Sunday, July 4, 2010

A New Blog for the Minnesota Mosaic Guild!

Welcome to our new site! Soon we will make the transition from our old website to this new blogsite. On this site, you will be able to find members, get info on meetings and shows, leave comments, and more!

I will be looking to add some of you MMGers as authors for this blog. It's very easy and I'll show you what to do. Let me know if you can help out.


•April 2010 - Annual Members Show - The MMG member's show will be at Karen Gallery this year!

•April 2010 - Don't forget: MMG shop on CafePress! Now you can get your Minnesota Mosaic Guild apparel, aprons, tote bags and more. Ten percent of every sale goes to the Minnesota Mosaic Guild. Click here to find our shop.

December 2009 - MMG member Connie Glynn Cohen will be teaching a smalti class at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts this winter. The class will be 8 Tuesdays, 9:00 - 12:00 starting January 5. Here's the link if you'd like more information: classes_glass. html

She'll also be giving a short presentation on the "History of Mosaics" at Minnetonka Center for the Arts. This will be December 8 at noon. Hope you can attend one or both!

•November 2009 - New Survey
Please take a moment to fill in this survey. It's filled with great opportunities to make MMG great in 2010!

Click Here to take survey

•August 2009 - MN State Fair Fine Arts Competition
Congratulations to Janine Irisarri and Barb Keith! Their mosaics (Janine's "Poppies" and Barb's "Harriet") were accepted into the highly competitive fine arts competition! If you go to the fair, please check out their work.
UPDATE: Janine's piece won second place!

•August 2009 - Annual Fall Members Show
Following a great tradition, announcing the 4th Annual Fall Members Show at Mosaic-on-a-Stick!
Mosaic on a Stick, 595 N. Snelling Ave, St. Paul, MN 55104

Show Dates: Wednesday, September 9, 2009 through Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
Reception: 6:30 to 9:30 PM, September 9
Drop off your work and sign the contract: Tuesday, September 1 through Saturday, September 5
(Remember, the stick closes at 4 PM on Wednesday and Friday)

Your Work: Showcase your style/ your signature/ what best represents your work. Drop off your work ready to be hung.

If you are not currently a member, now is a good time to join!

•May 2009 - Art A Whirl News - Message from Kim (the coordinator)
Hey Everyone! It's crunch time . I went to the meeting last week at the Thorp building . We still have the space and everything is a go. It would help me to know who is coming to the meeting/ set-up May 13 6-9pm? PLEASE shoot me an email or call me.

First: Please pick up postcards at Mosaic on a Stick and do your thing with them, baby!

If you can't volunteer but can donate food, please bring it to the May 13 set up at the Thorp Bldg.

Bring your pieces Wed night or contact me to make other plans. I'll be at the Thorp on Wed 13th at 1pm. If anyone wants to drop pieces off or help set up early, call me at cell phone 651-373-7156. I'll also be there Thurs 9:30am-1:30pm.

Remember to hang pieces on the metal studs on the wall in the big room we will need self-tapping drywall steel stud screws, which we will have. WE cannot put any nails or screws into drywall in big room! In the small room, we can use nails or drywall screws, but we must fill the holes at end of show.

Please label each piece that you wish to show with: your name, title, material, size, price. Tape this label on back and have one for next to your piece when it's hung. Each artist should make an inventory sheet- there is one on the MMG20yahoo group under files if you want to use that one. The inventory sheet should include the artist's name, phone #, email, and title of piece, material, size and price. Give me a copy the night of the meeting. If you're handling your own money, you don't have to do any labeling.

You do not have to be at AAW in person! Everyone is welcome to show or sell their work whether they can volunteer or not. (Of course, if you can volunteer, that's great!) We will have a central checkout and keep track of all sales, using the inventory sheets and labels on your pieces.

All checks & money will go to the MMG account. Within 14 days after AAW. the treasurer will mail you a check. If you want to handle your own money, you must be there the entire time and then give the Guild 10% of your take. No need to bring extra packing material/bags for sale. I will have a packing station set up.

The lease makes our space available Wed May 13th 12 noon to Tues, May 19th 12 noon, but it would be best to get most things out Sunday Eve.

AAW Schedule May 16-17-18
Friday Show 5-10pm
1st shift: 4-7pm: need 2 people
2nd shift: 7-10pm: need 2 people
Saturday Show 12-8pm
1st shift 12-4pm: need 2 people
2nd shift: 4-8pm: need 2 people
Sunday 12-5pm
1st shift: 12pm-3pm: full
2nd shift: 3-6pm: breakdown: need 4-6 people

I can't remember who volunteered to pick up the 8x8's and the banner & anything else from Mosaic on a Stick? Please let me know who before set-up.

Best door for customer entry: loading dock 5,6,7 (it's all one door) off 18th Ave. There's a small parking lot there with additional street parking. A 2nd Choice for door is loading dock 10 in diagonal alley behind building.

I would like to have a demo area. Anyone who's interested in demoing during the show, let me know.
I know this is a lot of info, if I'm missing anything or if you have questions, please contact me. For a quick answer: call me 763-522-5857. ( I like phone calls better than emails(:!)

•April 2009 - Red Wing show a success (and still going on!)
There was a great turnout for the reception of the Red Wing show (scroll down to see the poster with info) on Saturday! I stopped by around lunchtime to see the show because I couldn't attend the reception. The show is beautiful with impressive artwork by our members. Some pieces had even sold already! If you weren't one of the many to attend the reception, please find time to go see the show before it ends on May 11th. Below is a photo from the reception. Gil Gragert, who did so much work on this show along with Deb Wasmund, is at the microphone. Thanks to both of you and all the artists who participated and helped to make it such a wonderful show!

•Mar. 2009 - New Members!!! Please do these things:
1 - Check the member page to make sure your name is listed. If not, contact and send a photo of your work and a link to your site.
2 - Make an 8" x 8" mosaic, ready to hang, for the group shows.
3 - Make a page for our member photo album (8.5" x 11" piece of paper as scrapbook base) for shows.

• Feb. 2009 - Details about the Red Wing Art Show:

Location: Red Wing Arts Association, 418 Levee Street, Red Wing, MN 55066, 651-388-7569
rwaa@redwing. net
Show Dates: April 3 – May 11, 2009
Reception: Saturday, April 18
Contact Person: Dan Guida
Posters and postcard are now available – extras at Mosaic-on-a-Stick

Dates to Deliver Art: Sunday, March 29 12-4 PM
Monday, March 30 8 AM – 4 PM
Tuesday, March 31 8 AM – 4 PM
Other times by appointment – call ahead
Gil will pick up from Mosaic-on-a-Stick on March 27 (Friday) and deliver to Red Wing on March 29 (Sunday). If necessary, Deb Wasmund will pick up at MOS as well.

Commission Rate: The Arts Association takes 35% commission for RWAA members, 40% for non-members

Red Wing Arts Association will do labels with artist’s statements. Send in your consignment form ASAP to Deb Wasmund at, so that labels can be prepared. Consignment form can be downloaded HERE.

Anyone interested in doing a demo should contact Deb Wasmund at

•Mar. 2009 - New Members!!! Please do these things:
1 - Check the member page to make sure your name is listed in the top section. If not, contact and send a photo of your work and a link to your site.
2 - Make an 8"x8" mosaic, ready to hang, for the group shows.
3 - Make a page for our member photo album (8.5" x11" piece of paper as scrabook base) for shows.

•Dec. 2008 - Barbara Steen is participating in a show at the Karen Gallery Located at 927 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402 on the second floor of Rush's Bridal 612/343-9333 or 612/816-9511. The Grand Opening is Saturday January 10th, 2009, 4:00pm to 9:00pm "Please come and have some wine & art ...and see a few of my mosaics."

•Dec. 2008 - To download survey results for "The Future of MMG" poll (a pdf file), click HERE or HERE(for web version). (I'm not sure why, but both links work in Explorer, but neither work in Firefox...) We will be discussing results at next meeting in January.

•Dec. 2008 - Upcoming Show News: Lots to report...

WARM show - Linda Mix Yates and Connie Cohen are in it.
http://www.thewarm. org/pages/ index.php

Clay Squared Show - Laura Burlis has lovely things here!
http://www.claysqua htm

May is Art-A-Whirl and we want to have a presence there. So be ready
to contribute a piece and/or time. May 15-17, 2009.

Red Wing MMG show coming in the spring! It is looking like like we need to create create create!
Red Wing Arts Association and Gallery 418 Levee St.

Mosaic on a Stick MMG members show is in September 2009. That goes with our Tile
Festival presence at the same time.

Nov. 2008 - Could you please fill out a survey if you have ever thought about coming to one of our meetings? Thanks! Here's the link:

Oct./Nov. 2008 - You are invited to a mosaic show at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Barbara Keith's"Mosaic Zoo: An ABC Book" animal mosaics will be on display. Show runs Oct. 23 - Nov. 30 with a reception on Oct. 23.

•Art-A-Whirl May 2008 - The Guild had a large room and had no trouble filling it up with mosaics for a great show. Some pictures from the show...

Barbara Steen and Janine Irisari

Mike Sweere

Mimi Holmes

Lisa Arnold

•Apr. 2008 Click here if you would like to view our website statistics for the first quarter of 2008.

SAMA April 2008 - There were three MMGers who had pieces in the juried show in Miami. See pics below. MMG members who attended the conference were Lori Greene, Maria Ricke, Connie Cohen, Linda Mix Yates, Barb Keith, Danette Polglase, and Sharra Frank.

Linda Mix Yates

Connie Cohen

Lori Greene, doing a pretty good impression of her piece

SHOW: Art-A-Whirl, May 16, 17, 18, @ Thorp Building, 1618 Central Ave. NE, Mpls.

SHOW: Mosaic on a Stick, Sept. 10 – Oct. 10, @ 595 N. Snelling Ave., St. Paul

•SHOW: A Necessary Ornamentation: Selections from the Minnesota Mosaic Guild Reception on Thursday April 17th 4pm-7pm at Metro State University in St. Paul. The show runs through July 25. Location: 745 East Seventh Street, Third Floor Gallery, St. Paul. We have 20 members participating. We hope you can make it!

•Feb./Mar. 2008 Sheryl Tuorila and others are having a show called "Art in the Home" at the Bloomington Center for the Arts. Reception is on Thursday, Feb. 21, 6-8 pm.
click for more info
click for location

Feb 2008 The new mosaic magazine "Mosaic Art Now" has just come out. Six jurors picked their favorites from submissions all over the world to feature in the magazine. Congratulations to MMG members Cathy Weeks, Sharra Frank, Mike Sweere, Lisa Arnold, and Barb Keith.

•Jan. 2008 Click here if you would like to view our website statistics for the fourth quarter of 2007.

•Dec. 2007: MMG shop on CafePress! Now you can get your Minnesota Mosaic Guild apparel, aprons, tote bags and more. Ten percent of every sale goes to the Minnesota Mosaic Guild. Click here to find our shop.

•November 16-December 28, 2007 You are invited to the Bloomington Center for the Arts. MMG members Michael Sweere and Barbara Keith have an exhibition entitled "Modern Mosaics". It runs from November 16-December 28 and there is an artist’s reception on Friday, Nov. 16, 6-8 pm.

Oct. 1, 2007 Our website hosting was recently upgraded. If you are interested in viewing the website stats for the third quarter of 2007 (actually, just from the last couple of weeks), you can download the pdf quarterly report here.

Sept. 2007 The members of the Minnesota Mosaic Guild are having a show! We hope you can visit Mosaic on a Stick (595 N. Snelling Ave in St. Paul) to see it. The show runs through mid October.

Saturday, September 15, 2007: We will have a booth at the Handmade Tile (and Mosaic) Show. Come visit us!

May 2007: We had a booth (and a great time) at Art-a-Whirl!

Kim and Betsy at the booth.

March 2007: SAMA Conference: We had a fun, inspiring, and informative time in Arizona attending the Society of American Mosaic Artist conference. Here's a picture of the Minnesota contingent...

L to R top row: Barb Keith, Betsy Mowry, Sharra Frank, Maria Ricke, Lori Greene, Hallie Bowman
L to R bottom row: Cheryl Anderson, Sheryl Tourila, Cathy Weeks

Metro State University Show Gil's application for the MMG was accepted and we will have a Member Show in 2008 running from late April through the end of July at Metro State University. Besides having our work on display, we will host a reception and provide demonstrations on the mosaic process.

A WINNER!! Best Large Scale Interior: Lori Greene, St. Paul, MN for Divination Systems - FatherSociety of American Mosiac Artists Click here, then on her name, to see her winning mosaic.Congratulations, Lori!

Grant Winner: Barb Keith was awarded a Forecast grant for emerging artists, funded by the Jerome Foundation, to create three large window mosaics in a St. Paul Library. Also, her nursery rhyme mosaic book is for sale at

•Members in the news! Look at some recent press that MMG members have received...

Star Tribune Article about Sharra Frank, Sheryl Tourila, and Mercedes Austin

Lisa Arnold's Artist in Residency

Mosaic on a Stick and Barb Keith, St. Paul Illustrated Magazine, April 2007

•Members are invited to send news, written up as you would like it to appear, to bkeithdesigns at yahoo dot com.

Featured Artist of the Month: Robin Mueller

Featured Artist of the Month: Robin Mueller

Name: Robin Mueller

What kind of mosaics do you make? I like to work with stained glass the most, but I have a lot of old plates and tile ready to go when the mood strikes.

When did you start making mosaics? Around 3 years ago. I started with flower pots, picture frames, and table tops, and then branched out into stained glass.

How did you get into mosaics? About 15 years ago, I saw a segment on television about using old plates to decorate table tops. The program gave the process a French name. I tried looking it up at the library, but I had no luck. Then, 3 years ago, my friend, Jeanne found out that I was interested in this, and we did a little more investigation and found that what we wanted to learn about was mosaic.

What inspires you? If you look at my work, you would probably say, “circles”. I don’t know what that says about me, and maybe I don’t really want to know! I love putting colors together. Sometimes, I see a picture of something, and that will get me to thinking, and then a idea will spring from that. I do a lot of, “I wonder what it would look like if I did this?”

How did you develop your style? I can’t really say that I have a style. I do what comes to me.

How did you learn to make mosaics? My friend, Jeanne and I went to Mosaic on a Stick and told the friendly people there that we were interested in learning how to mosaic. We got about a 5 minute lesson on what tools to use and how, and we were on our way.

What do you do with your mosaics once you finish? When I first began, I either kept every single thing I made or asked my kids if they would like something. When I was laid off a couple of years ago, I became a mosaic fiend. The more I worked on mosaic, the better I felt. Until, at least, I looked around the room I was using as a work room, and discovered that there was so much ‘stuff’ sitting around me, that if I didn’t find a way to sell my mosaic, I’d have to either stop making mosaic (not an option), start filling a storage unit with them, or find a way to sell it.

What is your favorite thing about working with mosaics? Besides being a wonderful way to express myself, I love that each thing I do is unique. Change a shape here, a color or two there, and the finished piece can look so different.

(This note is from Barb Keith - Please check out Robin's website. She didn't even mention her sweet little "whimsies" in her interview! See below. They are really cute figures with very long legs, check them out! Her website is listed at the top of the page.)

Featured Artist of the Month: Lisa Arnold

Featured Artist of the Month: Lisa Arnold

Website: and

What kind of mosaics do you make?
Mostly stained glass on glass but I like playing with tile too (especially Royal Mosa). I’m also a sucker for colored mirror.

When did you start making mosaics?

How did you get into mosaics?

I was trying to avoid writing my dissertation! I was teaching theatre and film at the University of St. Thomas and College of St. Catherine in St. Paul and working on my PhD at the U of M. A friend who made stained glass windows took me to the glass store and I was hooked. I didn’t get my degree.

What inspires you?

Materials, nature, other art forms, light and color.

How did you develop your style?
I think I’m still in the process of doing that but Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, The Wizard of Oz’s Technicolor and Walt Disney’s fantasy lands had big influences on me as a child. Now, as then, I love blasts of color, hidden treasures and sparkling other worlds.

How did you learn to make mosaics?
I bought a book, a friend taught me how to use a glass cutter and I experimented. I’ve since taken a class with Sonia King and Wooterina de Raad.

How do you work best?
With plenty of freedom within limits. I never completely know what I want the final piece to look like. I might have an idea about shape, outline, color, design, etc. but I have to be able to experiment while I’m mosaicing or it just feels like I’m filling in the blanks. I like to surprise myself.

How do you approach a mosaic?
It depends. I like doodling with glass – making a line and responding to it, but I also like working from a cartoon. The thing I love about mosaic making is the variety – in approach, materials, subject... It’s always a new thing.

What do you do with your mosaics once you finish?
Well, I have about 40 of them on display in my house! Otherwise I take photos and put them up on my website. I sell them out of Blue Moon Coffee Shop, Mother Earth Gardens and by word of mouth. … I also work as a teaching artist, doing 8-10 residencies a year, which often involves overseeing community-made mosaic murals. These mosaics are installed in schools and community centers around the state.

What have you learned?
Go with your gut, do what feels natural, learn from others but don’t compare yourself to others (I’m still working on that one).

How do you fit mosaics into your personal/family life?
My career mantra is “working vacation” – mosaics are a part of my everyday life. It’s my day job and my hobby. Luckily, I don’t have to fit it in; it’s integrated. Not having children probably makes that easier. I mosaic everyday and if I don’t I start feeling disconnected from myself. Mosaicing = happy Lisa. When I have long teaching stints, I miss doing individual work, but being able to make large pieces is an ok trade-off.

Where do you work?
I have a studio in my basement but I’m also known to do some good work in front a Netflix film. I find that Radiolab and This American Life are often good “places” for my head to be while I’m working. Otherwise you will find me in the classroom. I’m on the Minnesota and North Dakota State Arts’ Boards so I do a lot of residencies around the region. This summer I am hosting a Mosaic Vacation in the Boundary Waters, teaching classes each day in mosaics – pebbles, stained glass, tile, pique assiette, etc.

What is your favorite thing about working with mosaics?
The materials make me very happy but seeing the finished product in the light is always the ‘wow’ part for me.

Have you ever done public art, community art, worked with children, etc…?
I’ve been working as an artist in residence for the last decade so I make a lot of art with children. It’s one of my favorite parts of being a mosaic artist. It’s a treat to work on a grand scale too. When I do community work, the murals tend to be 3 feet x 7 feet and sometimes we do 3 or 4 that size on a project. I’d never be able to make something that large without the help of 100s of hands. I’ve done some larger commissions for public spaces too: Springboard for the Arts, Tofte Lake Center conference wall, a few windows for local businesses. Again, I love all this variety!

Featured Artist of the Month: Lori Greene

Featured Artist of the Month: Lori Greene


What kind of mosaics do you make?
Mixed media mosaic wall pieces and sculptures

When did you start making mosaics?
When I was a graduate student at Maryland Institute college of Art in 1991

How did you get into mosaics?
I was making beaded (seed beads) mosaic sculptures, very expensive and timing consuming

What inspires you?
Textiles from all over the world, people, emotions, everything...

How did you learn to make mosaics?
I taught myself

How do you approach a mosaic?
I have an idea, then I begin

What do you do with your mosaics once you finish?
show it, sell it

What have you learned?
Something every day

Where do you work?
Mosaic on a Stick is my studio and my store

What is your favorite thing about working with mosaics?
You can use anything, play with everything! I like mosaics because they are inviting, anyone can particpate, its does not have to be expensive, and you can change your world with them.

Have you ever done public art or worked with the community or children?
My first Public art piece was in 1993 I was commissoned to make a temporary mosaic sculpture for a park in Baltimore Maryland.

My first community art piece was the Resource Center of the Americas in 2001, we had over 200 volunteers, it was an amazing and humbling experience.

I do 2 - 4 residencies in the schools every year I have worked with children as young as 4 and adults as old as 90.

Featured Artist of the Month: Sheryl Tuorila

Featured Artist of the Month: Sheryl Tuorila

Email: slt at sheryltuorila dot com

What kind of mosaics do you make?
Well, it's always evolving...presently I'm very focused on my handmade tile mosaics but glass-on-glass is a ton of fun and then I venture into the mixed media mosaics now and then to keep it interesting. I think I'll be messing with some pebble mosaics soon.

When did you start making mosaics?
My mantra is "Making It, Breaking It and Sticking It since 1999".

How did you get into mosaics?
It was always something I wanted to try. In 1999 Clay Squared to Infinity opened three blocks from my house and within that first week they were there I started an apprenticeship learning how to make tile. At the same time a friend and I had a mosaic book, we made garden pots and that's the end of the story. I had always been creating art - fiber, jewelry, etc but mosaics really gave me an endless variety of projects, materials, and styles. Ten years later and I haven't put a dent in the things I want to make.

What inspires you?
Nature - I love the colors, patterns and textures found in nature. The Exotic - I love Indian artwork, tiles, woodcarvings and furniture. Contemporary Art & Furniture- I love the stark, bold, simple, clean lines and color (or lack of it sometimes).

How did you develop your style?
In college I majored in printmaking - I worked with textures, layering them randomly to create my imagery. This carries over into my handmade tile mosaics. I create tons of tiles and then go back to work with them. I call the work "designed" random. I work intuitively with the shapes, colors and textures to create these flowing organic images.

How did you learn to make mosaics?
Self taught. But I have met the right people over the years to get valuable information from - many through my membership in the Handmade Tile Association and Mosaic Guild. I took classes with Riana deRaad and Kim Emerson.

How do you work best?
I like to work in series. I'll have a color combo I'm interested in, I'll make a variety of pieces in those colors in different sizes. It seems I need to make ten to get the one I like.

How do you approach a mosaic?
I'll make a bunch of tiles in a color scheme I'm interested in and go from there. I need to have the materials there to inspire me, commissions are the only situations where a piece is planned out to some extent.

What do you do with your mosaics once you finish?
Hopefully sell them! People ask if it's hard to let go. Nope, I have so many things I want to make I'm already onto the next piece. I moved into a new home last year so I've been busy doing some projects around my own house for a change. When summer comes I've got a million things percolating for outside.

What have you learned?
I don't try to work outside my style anymore. I don't do butterflies, dragonflies, etc. I'm not good at it.

How do you fit mosaics into your personal/family life?
It's hard now that I have a 16 month old I want to spend all my time with. But I know it's better to get in the studio at least part-time, makes Sheryl a better person. My studio has become my retreat.

Where do you work?
Studio 403 Northrup King Building

What is your favorite thing about working with mosaics?
The incredible variety - materials, substrates, installations, styles. I love teaching mosaic classes and encouraging people in their interest in mosaics.

Have you ever done public art, community art, worked with children, etc...?
I created the benches at Ridgedale Library (below), worked on a community art project for St. Paul Public Housing (adults & children), made a carrot for the Eastside Coop, I've been a visiting artist at a couple high schools for the day, and created quite a few pieces for hospitals and corporate offices.