1307 News from Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art

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July 2013  

Summer is my favorite time of year here in Santa Barbara.  I love the weather, the people are in even happier moods and there is a creative fun spirit in the air.  It may have to do with starting summer off with the annual Solstice Parade.  A  theme based parade filled with quirky, creative floats and costumes and happy people celebrating the beginning of summer.  
Here at SBSMA we like to carry that creative spirit all through the summer.  If you have been toying around with the idea of starting a new mosaic project or wanting to come learn a new technique, make this creative summer time your time.  
Some of my favorite workshops are coming up this month.  “Everything Mosaics” is a week day workshop for those of you that have asked to come learn during the week.   In this workshop we will work with all different types of tesserae to create our design.  This is a great technique workshop for the beginner to the more experienced.  
Then we have “Mexican Smalti” July 27/28 weekend.  This is a great workshop to learn with Betsy Gallery.  Betsy attended a week long workshop in Cuernavaca, MX at the Perdomo factory (the only place in the world where Mexican smalti is made), learning how to work with color gradation, shading and shaping the Mexican smalti.  
Even though we know summer will eventually come to an end there will be no shortage of great and inspiring workshops to bring us to the end of the year.  Three mosaic artists each with incredible talents will visit SBSMA in September, October and November.   Check out the list below and see what style you would like to learn!



  • Mexican Smalti with Betsy Gallery, create a flower design using color gradation and shading while learning proper cutting and lay out techniques. 
  • 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. 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


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
Garden Sphere                                           Tami Macala             Sept. 7-8                  $195+$65mat.
Indirect Method                                       Betsy Gallery              Sept. 13-15              $245+$50mat.
Tempered & Transparent Glass     Susan Crocenzi         Sept. 27-29             $280+$40mat  
Everything Mosaics                                Tami Macala              Oct. 5-6                    $215.+$20mat. 



Testimonials from SBSMA students


This is from a student who posted on SBSMA Facebook page:


Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art
“Mosaic Art Classes are ongoing throughout the year, sign up for a class now! Tami Zweig Macala, Owner/Artist/Teacher, offers an array of classes for beginners on up. The classes are fun, informative, inspiring and you get to creat your very own original piece of art.

Creating mosaic art is very rewarding, challenging as well as theraputic. It’s like being on vacation, your mind is in another realm, away from daily stressors. Imagine, create, and enjoy! Hassle free, all supplies are included, there’s also a supply store on location. 

Tami and her team of Mosaic Artist/Teachers are highly specialized, passionate, very inspiring and fun. They will guide you through the entire process as needed. You will be proud and gratified upon completion of your original work (which makes a fab gift, art piece in your yard or inside your home). Don’t procrastinate another year, get involve in a class now! Know someone who whould benefit from Mosaic Art Classes? Give a class as a gift to a loved one. I cannot emphesize more just how rewarding these classes are.

Click on her FB page link below for more info and photos of Mosaic Artwork completed by both students and Tami. Amazing art that is so appealing to the eyes/senses! Not a lost art, Tami’s brought it back!! Sign up now, alone or with a friend!”


 This is a partial piece from a student and her creative writing class assignment:



“…..on Saturday, I am the first one to the workshop and I meet Tami, the teacher. This young woman reminds me of a Yoga instructor – tall and slim with wavy locks of brown hair. With her calm demeanor, I feel like if I make a mistake, she can calmly guide me to correction without faulting my technique. I am thankful for her presence during my new artistic undertaking.

I transfer my drawing onto a substrate – a sun complete with a face. It is an illustration I have been drawing since I was in grade school. What better way to immortalize my design but in tiled glass pieces?

In a class of about 10 women, I find the workshop atmosphere to be friendly and forgiving – we are all beginners encountering various problems with our 12″ x 12″ pieces. We are taught to apply mastic onto tile pieces – like cream cheese on a bagel – then mount them to our boards. Like a Zen Master, Tami floats among the students, helping where necessary and coaching us to perfect our works of art. I’m impressed she has remembered all our names! She shows us how to shape the ceramic pieces to best fit into spaces on our boards. The trimming tool is a bulky, heavy instrument that I need both hands to work so I can cut and shape the tile. Tami uses one hand in her demonstration. I tease her that she can probably crack walnuts with her bare hands and the class erupts in laughter. The first day goes by way too fast but I am successful in laying down all my pieces, enabling me to apply grout the following day.

…….Sunday morning I am excited to see what the other students have created in the prep stages from the day before. There is a moon on a dark mirrored background, a heart-shaped design, a couple of flower arrays, a few geometric patterns and one cartoon character that a woman’s son drew when he was just a preschooler. Like a proud mother, Tami praises each one of us, but never showing favoritism for any of her children.”






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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