1305 News from Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art

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May 2013  

Wow where to start…so much has happened in the last month.  
First the SAMA conference in Tacoma, WA was a huge success.  I had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people, taking informative workshops and seeing the amazing mosaic art at both the Salon Exhibition and the MAI (Mosaic Arts International) Exhibit.  I left feeling very inspired and excited to get back into the studio.  Which leads to the next exciting announcement.  
SBSMA will be re-opening in it’s new location June 1st with a Beginner workshop.  The new location will be my home studio with a dedicated indoor and outdoor space.  Being less than 2 miles from the beach we will have wonderful ocean breezes as well being surrounded by lush greens.   As the workshop participants have been growing in numbers we are also finding larger facilities to hold these specific workshops.   This is all very exciting and I am so happy to share this new space with you all!!
Even more exciting news are the visiting artists.  If you have ever admired and wanted to know how to make a pebble mosaic now is your chance.  In Deb Aldo’s Mandala Pebble Mosaic workshop, you will have the opportunity to learn from one of the best on working with river rocks and other pebble tesserae.   There is still space for this workshop June 6th & 7th.  
Listed below are more visiting artists scheduled for the rest of 2013.  
Stay tuned for more info as the new location for SBSMA get’s it’s final coats of paint and ready to be opened!!




  • Mandala Pebble Mosaic with Deb Aldo, learn how to work with different size river rocks in creating a mandala.  June 6th & 7th.
  • Beginner and Intermediate Tempered and Transparent Glass with Susan Crocenzi, learn how to create mosaics with different types of transparent glass.  Sept. 27th-29th.
  • “Fundamento” with Kelley Knickerbocker, learn how to make andamento (movement and flow) work in your mosaics.  Oct. 19th & 20th.
  • Everything Color with Erin Pankratz-Smith, learn how to design with color in all parts of  your pieces.  Nov. 16th & 17th.

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

Mandala Pebble Mosaic                       Deb Aldo                      June 6-7                   $300+$30mat.
Intro to Stained Glass                           Tami Macala             June 12/13               $175
Light weight concrete                            Tami Macala             June 18/19              $120
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.
Pique Assiette                                            Tami Macala             Aug. 6/13/20          $195
Table Top                                                      Tami Macala             Aug. 17/18               $185+base





 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



Kelley Knickerbocker

 Kelley came to mosaics in the summer of 2005, after working in many other artistic mediums (leaded glass, canvas floorcloths, calligraphy, quilting). Art had been a lifelong sideline, but she had a serious jones for an artistic expression that could translate into a creative career. A week-long introductory mosaic course at the Institute of Mosaic Art set off a veritable firework display of possibilities in her head: this medium could be horizontal, vertical, 2-D, 3-D, small-scale, mammoth-scale, opaque, translucent, transparent, functional, decorative, and created out of virtually any material! That mind-boggling versatility convinced her that there had to be a career in there somewhere.

IMA’s Business of Mosaic class cinched Kelley’s decision to make mosaics her second career, and helped narrow her focus to architectural applications. After a solid year of studying mosaic technique and installation with professionals across the U.S., in 2006 she founded her Seattle studio, Rivenworks Mosaics, from which she designs, fabricates and installs custom architectural mosaics for residential, commercial, and public art clients.

Kelley creates mosaics in many mediums for architectural clients, but in her personal work she returns again and again to glass for exploration and play. The visual (and literal) depth and light-handling properties of glass, as well as its seemingly limitless palette of colors, offer up endless possibilities for dimensional shenanigans. Out of those explorations Kelley has developed three signature glass mosaic techniques: Texture Field, which utilizes multiple textures of clear architectural glass to create a field of texture; Flat Stacking, in which multiple layers of translucent glass is stacked over itself on a mirrored or clear glass substrate, and Edge Stacking, in which glass strips of varying heights are set on edge.

Kelley’s fine art panels in stacked and textured glass have been accepted to national and international juried exhibitions, and many reside in private collections. She is an active member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists, and regularly teaches sessions on stacked and textured glass mosaic techniques.











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.












SBSMA’s First  

6 friends came together for a fun 3 hour get together just to hang out and create mosaic art.  In that short but busy time they chose their colors and design and began nipping.  They used both Italian and Mexican smalti to create their fun and unique pieces.  They all went home with their own piece of mosaic art.  
If you would like to get a group of your friends together for a birthday party, bachelorette party or just for a fun and creative time, email Tami for details.  

Tami’s Latest Commission 

This piece was commissioned by a lovely family here in Santa Barbara.  It is titled “Swirling Sun”.  It was created on Hardiebacker board using high fire tile and glass fusions.  It was grouted using Spectra lock dazzle epoxy grout with gold glitter.  It will be mounted on a fire place chimney in the backyard using french cleats.  It measures 36″ diameter.




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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