Featured Artist of the Month: Barbara Napiwocki
Email: BNapiwocki at imagineps.com
What kind of mosaics do you make?
Glass on Glass, Sun Catchers as I call them, I love how depending on the light coming through the windows, the piece changes.
When did you start making mosaics?
About a year ago after meeting Sharra Frank at the Minnesota Tile Festival, and taking her one of her classes.
How did you get into mosaics?
My daughter Nicole was leaving for college and was worried about what I was going to do in my free time. She was the one that suggested that I start taking classes and get back into doing my art projects.
What inspires you?
Our families' scuba dives in Cozumel. On one of our first trips I immediately fell in love with the bright colors of the flowers, underwater sea life and with the people. Our whole family is into photography, and has taken some great photos underwater.
How did you develop your style?
I am all freestyle. I will start with a rough idea in my head, start to work on the piece and then before I know it, the piece is leading me down this beautiful path.
How did you learn to make mosaics?
I started about 10 years ago working with ceramic tile and doing outside pottery and flower boxes. But after taking Sharra's class I fell in love with working with glass on glass.
How do you work best?
In my studio, listening to my favorite show Bones. Once I start a project I get so wrapped up in it I forget about everything else. I find it very relaxing and therapeutic.
How do you approach a mosaic?
I will start with a large window and think of it as a blank canvas. Using our photos from Cozumel I will try to capture the scene with the colored glass.
What do you do with your mosaics once you finish?
Most have been given away as I feel I am still learning and see these as my practice pieces. My family is more than happy to oblige me by taking them.
What have you learned?
Patience and how to walk away from the project if I am forcing it.
How do you fit mosaics into your personal/family life?
This is a part time passion. It is very different from what I do in real life and that is why I love it, working on mosaics allows my creativity to come through. Our family is also very active, Nicole is a sophomore at St. Thomas, and Alex is a junior in High School, need I say any more.
Where do you work?
I finally broke free out of the damp basement, and have a studio in the main part of the house. My husband had built shelves for my glass and an adjustable podium to work on the windows.
What is your favorite thing about working with mosaics?
How relaxing it is and how it changes everyday that you work on it.
Have you ever done public art, community art, worked with children, etc...?
I would like to some day work with young children to inspire them to create. Both of my children are very creative individuals.