Thursday, February 19, 2015


I get excited for teaching workshops. I like to be prepared. I want to give my students the most information that I can give in the time and space allotted.  Saturday is my first workshop of the 2015 and tonight, with a few moments to myself, I am gearing up. Notes for students, practice piece and gathering class materials.Can't wait to see what folks make!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

When a dish breaks...

When my mother was a little girl she climbed up on a card table that held all of her mother's china. I believe that it was out for a cleaning or maybe some sort of annual cupboard organization. I can guess that my mother was trying to reach for something. Somehow in this scenario the table collapsed with the china falling to the ground to shatter into pieces. My mother watched as her mother fell to her knees crying. The event never left my mother's memory.

 I think of it every time that I break a dish. Although I have a bit of a different response. When a dish breaks in my house it is quite alright. With lessons of impermanence in my mind and the potential of beautiful art work I always get a little excited. I think of how to put the pieces back together, laying them out on a surface, creating something new. After sweeping up to make sure that the sharp bits and pieces are not lingering waiting to pierce the bottoms of our bare feet, I collect the useable shards for a mosaic. As a whole, designs can be lovely but when broken apart you get a rare glimpse at the individual elements that make up the whole design. A metaphor for many many things in life.

My everyday plates and bowls were handed down to me from a great Aunts' family. I am drawn to the style of intricate floral patterning. I see the potential in the broken pieces. With a Pique Assiette workshop (mosaic using broken dishes and ceramic), coming up on February 21st, I will use this particular broken plate pictured as a sample for students of the workshop, incorporating found costume jewelry and tile.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Prepping for February's Mosaic Workshop. We will be mosaicing Terra Cotta flower pots with broken dishes, ceramics, pottery, teacups, etc. Today I am sealing the pots for the class. Terra Cotta should be sealed prior to mosaicing so that when you water your plants, the moisture does not seep through and affect your beautiful mosaic work.

Workshop February 21st and 28th. See the Workshops 2015 page for more info. Students will be able to choose from a flower pot or a birdhouse as their substrate.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Found Broken

In a few weeks I will be teaching a workshop in Pique Assiette Mosaic technique at the ReSOURCE in Barre, Vermont. The term was coined after a man named Raymonde Isidor tiled his entire home, now referred to as La Maison Picassiette in Chartres, France, completely with broken dishes, ceramic and pottery. Loosely translated, picassiette means stolen plates.The story goes that Isidor was walking in his fields when he noticed pieces of broken dishes and glass. After collecting them and over time tiling his home with them, he was supposedly mocked for this, receiving the nickname Picassiette.  You must look up pictures. It is a phenomenal sight. He mosaiced EVERYTHING! So stunning and inspiring!

So, I am busy preparing materials and substrates, collecting sign ups and going through my own extensive collection of broken dishes and teacups. Over the years I have collected many bits and pieces from thrift stores, reuse depots, my own kitchen floor after dropping things and outdoors on the ground. The found pieces in the river or buried in our backyard are my absolute favorite. After storm Irene I found tons of unearthed pieces of ceramic pottery in the Onion River. It was so exciting. How long had these items been buried, where had they come from and who had once used them in their daily lives so long ago? Not much excites me like these thoughts.

Soaking un-Earthed findings
Private stash of found pottery and glass

Every piece is so exciting

Found in river beds, the backyard and on beaches in Maine

Flower pot featuring broken dishes and pottery

Detail of mosaic incorporating broken porcelain

Broken floral dishes create the background for this mosaic tree.

A fantastic broken teacup became the centerpiece of this birdbath, surrounded in a pasture of floral dishes.

Found ceramic pieces tumbled in a rock tumbler creating these smooth, soft edges.

Many of these pieces traveled down the Onion River after Hurricane Irene.

Buried in the dirt for many years, they finally revealed themselves.
For information on the workshop coming up in February check out the 2015 Workshops page.