1105 News from Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art



School of

Mosaic Art


MAY 2011

Wow where has this year gone?  We have been so busy making mosaics that summer is nearly upon us.  Everyone at SBSMA is turning out such great art work and really letting their creativity flow.  The Stained Glass mosaic workshop was a great success (check out pictures below).  In two weeks there is the popular Garden Sphere workshop where students mosaic a basketball size sphere for decoration in their garden or patio.  The Boulder workshop, coming in June, students will have an opportunity to mosaic a small boulder with an address or other design.  Stay tuned for more announcements regarding well known local mosaic artist/teacher Betsy Gallery who will teach a Mexican Smalti workshop in July.  There is so much more coming too as the summer schedule is now set.

Below you can also catch a glimpse of the latest commission from All Cracked Up Mosaics.  An outdoor pizza oven on a family’s front yard deck in Santa Barbara.  The underwater theme was a blast to create.  You can go to www.allcrackedupmosaics.com  for more pictures. 


 Remember if you are on Facebook don’t forget to become a friend of the Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art group!

All workshop descriptions are available at



Class Schedule   

Garden Sphere Mosaic                   May 14th & 15th                         $175
Beginner Mosaic Workshop          June 4th  &  5th                          $145
Boulder Mosaic Workshop            June 11th & 12th                        $185
Table Top Workshop                      June 18th & 19th                        $175  



Sharon’s Stained Glass Mosaic piece        Laurel’s “under the sea” theme piece                                                    



Mary’s stained glass & mirror mosaic rose  


Latest commission by Tami Macala owner of All Cracked Up Mosaics and Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art 


   pizza oven side1pizza oven back

pizza oven side2 



Recent Publicity

Looking forward to a small write up in the “805 Living” magazine.  Keep an eye out for the article on Mosaic Artist Dan Chrykno with a small piece on SBSMA. 


 LAB punch card
SBSMA LAB punch card.  For every 10 hours of LAB time you get the 11th hour free.  Students are loving their punch cards and getting their free hours. 

LAB time is a great way to work on all your mosaic projects.  For $20/hour you have access to all adhesives, grout, tools and my time as well as not worrying about making a mess.  

SBSMA Supply Store

 SBSMA has all your mosaic art supply needs. More new colors added to the tile collection as well as stained glass. There are new tools stocked up as well as nippers, files, adhesives and grouts.   


Bring a friend discount

Any time you bring a friend to a workshop you and the friend get a 10% discount on your fees and for the month of May there will be an additional 10% off all supplies and tiles at the time of your workshop.  

 Tips and Techniques



Now that you have chosen your adhesive and tessare you are ready to break or cut it.  Whether you use stained glass, ceramic tile, pottery, china, mirror, smalti or stone this following information will hopefully be very useful.  There are many tools out there for cutting and breaking each of the different tessare.  Here are examples of some the tools for breaking your tessare.  

  Side note ALWAYS wear safety glasses.

If you are using ceramic tile and they are full size tiles you will want to break them first with a hammer.  To do so you will want to either use a thick suede glove putting the tile in your hand or put them on a few layers of newspaper on the ground (always glaze side DOWN), using a hammer hit them in the center of the tile.  The tile should break into 4 or 5 pieces and from there you can either break them smaller with the hammer or use your tile nippers to create smaller more specific shapes.  

If you are cutting glass or mirror you will need three tools.  They are stained glass cutter, running pliers and mosaic wheel nippers.  Each of these make it possible to cut glass and mirror into precise shapes and sizes.  Using the mosaic wheel nippers you are able to nip your pieces within a millimeter of the shape you desire.   

If you are breaking pottery or china depending on the thickness of each of these will decide which tool to use.  If you have a thick plate you will want to use your tile nippers.  If you are cutting a thin piece of china or delicate crockery  you will want to use your mosaic wheel nippers.  

If you are cutting smalti or stone you would use a hammer and hardie.  These are two traditional tools used to cut smalti and stone into smaller shapes.  The hardie has a cutting edge, like a stonemason’s chisel, fixed into a firm, heavy log of wood.  The smalti is set on the hardie and using the hammer you carefully hit the smalti cutting the pieces into desired lengths and shapes.  



Reminder if you want to purchase many of these tools they are for sale at the SBSMA supply store. 


Stay tuned for next month for Applying your tessare…..


Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art / tami@allcrackedupmosaics.com / Santa Barbara, California 93111 / 805.703.4291

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