1304 News from Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art

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April 2013  

     Location, location, location.  That is the element that veteran business owners tell you is the key to a successful business.  As some of you may know and others of you will learn SBSMA will be changing locations as of June 1st.  

     Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art has always existed in an outdoor covered space in a wonderful backyard.  During all types of weather people have enjoyed this experience that they have called “intimate and relaxed”.  That same vibe will continue at the new SBSMA. There will now be a permanent indoor space as well.  The new location will be announced in the May newsletter so stay tuned.


     Meanwhile the schedule just keeps getting better and better.   SBSMA is very focused on having the best visiting artists come and teach their techniques and share their talents with students from all over.

     Just these last few weeks we have been fortunate enough to have Erin Pankratz-Smith teach “Everything Color”, then Laurie Mika’s “Mixed Media” and just this past weekend Carol Shelkin taught “Stained Glass portrait/image mosaics”.  If you missed them this time around they all plan to come back so stay tuned! 

      Check out the schedule below to see what interests you and where you would like to take your mosaic adventure!!


P.S.  Still have a few spots left for the Table Top workshop April 27th&28th…..that is a great workshop not to be missed!!





  • Mandala Pebble Mosaic with Deb Aldo, learn how to work with different size river rocks in creating a mandala.
  • “Fundamento” with Kelley Knickerbocker, learn how to make andamento (movement and flow) work in your mosaics.
  • Indirect mosaic with Betsy Gallery, learn how to make a traditional mosaic using marble and stone in the indirect(upside down) method. 
  • Beginner & Intermediate Tempered Glass with Susan Crocenzi, learn how to create a beautiful mosaic using crash glass, paints and colored grouts.

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

Table Top                                                      Tami Macala             Apr.27-28               $185+base
Stained Glass mosaics w/ mirror   Tami Macala             May 8-9                    $195
Pebble rock mosaics                               Deb Aldo                      June 6-7                   $300+$30mat.
Garden sphere/Boulder                      Tami Macala              June 29-30             $195+$40mat.
Everything Mosaics                                Tami Macala              July 18-19               $215+$20mat.
Mexican Smalti                                         Betsy Gallery              July 27-28              $210+$50mat.
Beginner Mosaic                                      Tami Macala              Aug. 3-4                   $165


 Visiting Artists Bio’s

Deb Aldo

Deb Aldo began making mosaics 1997. Her education and background in art and landscape architecture led her to work on large scale outdoor pebble and stone mosaic terraces, fountains and wall hangings. She has completed both interior and exterior works for residential and commercial clients such as hospitals, boutique hotels and restaurants. She has received numerous awards for her art and her work is currently on exhibit at SAMA Mosaic Arts International exhibiting at The Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA.


She learned her craft from Maggy Howarth, Sherri Warner Hunter, and countless other classes. She has spent time in Europe studying mosaics and taking immersive workshops but most of all spending time in the studio finding her own voice and path using stone and glass to create dimensional works. She has been teaching art for the last 22 years and travels across the North America teaching mosaics.

She is thrilled to be a visiting artist at Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art in June of 2013. She will be teaching a Mosaic Mandala class in her signature style that includes pebbles, stone, ceramic and glass. This class is suitable for all levels of ability. She will work with each participant directly to help you hone your cutting, fitting, material selections. Students participating in this two day workshop will leave with a mandala.





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




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.



Tami’s Latest Commission 

This piece was commissioned by a man wanting to have a scene representing the hills of Jerusalem that looked up to the “old temple”.  The river that runs through the hills represents the water which ends at a faucet that is used to wash hands while saying a prayer when entering the home.  
The materials used for this piece are Italian smalti, stone, marble and gold smalti.  It’s substrates are 1/4″ hardie backer screwed to 3/4″ marine board and mounted with french cleats.   It measures 5’x3′.


temple mosaic  



Student works from the Laurie Mika

Mixed Media workshop
Student works from the Carol Shelkin Stained glass portrait/image mosaic workshop


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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