MOSAIC ART WORKSHOPS
SAN DIEGO, California, USA
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2018 Schedule of Mosaic Art Workshops
Learn the fine art of mosaic technique and methodology taught by mosaic artist KIM EMERSON who has been creating mosaics since 1991.
We will be soon posting and registering for our Spring 2018 schedule of weekend workshops!
The mission at the San Diego Mosaic School is to educate and inspire everyone about the medium of mosaics as a fine art. Every level of mosaic experience is welcome. All you need is a passion for color, texture, an openness for creativity, and originality. We focus on cutting, placement of “tesserae”, basic design composition, and comparing ancient Roman mosaics to the contemporary while using many different types of beautiful materials. We are located in the Normal Heights community of San Diego, California, USA.
KIM EMERSON is a San Diego based artist who specializes in the medium of mosaics. Her work is large scale, architectural, environmental, in the form of 2-D murals, 3-D sculpture, small format jewelry, and fine art studio creations. Kim has a lifetime of experience in the visual arts, with a BA in art history, an MS in historic preservation of architecture, and an AA in interior design. She is a natural teacher and educator with the ability to reach students at all levels of their experience. She has created and installed many public art and private residential projects. Her work can be found in private art collections throughout the United States. In 1991 Kim began learning and making mosaics with internationally acclaimed artist James Hubbell as a volunteer building schools in a very poor barrio of Tijuana, Mexico. She crossed the US/Mexico border from San Diego every week for three years to work and create involving members of the community from both sides. Kim has been an active “professional” member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA) since 2004.
DESCRIPTIONS of TYPICAL WORKSHOPS:
SPONTANEOUS MOSAIC METHOD
This intuitive approach of making mosaics is inspired by the “Spontaneous Mosaic” method and philosophy made famous within the global mosaic community by the beloved late Ilana Shafir of Ashkelon, Israel. The Shafir family has given special permission to Kim Emerson to share and teach Kim’s version of Ilana’s method at the San Diego Mosaic School.
This workshop is for you if you are a beginner, AND/OR if you are experienced but want to practice and advance your “andamento”. We will be working with a variety of tesserae (ceramic and glass tile, stone or “cut pieces of stuff” that makes up your mosaic!). You will learn how to cut tesserae with a hammer and a hardie, also use various types of nippers, cutters, and even cut with a wet-saw if desired. We will utilize what Kim Emerson refers to as the “directly-direct” method with tinted thin-set adhesive. We are NOT typically grouting in this workshop. Quality wood panels or cement substrates will be available to choose from – no larger than 12″ x 12″. The available tesserae will be everything from ceramic tile, glass tile, smalti (glass), dishware, beads, found objects, and natural stone. All levels are welcome in the same workshop, as we all learn from one another! Available by request, you also have the opportunity to make your mosaic by using different modified-direct transfer techniques with TAPE and/or MESH.
NATURAL STONE & ELEMENTS
The theme for this workshop is inspired by a mosaic triptych created by the late and esteemed member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA) JeanAnn Daub. JeanAnn was an art historian, a mosaic scholar, and she created a very special wall mosaic she entitled Imaginary Archeology for the Mosaic Arts International (MAI) in San Diego 2009. It was exhibited again for SAMA’s Master’s Invitational in San Diego 2016. This mosaic belongs to the private collection of Kim Emerson and Dennis Reiter at the San Diego Mosaic School. The elements and tesserae that make up the three panels of this mosaic were gathered “with permission” by JeanAnn herself during her travels to Tunisia, France, and her home state of Utah.
Are you a collector of natural elements when you go on a trip or outdoor adventure? Do your collectables tell a story of a memory? In this workshop we will be working with natural stone and elements, such as crystals, geodes, marble, etc. We will encourage you to find the meaning that tells a story in your mosaic creation. For the assembly, we will draw upon the Spontaneous Mosaic method as you are intuitively inspired by the beautiful materials available to you. You will be taught how to cut tesserae with the hammer and hardie. We will refer to different types of stones, their hardness, their meaning, and how to cleave them open and cut them into little tesserae ready to be incorporated into your mosaic.
The size of the mosaic panels (on wood for interior display) will be your choice of 9” x 12” or 10” x 10”. We will be using thin-set adhesive in what Kim Emerson refers to as the “directly-direct” method. We will NOT be grouting in this workshop. All materials are provided. As an option, you are welcome to bring your own found treasures, but that is not necessary because we will have everything you need!
“Imaginary Archeology” by JeanAnnDaub
With MEXICAN SMALTI
The inspiration for this workshop came to Kim Emerson during a recent 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 geometry in the Roman style of mosaic, 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 geometry of the main element, fill-in the background with 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 9” x 12” or 10” x 10”. We will NOT be using thin-set adhesive in this particular workshop. 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. All materials are included.
ABSTRACT IN SMALTI
Smalti is glass and it is the only material traditionally fabricated especially for mosaics. It was invented by the Romans and perfected through the ages by the Italians. Smalti as glass has been especially designed to be cut with a hammer and hardie (chisel), the 2000 year old Roman metal tools invented to cut stone and smalti. By example, the colorful and shiny tesserae of smalti is what is seen from the Byzantine Era in the churches of Venice, Rome and Ravenna, Italy, and more.
The prerequisite for this workshop is that you have already taken the Spontaneous Mosaic Method workshop with Kim Emerson. You will be designing your mosaic composition while utilizing the intuitive design philosophy of Ilana Shafir, and working with tinted thin-set “directly-direct”. In this workshop we will be cutting and creating with smalti from both Italy and Mexico. We will be discussing and sampling the unique characteristics and differences of each. You will be encouraged to cut all of your tesserae with the hammer and hardie, or wheel nippers, to create a composition that is abstract incorporating both “normal “A” cuts’ and “pizzas and/or tortillas”. The size panels (on wood for interior) will be no larger than 8” x 8”. We will NOT be grouting in this workshop. Smalti is not typically ideal to be or traditionally grouted.
TINY FORMAT JEWELRY & MORE
The available tesserae offered for this workshop will be in smalti and mili fiori (both glass!), natural stone such as marble, and other tiny materials. The mosaics for this format and workshop are very very tiny. We will be using fine tweezers and wheel-nippers. One blank bezel pendent made of sterling-silver, approximately 1″ x 2″, shape of your selection is included in the cost of this workshop. You will be selecting your jewelry pendent or wine bottle stopper piece(s) at the time of the workshop.
TRANSPARENT & TEXTURED TESSERAE
NEW! COMING LATE Spring 2018!
MOSAIC ART WORKSHOP LOCATION
Workshops are located at the home & studio of Kim Emerson and Dennis Reiter in community of Normal Heights in the City of San Diego, California, USA. The San Diego Mosaic School was established in 2015.
Our philosophy is this …
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” – Pablo Picasso
ALL PHOTO CREDITS GO TO DENNIS REITER