Meeting Mosaics

Meeting Mosaics

One of my favorite art-works brings together my two art-loves: sculpture and mosaic.  The PinchPals are making their way on the path of life, which is riddled with lumps and bumps, yet hints of flowers and new life appear in the cracks of life. There are many PinchPals on the path, we are never really alone on the journey. Someone has your back. “The Path” was created a few years ago while fulfilling an artist residency position at the Olive Stack Gallery in Listowel, Ireland.

Meeting Mosaics

Mosaics have wandered in and out of my world for many years. My very first mosaic was made with colored egg shells. This was in early elementary school. I loved that mosaic, a bee hovering over a tulip-like flower. To this day I use that same flower motif. I had no understanding or appreciation of the mosaic art-form until many years later. Mosaics found me about the same time the PinchPals did, in the late 1970’s. At the time I had absolutely no context of mosaics.

The product of factory worker parents our family did not visit art museums or galleries growing up. Art and artist were “out of our league”.  Starving Artist was not an acceptable profession. And the art form of mosaics, not on the radar at all!  Local churches were modest constructions, no mosaics there. I appreciated the beauty of stained glass windows, but mosaics were not in the mix.

I attended a liberal arts school in Sarasota, Florida, New College. And it happened that the same college professor, Jack Cartlidge, who introduced me to clay and sculpture also taught me about mosaics. And it was a coffee table book with a picture of a pre-Columbian mosaic skull that first peaked my interest in mosaic making.

When not teaching sculpture and clay Jack created architectural art works, sculptures, large window mosaics and stained glass works for churches and synagogues.  He was a larger than life figure; preferring  to create monumental works he taught me to think “big”.  He was the role model put in front of me.

Working on those first mosaics I had no idea the materials my hands were touching. For you mosaic heads, the material was Mexican smalti, sometimes stained glass, always large amounts to cover significant square footage. Before my college career was over I was awarded a few mosaic commissions and created some mosaics on my own; a Madonna for a local church, and angel for a child’s headstone. Nonetheless I made the choice to pursue work in the animation business. The PinchPals took me to Los Angeles where I  settled into a 10 year adventure in the entertainment and animation business. The television business kept me busy in Washington, DC for another 12 years after that.

But making art, especially mosaics, kept pulling at me. As many of you know mosaic has consumed me for the last 15 years when I launched Maverick Mosaics. We  focus on instruction, education, public and private commission work, and leading artful travel adventure to Italy, France, Spain, Slovenia and Ireland over the past 6 years .

Community

A big “tug” has always been the community aspect of mosaic creation. Be it a school project with lots of young hands involved or a site specific large scale art work that speaks to a public audience. The fitting of disparate pieces into a cohesive artful whole, making order out of chaos, and connecting with others along the way. All reasons I’ve continued on my path. The mosaic community, the “tribe”, is populated by some of the kindest and most generous people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. You can learn more about Maverick Mosaics by clicking here.

And just as mosaics kept tugging at me so have the PinchPals, for some of the same reasons, creating and inspiring a sense of community.  “The Path” brings together the PinchPals hand built sculptures and mosaic, with my understanding and belief that life finds a way to move forward in spite of the cracks in the path of our lives. And with that another chapter has begun to reveal itself.

Next week I begin working with a group of mosaic artists from the New England Mosaic Society creating mosaic art works in the spirit of the Pinch Pals. What does that mean? Not exactly sure, but stay tuned!

PinchPals are all of us! They can help touch those you care about with a gently and friendly reminder that You’ve got their back.”

art-work materials: Limestone from Ireland,  Mexican Smalti, tinted mortar “path”, 24kt gold and hand-made ceramic PinchPals

 

 

9 Comments
  • Shona
    Posted at 01:07h, 03 August Reply

    Nice to learn more about your journey.

  • Meghan Walsh
    Posted at 18:48h, 03 August Reply

    Excellent! An adventure!

  • Ian Fitzgerald
    Posted at 20:41h, 03 August Reply

    So inspiring to learn more about the history of your passion!

  • Victoria Papazian
    Posted at 02:22h, 04 August Reply

    Intention is the operative word here with these beautiful, loving, Pinch Pals. Intention to lend a hand, soothe a sorrow, or just be present.
    As Bonnie’s mosaic student for a few years, and now a friend as well, I have not only enjoyed these darling creatures and their videos, but I have also witnessed the love with which they are crafted; the love with which they are exchanged; and the love with which they were conceived. This love comes through every last one of them. My own little guy rests on my mantle where I see him daily, and I am reminded of Bonnie, who has always had my back. Her intention to create a loving reminder that “You’re covered, You’re loved” comes shining through these gentle clay souls. They are a beautiful gift to give and receive. I love them and I love her 💕

  • Lisa Horowitz
    Posted at 12:57h, 04 August Reply

    Wonderful post. I loved learnt your “narrative “. So much I didn’t know! Eager to hear about the next leg of the journey!

  • kim Wozniak
    Posted at 15:28h, 04 August Reply

    It has been a pleasure to cross paths with you and our journey has taken a course I don’t think either of us expected. I’d like to say it was all because of the art of mosaics and it did play a part but when it comes down to it its really about reaching out, To give a hand or lend a hand. and letting the rest of the journey unfold.

  • Emily Bhargava
    Posted at 18:57h, 04 August Reply

    I can’t wait to see where the PinchPals take me and the other NEMS members this month!

  • Elisa Fleener
    Posted at 05:23h, 05 August Reply

    I can’t believe I haven’t seen the Pinch Pals journey art work. I love it very much. Well done. I can see how so many people can relate to the theme!!
    I need to order more PinchPals to give to some very down and out friends here. 1 was just laid off from her Supervisor position because the place couldn’t survive Covid. Another friend is very bummed cause her son is moving away from home. She will be all alone. Another is upset because she is being asked to come back to the office even though they’ve had several Covid cases there. I want to let them know “I’ve got their back“ .

  • Corinne McKeown
    Posted at 22:58h, 05 August Reply

    Wow – I had no idea about your background and it was great to learn about your ‘path’! Looking forward to being part of the group (starting tonight!) and feeling so lucky! Curious about the difference between education and instruction as mentioned in the post.

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