I held my first Mosaic Workshop on April 27, and it was truly amazing to see the exquisite creations the visiting artists created. We started in my front studio, where my paper ladders and paper pieces were spread out on my work table. I had transformed my family room into an artists’ studio because my regular studio could not accommodate 5 to 8 guest artists.
My goal with my workshops is to create the workshop that I would like to attend. Since I don’t like carrying a lot of stuff around, I duplicated my own work environment for each artist as closely as I could. Each artist had her own magnifying lamp, easel, cork board, paper trimmer, scissors – all the tools needed to create a stunning mosaic. I had more than 200 different Chiyogami papers available for them to choose from. Part of the fun for me was watching Fran, Patty, Diane, Shawn and Katherine falling in love with Chiyogami paper. They didn’t even seem to notice the coffee, tea, iced tea, banana bread and deviled eggs that were waiting for them when they arrived. Clearly, it was all about the paper!
Since I also don’t like packing up a lunch, so I provided a healthy lunch of vegan minestrone soup, salad and french bread. Filtered water, coffee, tea, iced tea, banana bread, and deviled eggs were available throughout the day, too.
I remembered my first time in Japantown at the Kinyokuniya Store – probably in 1996 or so. The store had nowhere near 200 papers to choose from, but what was there was a visual feast! I ended up with only three patterns on that first adventure, and I still have them. If you had told me then where those three papers would lead, I never would have believed you. What a journey it has been. And now, the workshops give me a way to share it.
As we began, I sprung a little surprise on them by offering the opportunity to practice with small mosaics before diving into the big one. They could then turn those small mosaics into cards at the end of the day. I was impressed and inspired by their designs! I almost think they liked this part of the workshop best.
Shortly before lunchtime, they began working on the big mosaics. I resisted the temptation to look too soon. When I finally looked around 2:30 – WOW! They all came up with original ideas and were running with them.
They were such a wonderful group of women! Take a look at their creations: