Why Mosaics? – My youth was spent with relatives that were constantly expressing themselves through music, art and dance. Among some of their talents, Antonio was a concert violinist, Viola and Isabella were painters, Teresa a pianist, Victoria a soprano, Clara a ballroom dancer.
My father Angelo, was better known as “Fred” due to his Fred Astaire-like dancing moves. My mother, Victoria was an all-around craftsperson. She worked with marionettes as well as touching on things such as jewelry, sculpture, bread dough flowers, tinsel painting, Japanese brushwork, paper sculpture and ballroom dancing. I started working with her and my sisters at the age of 5. We put on marionette shows at birthday parties, in malls, and for charitable events. She participated in the creation of The Pelham Children’s Theatre where she wrote scripts and scores for several productions. I helped her with the rehearsals, set design and productions for many years.
After evolving through several careers I ended up teaching middle school math. One might think it’s a far cry from mosaics, but it’s really not. Over the years I was able to incorporate some artwork through projects using tesselations, symmetry, number patterns, etc. The geometrical shapes always inspired me.
Approximately 20 years ago I started dabbling in mosaics, taking courses from Bonnie Fitzgerald (techniques), Yulia Hannensen (layering glass), Gina Hubler (fine details) and Kelley Knickerbocker (negative space & letting go). In 2017 my retirement present to myself was the creation of a 400 square foot studio and time to really delve deeply into learning more about mosaics. I found that mosaics enable one to tie in so many parts of oneself to create a cohesive whole. Mosaics have helped me to be at peace.