19 April 2011

Day 5 at the Chicago Mosaic School with Verdiano Marzi - Contemporary Expression Mosaic Workshop

It's been over a week since the workshop finished. I spent most of last week getting website developer training and Google analytics training and haven't taken the time to finish writing about the workshop.

No one in the class finished their mosaics during the 5 days. The point wasn't to finish, but rather to participate in a thoughtful process where every step of the mosaic was carefully considered - concept, design, selecting materials/colors, cutting with the hammers & hardies (a new experience for some of us), and tesserae placement.

Around lunch time we did a critique of the mosaics. I generally love critiques, but this one was a bit intimidating - how could it be otherwise with such talent in the room - until it started. It became clear that every piece in the room was a visually compelling, dramatic, well-executed contemporary mosaic. Each artist spoke about their process for 5 minutes, then the group commented on the work, and then Verdiano asked his questions and gave his critique of the artist's work and made suggestions for finishing the pieces and things to think about for future work. Normally I expect to have some of the flaws in my work pointed out... but while all the comments were positive and affirming, it did not feel like things were being Pollyanna-ed. It just felt supportive.

After the critique we were invited to continue to work on the mosaics. I did not cement any additional tessarae to the mosaic, focusing instead on cutting what I estimated I would need to finish the mosaic and cleaning up my area thoroughly. I also shared my website with some of the students who had asked me about it. Sophie and Verdiano were also interested in the work shown on my website.

Here is my mosaic at this point. I'm waiting on some tools (steel hammer and carbide hardie to pair up with my carbide hammer and steel hardie) before I work on it again.

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