspiration for this workshop came to Kim Emerson during a recent trip to Italy while visiting ancient Roman mosaic sites.  In Aquileia at the Museo Nazionale, on display there is a fragmented 2nd century still life themed floor mosaic known as “the unswept floor”.  The imagery of these infamous floor mosaics are hyper-realistic representations in stone tesserae of edible elements from the Roman banquet.  Using the basic geometry of the square, 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 create imagery of still life subject matter, such as a lemon or an olive branch.  We will focus on the main still-life element, the background andamento, as well as the play of shadows in tesserae.  This is an excellent workshop to better understand representational mosaic design, and perfect your precision cutting using modern materials, adhesives, and tools.

The size of the mosaic wall panel (on wood for interior display) will be your choice of an 8″ x 10″ or a 10″ x 10″.  We will NOT be using thin-set adhesive in this workshop, but we will be grouting the finished mosaics.

Mosaics by students of the Roman Representational Using Mexican Smalti Workshop are:

Click images to enlarge:

Mosaic by Casie

Mosaic by Edie

Mosaic by Elizabeth

Mosaic by Tanya

Mosaic by Lydia

Mosaic by Kathy


Create a glass-on-glass style mosaic using transparent tesserae in a textured style that can ultimately hang in the frame of a window that casts vibrant colors and light!  All the tesserae for this workshop will consist of everything transparent in glass: stained glass, dalle de verre (French meaning slab of glass), glass baubles, broken glass dishes, and more! 

The design approach for this workshop will draw upon the philosophy of Ilana Shafir’s Spontaneous Mosaic method using the intuitive approach and process to create a beautiful original mosaic design that is abstract, symbolic, and/or representational. 

We will not be grouting in this workshop.  The clear panel substrate upon which you will adhere your transparent mosaic tesserae will be an 11″ x 14″ rectangle.  You will decide if your hanging transparent mosaic will be horizontal (landscape) or vertical (portrait).  You will be invited to use power tools to cut unique shapes and drill holes into your panel.  It will be expected that you are willing to cut your tesserae using the various techniques and tools available to you.  Hammers and hardies and more will be available.  Hanging wire to display your finished mosaic will be provided.

Mosaics by students of the Transparent & Textured Tesserae Workshop are:

Mosaic by Donna S.

Mosaic by Leigh

Mosaic by Judy

Mosaic by Donna P.

Mosaic by Casie

Mosaic by Aime

Mosaic by Wendy

All workshops are held at the home & studio of Kim Emerson and her husband Dennis Reiter located in the Normal Heights community of San Diego, California, USA.

Photo credits go to DENNIS REITER

Phone: 619.379.1123             

Email:  kim@kimemersonmosaics.com