Featured Artist of the Month: Susan Mathis
Email: mathissl at comcast.net
What kind of mosaics do you make?
I experiment with lots of types of mosaics. I use a lot of stained glass, gems, millifiori, ceramics, and found objects. I've made wall hangings, benches, animal art, garden art, and trays.
When did you start making mosaics?
I started making mosaics in 2003.
How did you get into mosaics?
I've always been fascinated by the ancient mosaics in Italy and elsewhere. When I saw a mosaics class offered at the art museum in Austin, Texas, I took the class and I've been hooked ever since.
What inspires you?
I draw my inspiration from lots of sources including nature, art, and things that I see in magazines. I'm also very inspired by my friends' mosaics.
How did you develop your style?
I've developed my style by experimenting.
How did you learn to make mosaics?
I learned to make mosaics by taking one class in Austin, TX. I take a lot of classes from Sharra Frank on an ongoing basis. I've also attended a class on pebble mosaics at the Chicago Mosaic School. In January, I'll be taking a backsplash class from Lori Greene and a carved mosaics class from Sheryl Tuorila. In March, I'll be attending SAMA where I'll take classes from Laurel Skye and Sherry Warner Hunter.
How do you work best?
I work best in my home studio. I have a nice studio with lots of storage space and a sink nearby.
How do you approach a mosaic?
I usually approach a mosaic by drawing out a very basic design. I don't design in everything, but rather let the details develop as I work with the materials.
What do you do with your mosaics once you finish?
I sell my mosaics, give them as gifts, and keep some for myself.
What have you learned?
I've learned that one never stops learning new techniques for mosaics. I learn new things constantly.
How do you fit mosaics into your personal/family life?
When I start working on a mosaic, pretty much everything else comes to a stop. I'm single and retired so I can do this. When I get on a roll with a mosaic, I don't want to do anything else.
Where do you work?
I work in my home studio.
What is your favorite thing about working with mosaics?
I love watching the colors and designs emerge as I work.
Have you ever done public art, community art, worked with children, etc...?
I've never done public or community art but I would like to do this sometime.