1404 News from Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art

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April 2014
The line “time flies” has never meant more than a couple weeks ago when myself and seven lovely students arrived in Todos Santos, Mexico for the first SBSMA Todos Santos Mosaic Art Retreat.  
I don’t remember the last time a week went by so fast.  It was a blissful week filled with colorful mosaic art, incredibly fresh and delicious food made with love every time by our own chef Iker Algorri and the wonderful ocean with the waves breaking right below us.  And yes a few whales swam by and flapped their very large fins at us!
If all that sounds too incredible trust me it was!!  Each student created their own special sun (pictures below) using sentimental items as well as colorful beads, baubles and gems.  We tinted our mortar as well as our grout and edged off the sun rays with mirror for extra light reflection.   
There are so many stories to tell and I could go on for hours.  Our group was so harmonious , we met wonderful artists at their homes and galleries and the incredible service we received from Sergio and Bryan of Los Colibris, the small boutique hotel where the retreat was held.  
The only thing I can say is the next SBSMA Mosaic Art Retreat dates are set for OCTOBER 12TH -18TH  & DECEMBER 7TH-13TH, 2014…if you are interested feel free to click here to email for more details.   You can chose from either of these dates and we will create the 3D Sun Mosaics.  There is a minimum space for 6 and maximum for 10.  Many have showed interest so I would not wait.  Click here for details about these dates.   
SBSMA is introducing it’s first evening series workshop.  It will be a Garden Sphere/Boulder workshop.  Tuesday evenings from 6p-9p May 13th, 20th, 27th and June 3rd.  There is also more LAB time and lots of private parties.  
Listed below are just some of the workshops coming up here at SBSMA!  Check the schedule for plenty more!
 Have a great April 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.
  • Strata Various with Kelley Knickerbocker learn to see unique potential in any material and then maximize that potential by shape, angle, spacing, contrast and proximity to others.l

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 mosaic                                     Tami Macala                     April 16/17           $195. +base
Intro Stained Glass                                 Tami Macala                     April 22/23          $185.
Garden sphere/Boulder                       Tami Macala                     May 13-June 3    $260.
3D Heart mosaic                                       Tami Macala                     May 17/18              $220.
Everything Mosaic                                   Tami Macala                     June 17/18            $185.
Table Top mosaic                                      Tami Macala                     June 28/29          $195. +base 


MARCH 2014 

All the wonderful women and their completed 3D Flat Mosaic Suns


  The view from the rooms and the covered deck the mosaic workshop takes place on.

A couple in progress shots of the 3D Flat Sun Mosaics with beads, baubles and gems.
A couple completed and beautifully creative suns!
   The incredibly fresh and delicious food cooked with love by our chef Iker Algorr
The last day of our mosaic workshop!  Don’t we look happy!!!!




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 

“Lion, for me?”
Approx. 27″x16″.  Created on WEDI board using sentimental and found objects as well as glass fusions, stained glass, dichoric glass, Mexican smalti, millefiori and mirror.  The mortar and grout are tinted with SBSMA liquid tint.
“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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