Institute of Mosaic Art in Oakland, CA hosted a great class this weekend, and I got to be a lucky student. Sophie Drouin stepped in for scheduled teacher, Bill Buckingham, and they are frequent collaborators and co-authored the book, “Listening to the Rocks: Creating Modern Mosaics Using Stone Tesserae“
I love to work with marble and stone these days, and as a student taking in all the new information, I found myself making friends with at least 10 new mosaic materials, all rugged chucks of exotic stuff with which to confound and delight. With trusty hammer and hardie we set about breaking and splitting these Fragments of God, to better understand how to turn them into “Pasta and Sauce,” Sophie’s terminology for the Bling and the Background (a metaphor on a metaphor?) We nipped away on our andamento, the “flow” of our mosaic setting, while Sophie, a concert violinist, serenaded us with a surprising and haunting rendition of Happy Birthday on my rusty old Saw. Yes, a saw, and she used a metal edged ruler as a bow!
I got a good start on a little piece that included marble, (the pasta), hematite, flourite, amazonite, orange calcite, mica and pyrite (the sauces).
Stayed tuned for photos of my finished piece. In the meantime a couple of Sophie’s pieces as inspiration, and for your viewing pleasure.
I capped off the musical weekend with a stirring and spiritual concert at Yoshi’s with Bela Fleck and Toumane Diabate, a 72nd generation kora player from Mali. That’s some serious legacy, there. Thanks for the inspiration, Laurel!