Name: Danette Polglase
What kind of mosaics do you make? I keep experimenting with different methods and materials and create mosaics to try out different approaches to this ancient art form. Most of my mosaic pieces lean towards a fascination with vibrant color and combinations of different materials.
When did you start making mosaics? I was in a little coffee shop in Wyoming, Minnesota sipping a delicious latte, when I noticed a small little table in the corner made from tile with a simple but lovely pattern clearly made by hand and not machine. After learning from the owner that he indeed made the table himself in a class with our friend and mosaicist extraordinaire, Sheryl Tuorila. So I took her class in 2007 and have been experimenting ever since (albeit a little slowly at times). I constantly have to calm some of the critical messages I give myself and seek to return to the enthusiasm and joy of that first mosaic class but with greater skill and deliberateness!
What do you love about mosaics and why do you like working in this art form? There is so much to love about this wonderful art form and no two artists produce the same work. We mosaicists take a cold, impenetrable material like glass and with hundreds, thousands, or sometimes tens of thousands of pieces create art that has depth, softness and beauty. We can create a piece that is jaw-droppingly beautiful or a piece that is whimsical and makes us laugh. That intrigues me and keeps me at it.
What inspires you? Inspiration can color my world invading my every waking moment and the lack of it can leave me cold and unable to move forward. I have pages and pages of ideas and the difficult part for me is to move forward with one idea, execute it, and bring it into the world. Inspiration may come from nature, a single object, or an emotion or physical response to a situation or event. I’d love to capture, in my mosaics, how I perceive and view the world. I think when you can tap into that inner voice your mosaics are more meaningful to you and possibly others.
I constantly battle that voice within which tells me I should just quit the piece I’m currently working on! From the beginning, I issued a challenge to myself that I would finish every mosaic I started since I’m sometimes more in love with the idea and gathering than the execution and completion. I’m like the crow in the Disney movie who sees the sparkling object below and swoops down to investigate and marvel at its beauty. I love to stimulate my senses with objects that are new and exciting but sometimes this leaves me unable to move forward on my own ideas.
How did you develop your style? My style is very much in its infancy and I think it would be more accurate to say that “I’m without a style.”
How did you learn to make mosaics? I read books, have taken a few classes, and keep experimenting.
How do you work best? I need either a deadline or a goal either real or imagined.
What do you do with your mosaics once you finish? This is a problem since I do want to exhibit my work from time to time. I exhibited in a small art space in Osceola which has since closed. I’d love to find a few galleries where I could exhibit new work and maybe sell a piece now and again.
Where do you work? I’ve moved from chipping tiny little pieces in my living room to an existing out building on our property that is well on its way to being a true art studio. It has many possibilities and I hope to create a sanctuary for my creative world. It holds the key to a more focused, deliberate effort.
What is your favorite thing about working with mosaics? I love the gathering of the materials since it holds so much possibility. The birth of an idea made real by the concrete nature of the material which I can hold and touch.