1301 News from Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art

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January 2013  



So now that 2013 is here what is on  your new years resolutions?  Is it to learn mosaic art?  Is it to become a better mosaic artist?   To learn different mosaic art techniques?  Well all of these are possible here at Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art. 

There are so many different types of Mosaic art you can learn.  You can become skilled working with tile while creating a Table top, a Garden Sphere or a Boulder, or you can work with Mexican Smalti and learn about shading while creating a simple, beautiful image.  Or you can work with glass and create fun and unique glass fused pieces incorporating them in your mosaic.   Any and all is possible this year!

More than just learning these new styles have you ever wanted to put artistic elements into your mosaic art?  Elements such as shading, gradation, color value, composition and balance?  You may have thought you would need to take a semester long class to learn all of this.  Well here at SBSMA there is a 2 day workshop where you will learn these new skills while you create your own stained glass portrait or image mosaic.  World renowned Carol Shelkin teaches her Realistic Mosaic Art with Stained Glass with Artist Techniques.  With Carol’s fundamental and formal teachings it is absolutely the best value for your time and wallet.
We also have two new teachers visiting SBSMA this spring.  Both Laurie Mika’s Mixed Media and Erin Pankratz-Smith Everything Color are both very unique and creative styles in creating mosaic art.

SBSMA was privileged to be the cover story for the new SB paper called the Santa Barbara SentinelClick here to read the full story.

Here’s to a great 2013 may you find creativity and happiness in all you do!!




  • Everything Color with Erin Pankratz-Smith, learn how to use color in shading, blocking and gradation
  • Mixed Media with Laurie Mika, learn to work with Polymer
    clay while creating a colorful and unique triptych piece
  • Realistic Mosaic Art in Stained Glass with Professional Artistic Techniques with Carol Shelkin, learn to use stained glass in a portrait or image using shading and tones. 

All these workshops and more can be found at  www.santabarbaraschoolofmosaicsart.com



 “Wide-awake I can make my most fantastic dreams come true.”

~Lorentz Hart  




Schedule for upcoming workshops 

Workshop                                  Instructor               Date                               Fee

Glass Fusing/Mosaics        Sue Baldwin             Jan. 8-9             $185+$50 mat.
Garden Sphere/Boulder   Tami Macala          Jan. 26-27          $195+$40 mat.
Table Top                               Tami Macala          Feb. 16-17         $185+base
Mexican Smalti                    Betsy Gallery          Feb. 23-24         $210+$50 mat.
Everything Color           Erin Pankratz-Smith Mar. 9-10          $250+$30 mat.
Mixed Media                         Laurie Mika            Mar. 23-24        $295+$20 mat.
Glass Mosaic Portraits or Images
                                                  Carol Shelkin         Apr. 6-7             $395 inc. mat.



Sue Baldwin


Sue Baldwin has reached her 27th year at the very same middle school where she started her teaching career and she still loves it. When she is not teaching, you will find her taking art classes in lots of different art mediums. Sue is most renowned for her unique fused glass jewelry designs. After meeting Tami at the Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art they have collaborated together to create extraordinary fused glass pieces specifically designed for inclusion in mosaicart. 


“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way–things I had no words for.”-Georgia O’Keefe

Glass fusing/mosaics


Betsy Gallery 

Betsy Gallery studied classical mosaic making in Ravenna and Venice, Italy, and modern mosaic techniques in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Her large mosaic murals are found throughout Santa Barbara. Her work is in collections from Madrid, Spain to Taipei, Taiwan. Betsy has published articles in The Groutline, the publication of SAMA (the Society of American Mosaic Artists), and has been the subject of interviews in the press and T.V.

Betsy has lived in West Africa, Spain and Costa Rica, picking up inspiration for her work from these cultures. Her current project is creating mosaics from children’s designs from Santa Barbara and East Cameroun, West Africa.

Betsy Gallery’s Mexican Smalti



Laurie Mika

Laurie Mika is a mixed-media artist with a passion for combining and overlapping a variety of mediums creating an original style of mixed-media mosaics using handmade polymer clay tile. Laurie’s background in painting is evident in her mixed-media works influenced by medieval and Renaissance art. The gilded devotional panels of the past become secular icons imbued with personal narratives. Art and folk traditions referenced in her work derive from her travels and experiences of living abroad, (East Africa). The highly embellished surfaces, including segments of text, form sumptuous tapestries of traditional and modern materials. Like a modern-day alchemist tinkering with the ancient art of mosaics, Laurie finds magic in combining disparate elements. Laurie shares her distinct style teaching at national and internationally recognized art retreats like

ArtFest, Art Unraveled, Art and Soul and Raevn’s Nest.

 She recently taught a workshop in Reims, France. Laurie is often on the move also teaching at venues across the States. Closer to home, Laurie participates in juried shows, teaches workshops and has her work in local galleries.


Laurie Mika’s Mixed Media


Erin Pankratz-Smith  

As a multi-disciplined artist, Erin Pankratz-Smith has spent nearly a decade developing her skills and creating a supportive community of colleagues. With a background in dance, following training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Erin went on to study at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Carving a new path in the visual arts, she established her own mosaic tile business supplying both education and materials to artists across North America.

Born in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Parnkratz-Smith has spent most of her life residing in northwestern Canada. Now married, with three children, Erin admits she has always been a highly visual individual, and sees mosaic as her current medium of expression. She considers art a practice that intersects every aspect of our existence, as a way of articulating the subjective human voice. Therefore, she expects that her art will continuously evolve, in both composition and subject.


Her most recent work “Everything Flows, Nothing Stands Still” celebrates the effect of color and the seasons, in particular the ever-present landscape of the North Saskatchewan River, which both bisects and connects the city of Edmonton. The juxtapositions of urban and rural, texture and atmosphere; all contribute to a dynamic interpretation of cultural and geographic diversity.





Erin Pankratz-Smith’s Everything Color     



Carol Shelkin  

Carol Shelkin is a mosaic artist who creates fine art pieces for galleries,

homes, architectural and public settings internationally. It was made clear at a young age that Carol’s life would be centered upon her passion for creating and teaching art. Carol continued her studies at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Fleisher Art Memorial, and Philadelphia College of Art. She eventually opened an arts-nursery school/child care where she works today. Along with her school, Carol has been teaching a variety of art mediums to adults worldwide. Gathering community and making art is a special passion and she has worked with up to 600 students at one time to complete a public mosaic.

Carol, having a successful career in painting and pottery, has been accepting commissions with mosaic work as well as being invited to show her work worldwide. She has won many honors and awards including works at Ciel Gallery, N.C. with Maestro Giulio Menossi, Italy, honoring her mosaic. Her mosaic portrait, In A Village has been displayed at The Museum of Man, San Diego during Mosaic Arts International 2009 after one year of mosaic experience. She was invited to display another portrait Fabulous Hair during Mosaic Arts International 2010 at Smith Museum of Stained Glass, Chicago, Ill., and was honored again to have another portrait on exhibition at Mosaic Arts International 2011 in Austin, Texas.

The dominant influence on Carol’s work would be the simple joy of living. She is a member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists, British Association of Mosaic Artists, Philadelphia Magic Gardens, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia Art Museum and a Juried member of The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.





LAB is a great way to work on all your mosaic projects. For $20/hour you have access to the SBSMA studio, all adhesives, grout, tools and my guidance as well as not worrying about making or cleaning up your mess.
Email for more details or to reserve a time.

Private Lessons

If you would like to learn mosaic art but do not have the time or weekend availability now for $45/hour you can book a minimum of two hours with Tami privately to have the full undivided attention with access to the studio tools, adhesives and grout. 

SBSMA Birthday Parties

Have your next child’s birthday party at SBSMA.  Any age, up to 12 kids.  Rates based on time and materials.  Call or email for more info. 

Gift Certificates 

Gift certificates are now available.  Any size amount towards classes, kits, tiles or other supplies.  What a great holiday or birthday gift.


 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. 


SBSMA Supply Store

 SBSMA has all your mosaic art supply needs. More new colors added to the tile collection as well as stained glass, Italian Smalti and Vitreous 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. 



Tami Macala
Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art
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