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Back in 2009 I was inspired by a large mosaic representing volcanoes. It was integrated into the wall of a vacation house I rented for the holidays. I decided to take classes and become familiar with this fascinating ancient practice of enhancing surfaces and objects. After working by myself for several years, I decided to share what I learned from one of my wonderful teacher Mina Barnes of Visionary Artware in Long Beach, California. I could never match her style and charm, but I have gotten very good at carrying on in her tradition:  sharing my love for the art of mosaics, as well as teaching her techniques for nipping, composing and grouting. In my beginners class I start with the basics: a full day class working with softer ceramic tiles on a small flat surface. First students learn the correct posture for nipping, then practice controlled cuts for simple objects and finish by working with negative space to obtain a blended background. Once the mosaic is glued and dry, we go through the steps to grout correctly, so the structural integrity of the piece is assured. In the second class, we move on to working on curved surfaces, with more complex shapes and color combinations. The glueing and grouting are more challenging when the surfaces are not flat. In the third class, we return to simple designs, but this time we use industrial tiles, available from tile centers and hardware stores. We work outside, using powdered tile glue and silicon grouts, so the mosaic will withstand the elements. In a fourth class, students can learn to work on curved shapes like benches and plant pots to create areas of color in the garden or patio. Finally, at the fifth level, students work vertically on walls and learn to combine tiles of different thicknesses. Adding stone or glass can make complex structures, even bas reliefs. Since each student works at their own pace, it's hard to set a schedule for the advancement of techniques. For questions and rates, email us here.

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