1306 News from Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art

logo for Santa                                                  Barbara school of mosaic                                                  art


June 2013  

It’s official SBSMA is in full swing in the new location.  The feedback has been wonderful.  A bright cheery coat of Tiffany blue paint, some new shelves and storage (can’t get enough of those), and a lot of natural light. There is also a fully stocked supply store as well as a wonderful outdoor studio.  SBSMA is up and running.   
The first workshop was just this past week with visiting artist Deb Aldo.  She taught a wonderful Pebble Mandala workshop.  The students learned so much and created wonderful pieces.  Everyone had such a great time they all decided Deb needed to come back for an in-situ full scale Pebble workshop.  It will be March 28th-30th, stay tuned for more details.  For the rest of this month we are busy with an Intro to Stained Glass workshop, a Light Weight Concrete process workshop and ending with a nearly sold out Garden Sphere/ Boulder workshop.
LAB has been busy as well.  With summer almost here students are getting their LAB time in and creating their own pieces while having some of my guidance.  I am busy with 3 commissions but it’s always nice to work side by side with my students. 
The creative energy is flowing here at SBSMA and Santa Barbara is such a wonderful place to be.  
There is so much to look forward to as well with visiting artists Betsy Gallery, Susan Crocenzi, Kelley Knickerbocker and Erin Pankratz- Smith yet to come before the year is up!
Check the schedule for those workshops and more!!!   




  • Indirect method on a stepping stone with Betsy Gallery, learn to work in the indirect method using marble and stone while creating on a stepping stone.  Sept. 13th-15th.
  • 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. 26th & 27th.
  • 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


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
Indirect Method                                       Betsy Gallery              Sept. 13-15              $245+$50mat.
 Pebble Mandala workshop










Visiting Artists Bio’s
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


Betsy Gallery’s Indirect Method stepping stone 




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.













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 “Ginni the 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 was mounted 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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