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with mosaic arts online - presented by caitlin hepworth
smalti mosaic workshop
with caitlin hepworth
at EDEN GARDENS for eden unearthed 2019
Join sculptor Caitlin Hepworth in this hands on Smalti Mosaic Workshop. Smalti is an ancient mosaic medium that came to prominence during the Byzantine Era. It is an opaque coloured glass made especially for mosaics and is made in much the same way today as it was several thousand years ago. Smalti is made in a crucible then the liquid glass is poured out to for a 'Pizza' or 'Tortilla' shape. As it cools colour variations can form in the glass creating different surfaces. The pizza is then broken down with a hammer and hardie into tesserae (mosaic pieces) of different sizes which are then fashioned by the artists to put into a mosaic. When the glass is broken it reveals a beautiful interior called the 'Riven Edge'. This is the broken face of the glass and this face is commonly the side you see in a mosaic. Smalti is famous for is richness in colour and its reflectivity. It is much more irregular than standard vitreous tile so makes for a more interesting surface in mosaic.
During the workshops students will learn about working with both Mexican Smalti and Italian Smalti. They will start by making a small smalti sampler that explores different ways to cut and lay the medium and then will complete a small smalti mosaic with cement-based adhesive using the direct method.
Students can choose from a number of set designs or create their own. The designs are structured to be achievable within the time frame and to give scope to a number of smalti cuts and andamento styles etc. Mosaic will remain ungrouted to retain the beautiful surface qualities of the smalti.
with guest tutor erin pankratz
Workshop Description: The key objective of this workshop is to start thinking about using the substrate, adhesive, and tesserae as equal partners in the overall design of a mosaic; using mortar as a major player in the design and not just in a supporting role. You will learn how to mix tinted mortars, and explore different ways to incorporate them as part of your overall design by using them to create colourful backgrounds, and as a decorative adhesive (including the “dot” technique). To explore these techniques you will create 2 separate abstract 9" x 12" pieces exploring the multitude of ways that tinted mortar can be used on substrates that you will learn to build from scratch. Using the variety of tesserae supplied, you will have the opportunity to see how subtle colour changes and textures create depth and visual interest with mortar under-painted substrates.
Situated in the beautiful Blue Mountains, Hughes Studio workshops often attract participants from interstate. There are a broad range of accommodation options available at a range of price points. Please contact Caitlin for a customised list of recommended options.
The workshop experience at Hughes Studio is inclusive of delicious morning and afternoon teas, as well as a wine and cheese evening to get to know your peers and tutor. Specific dietary needs will be catered for.