1403 News from Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art

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March 2014
Here is it the first week of March.  I feel spring coming right around the corner.  More light during our days and more and more warm weather, not that we have suffered, like our friends to the east and north.  We did finally get some much needed rain, which leads right into my next paragraph.
The wonderful and amazingly creative Kelley Knickerbocker returned this past weekend to a SOLD OUT workshop.  This group of very enthusiastic and passionate students created amazing works as well as rolled with some incredible weather punches.  Santa Barbara experienced pretty much it’s entire rainy season in two days.  We had a different location each day but that did not stop this group from learning new techniques working with beads, baubles and textured clear glass on a mirror substrate, as well as grouting with epoxy grout.  This group accomplished so much this weekend and had a great time doing it.  Kelley will return in the fall with another new and exciting workshop she calls “Strata Various”click here for details.  See pictures below from this weekends workshop.
Have you ever wanted to learn how the classical masters created mosaics back 2000+years ago?  Do you enjoy working in more traditional materials, such as marble, stone and smalti glass?  Would you like to learn how to in three days with someone that has mastered these skills?  Then next month’s (April 10-12) Classical Direct Method-3 day intensive is for you! 
This will be an incredible workshop.  Taught by Michael Kruzich, who has been to Ravenna, Italy almost a half a dozen times to study with Luciana Notturni at the Mosaic Art School.  He has her blessing to bring back her teachings and share them with lucky students like us.  Each student will leave with a very thorough knowledge of using a hammer and hardie as well as working in this classical mosaic technique while using the traditional materials.  Click here for more details regarding this workshop.
SBSMA is now selling liquid tints for all your tinting needs. Using a small amount of these tints can give you a high saturation level on both your thin set and grout.  These tints are being highly regarded by many of the teachers teaching here at SBSMA.  If you are interested please email or call.  They come in 9 colors and are $10.50/2oz bottle.
Lastly, the Todos Santos Mosaic Art Retreat is SOLD OUT.   I look forward to sharing this incredible spot with these students and returning with lots of stories and pictures to share.  Once we return dates for the next one will be set, so don’t fret we will go again!


Have a great March and hope to see you soon at SBSMA! 



  • 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.  
  • Color Gradation with Erin Pankratz-Smith, playing with different colors paths, students will learn how to make successful, subtle, color transitions that will add new depth to their work.
  • Classical Direct Method-3Day intensive with Michael Kruzichusing traditional materials students will learn to work with a hammer and hardie as well as understand applications theories and andamento basics.

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


Todos Santos Retreat                             Tami Macala                     Mar.16-22            $1599. 
Classical direct techniques                Michael Kruzich             April 10-12           $400+$70mat 
Table Top mosaic                                     Tami Macala                     April 16/17           $195. +base
Garden sphere mosaic                          Tami Macala                     May 17/18             $275.
Table Top mosaic                                      Tami Macala                     June 28/29         $195. +base 

Kelley Knickerbocker’s Glass on Mirror: 
Color, Texture, Bling! 



7 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 stained glass on 7″x7″ boards 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.  















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. H.H.

Hi Tami- I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the mosaic workshop last weekend.  The class was fun and the outdoor setting was perfect.  I am spreading the word around town 🙂 E.S.





Tami’s Latest Commissions 
“Ginni the swirling sun part deux”
This is the second swirling sun I had the honor of making.  There is now one on each side of the chimney.  This one I added more bling with beads, found objects and eyelashes.  It is purposefully tilting..
up close 
“Gradient Sunshine”  
This piece was commissioned as birthday present for a lovely woman here in Santa Barbara by her family.  Constructed on Wedi board, using found objects, mirror edging and sides with tinted mortar and grout.

“Swirling Bench”
This bench was commissioned by the same family as “Ginni, the swirling sun”.  It has a lovely home in the garden under the fireplace chimney with it’s coordinating “Ginni, the swirling sun”.  
The wrought iron frame was designed and fabricated by David Shelton, a local SB iron artist.   





“Ginni, the swirling sun”

This piece was commissioned by a lovely family here in Santa Barbara.  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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