1106 News from Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art



School of

Mosaic Art


JUNE 2011     


It is hard to believe the year is almost half over.  It is so exciting to see SBSMA growing and expanding in so many directions.  With the late arrival of this months newsletter it gives me more opportunity to share all that is happening at SBSMA.  Having just finished a SOLD OUT Beginners workshop and prepping the Boulder workshop time seems to run out more quickly everyday.  More and more people are learning about SBSMA, attending workshops and creating great work.  In April SBSMA was one of Santa Barbara’s first  Groupon features with 40 Beginner workshops sold.  SBSMA is excited to announce the first guest teacher workshop.  Santa Barbara local and well known mosaic artist Betsy Gallery will teach a workshop in Mexican Smalti.  The workshop has sold out but with enough interest it will be offered again in late summer or early fall.   Even as SBSMA grows  there is always room for more.  Don’t forget that if you bring a friend to a workshop (taught by Tami) you and the friend get 10% discount on your fees.   





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   

Boulder Mosaic Workshop            June  11th & 12th                      $185
Beginner Mosaic Workshop          July  9th   & 10th                       $145
Mexican Smalti Workshop            July 15th -17th                            $195*
Boulder Mosaic Workshop            July  30th & 31st                        $185 

*(Smalti not included) 





      Garden Spheres can be for indoors too.  Such great decorative pieces. 



katy pearkarie tree 


libby dragonfly 


    Just a few Beginner Workshop pieces.  All of them are so good and can be seen at  

Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art Facebook Page, and while there click “like”. 




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.  Just added are Leponitt brand mosaic wheel nippers for $28.95. 


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 June there will be an additional 10% off all supplies and tiles at the time of your workshop.  

 Tips and Techniques



Now that you have broken your tesserae it is time to fit them back together.  This is the magic of mosaic.  It is always a wonder how certain pieces of tesserae of many different colors and textures all of the sudden fit together like they were meant to be.  I love to watch my students feel such accomplishment when their fittings are spot on.  It takes a lot of practice and patience to get there but the gratification is great.   

Fittings are where two pieces of tesserae sit next to each other with the same amount of space between them.  Whether you are working with tile or stained glass it makes a piece look more cohesive when the consistency is there.  To accomplish that you must first start with a generous amount of tesserae. You will always have left overs and you need to account for breakage but to have choices for your fittings is very important. 

It is always a good idea when first starting a piece to layout without gluing down a portion of your piece to see how your fittings are going.  Once you feel confident your pieces are fitting nicely then you can begin to glue down with which ever adhesive you have chosen.  

After you have finished gluing down your mosaic it will be time to grout and you will see in your final reveal how great your piece is because your fittings are very purposeful and you did not try to squeeze a piece of tesserae into a space that was not meant to be.

A side not when working with Smalti, the fittings are a little different.  Grout traditionally is not used in a Smalti mosaic therefore your fittings are much tighter or closer together as you do not want to see your substrate in between  your Smalti pieces. 




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


Stay tuned next month for…..Choosing your grout. 


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

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