Just a kid in a candy store
Last week I had the incredible experience of heading out west for some very valuable professional development. I have always wished that there was a place in the northeast to take professional level mosaics workshops. Since there isn’t, I decided that a trip to the Institute of Mosaic Art in Berkeley ,California was in order! Luckily my very good friends Sarah and JC live in Oakland, just 20 minutes from the school, so I was able to visit them and stay in their beautiful house overlooking all of Oakland and San Francisco!
I attended a 3 day intensive workshop taught by world renowned mosaic artist Sonia King from Dallas Texas. She is a wealth of knowledge about mosaics from many perspectives- technical, creative, multi-media, world mosaic scene, historical, and personal expression. I learned many things that I am already using in my work, and also re-learned many things that I already knew, but now they are more present in my mind. I discovered some clearer ways of explaining things in my own teaching, and I thought about my own style and how I can push the limits of my creativity in my own unique way.
The Institute of Mosaic Art (IMA) has a very enticing mosaic supply store that I have ordered things from before, but it was a treat to be there in person and see and touch all of the beautiful materials. It’s really like being in a giant candy store.
Since I had candy on the mind, I decided to go with that theme for my own mosaic project. I took this picture of a lollipop display in a Walgreens and it became my inspiration for my own mosaic. I used some glass pieces that I made in my glass fusing class a few weeks ago that reminded me of candy, and some pieces I found in the shop there. It’s still a work in progress (I spent a lot of class time just soaking in all the information like a sponge and taking notes rather than focusing on finishing my piece.
The other students in the class were mostly professional mosaic artists. They were all very inspiring in a variety of ways, and I was so excited to spend 3 days with this group in this space. It’s good for me as a teacher to also be a continual student so I can remember what it feels like to learn. It has opened up my mind to many new ideas for projects and how to value my work in new ways.