Now available for the first time, an intensive class experience completely focused on my process of creating of a Sculpted Mosaic Mirror Frame .
In this workshop students will create their own highly customized Sculpted Mirror Frame using the trade secrets and innovative techniques that I’ve fine tuned and mastered since developing them in 2006.
My sculpted mirrors have been exhibited with esteemed shows such as the International Mosaic Art Exhibition, SOFA NY and have been featured in numerous printed and online publications. I am commissioned to create custom mirrors, ranging from $2,500-$12,000 by designers around the country. My work is found in the homes of professional athletes, a Hollywood film producer, an infamous rockstar, an eccentric benefactor, an art museum founder and many other lovely collectors.
Read more below for a review of The 5 Day Intensive Plan, about The Studio, Traveling & Lodging Info and More.
Each student and I will consult prior to the workshop via Facetime or Skype to discuss their unique Sculpted Mirror Frame design. Students will prepare before our consult by watching my video demonstrations and instructions, guiding them through creating an inspiration board, a frame template and pulling together a palette of mosaic materials. We will discuss their vision, inspirations and plans for their project.
On the first day of class, I will present my discovery of the Sculpted Mirror Frame process, what lead me to it and why it was a game changer for my work. I will share all the materials I use and how to cut, sculpt, build and shape them. We will explore the different hanging options. I will demonstrate how to sculpt arabesque curls extending off the frame and other sculptural elements that can be added to the frame. We will then get to work on constructing our frames.
On the second day, we will dive into the process of sculpting the frame, adding volume and dimension. This is where the magic really starts to kick in. I will first give the history behind the process, present different material options for sculpting, along with demonstrations and personal guidance.
On the third day, we will explore the mosaic process. From where to glue down the very first piece of the mosaic to the last piece. We will discuss planning, designing and creating the mosaic. I will share the different materials and techniques to use and I will also teach how to master the “swirl”. We will learn about beads, which ones I prefer and how to use them. Other topics include: Background/ Foreground Design, Tips to Ensure Success, Avoiding Pitfalls, Design Inspiration and Working with Varying Heights in the Surface.
On the Fourth day we will focus on the topics of grouting and finishing. We’ll discuss how to grout, grouting over beads, painting over grout, using paint as grout, coloring grout and not grouting at all. We’ll also review the finishing steps of the mosaic and sculpted frame process such as how to insert the interior mirror, finish the backside of the frame, the option of antiquing mirror, polishing, cleaning and maintaining.
On the fifth day, we will make a master plan for each student’s mosaic and how to proceed after the workshop.
This workshop will take place in my personal mosaic studio in the historical Northrup King Building, located in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. My roomy studio is full of bright natural light and mosaic inspiration. We will have plenty of space for students to spread out and get lost in their creativity.
ALL WORK, NO PLAY? NO WAY!
First Thursday in the Arts District
October 2nd, 5:00-9:00pm
Join us for First Thursday in the Arts District as a multitude of painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers, ceramists, textile and fiber artists, jewelers, furniture showrooms and more open their studios at the Northrup King Building located in the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District.
October 4th, 12:00-4:00pm
October 25th, 12:00-4:00pm
Join us at the Northrup King Building for Open Saturdays as dozens of studios open their doors to the public.
Mosaic Tour/ Dinner
Optional Mosaic Tour and Dinner with Sharra and students! Sharra will take you around the Twin Cities sharing some of her favorite installations and the stories behind them.
TRAVELING & LODGING INFO
I recommend this hotel to my students and have special room rates available. It is within two miles from the studio making a quick cab ride away. Within walking distance are cafes, restaurants, shopping, grocery stores, the Stone Arch Bridge, the Guthrie Theatre, the Mill City Museum and much more. There is no need to rent a car. In fact, even the trip from the airport to the hotel is a easy ride on the light rail and then finishes with a short walk or cab ride over to the other end of the Hennipen Avenue Bridge, crossing the Mississippi River. The Nicollet Island Inn greets you right on the other side as it’s nestled in right on the river, surrounded by cobblestone streets and picturesque walking paths.
A few blocks from the studio is the Spy House Coffee, Core Power Yoga and a bit further are several lovely options for lunch and shopping. With in 10 miles of the studio are two mosaic retail suppliers: J Ring Glass (beads, glass rods and stained glass) and Mosaic on a Stick (everything mosaic) and Ax Man Surplus (endless amounts of crazy found objects and more).
In 2006, I was roughly five years into creating mosaics with a portfolio full of exciting pieces that had been featured in competitive juried art shows and high-end retail stores.
I was happily creating works with the same methods and techniques, focusing on exploring new designs and surfaces with each piece. Little did I know that everything about the way I worked was about to change with a single commission.
After teaching a Glass-on-Glass class at a local art center, one of my students asked me to create a mirror for her home, which ended up being the most enchanting home I had ever visited.
Each detail of the house had been customized by an artisan, from the stairway’s iron handrail to the glass blown bathroom sink to the carved stone dock leading out to a lake in the backyard.
The collector had an eye for unique design influenced by the magic of nature. She was an artist herself and requested that the mirror be baroque like, sculpted and full of detail.
She approved a quick sketch, handed over a swatch of fabric to inspire my material choices and was on her way. I was left to figure out exactly how I was going to create the very large, sculpted, three-dimensional frame I had promised. That key element, sculpted, had me stumped.
My mind couldn’t rest. First, WHY had I never thought of going that direction before? And second, HOW in the world was I going to do this? In the end, I successfully brought volume to the surface of my handcrafted frames, taking my mosaic work to the next level and I haven’t looked back since.
I set off for the studio and didn’t come up for air for months on months. I met with other artists, wandered the aisles of art supply stores, researched websites, devoured books and it wasn’t until a spontaneous brainstorm with a high school art teacher who worked with a local puppet and mask theater, happened by my studio during an open studio event that I found the path that lead me to innovative success.
I discovered and experimented with products and recipes that set my creativity on fire.
I rapidly implemented new techniques that were making this vision of a three dimensional, sculpted mosaic mirror, attainable, FUN and a reality.
After that piece, the buzzing source of inspiration created a surge of energy and I cranked out two more sculpted mosaic mirrors (“Tango” and “Chantily Lace”) in just eight weeks (all while working another job!). I was hooked.
Since creating these first Sculpted Mosaic Mirror Frames, I have made dozens more. In preparation for this workshop, I’ve combed through my vault of work-in-progress photos and have been delighted to find so many of my past projects documented. I can’t wait to share them and so much more with you in creating your own.
Let’s get started!