Meet the Maker: Mosaic Artist Emma Cavell

Emma Cavell, maker of mosaics and explorer of potentiality expressing through us in creative flow and joy, is inspired by nature which can be enjoyed in the tones, colours and textures of her exceptional art works. Emma invites you to unwind, relax, and have fun reconnecting with your innate creative gifts through the process of making mosaics 'Peace by Piece.'

'Paradise Path' - Emma Cavell
We caught up with Emma as she was about to launch her 3-day Mosaic Summer School, an invitation for students to give themselves some time to slow down and gently explore their creative potential through making mosaics using loose line design and moment by moment mosaic process. Taking place at the River Room in beautiful Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, this idyllic location is close to wonderful options for accommodation and food for those students wanting to take a mosaic-inspired mini break with Emma providing her extensive experience, enthusiasm and guidance throughout.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I feel a deep appreciation for my early life, growing up in a super abundant garden, bursting with wondrous plants, flowers and bountiful blossoms. I learned from a young age how to meet with nature in her fullness of spirit.
'Love Blossoms' - Emma Cavell

Family life was coloured with complexity, tragedy and challenge.  I found great solace within the wholeness of garden space, which heightened my awareness of our deeply interconnected, cyclical nature.
'Letting Go' - Emma Cavell

Our bohemian home was full of floral interiors, antiques, unconventional ornaments and myriad curiosities, many of which continue to inspire and adorn my mosaic art today.
'A Clear Sky' - Emma Cavell

In my early twenties, I began exploring the process of making sculptural ceramics for many years at a local art school.  During that time, I was invited to join a weekend course making mosaics.  I loved the idea of working in instant colour and form. I meandered with the mosaic process and fell in love!
Emma working on 'Opening' - Emma Cavell

I later became artist in residence at a local historical house and spiritual centre, which offered courses, retreats and B&B.  People visited from all over the country and around the world, which enabled me to meet and explore with many colourful seekers.  At this time, my studio was the ground floor of a small 17th Century listed cottage in the grounds of the centre. The cottage looked out onto a wonderful walled garden, which I helped to care for, harvesting inspiration for my art.
'Sacred Garden' - Emma Cavell

Tell us about your workshop space

I have recently transformed my spare room into my studio. A sacred space abounding with many colour-coded palettes brimming with vintage china treasures, enabling me to be in a spontaneous mosaic flow with ease of application. 
"Anything created by human beings is already in the great book of nature." - Antoni Gaudi

Moment by moment mosaic process - Emma Cavell

What do students learn on your courses?

The Mosaic Courses, PlayShops and Summer Schools I offer are all designed as supportive spaces where we embrace making mosaics using the direct method of application.  This ‘moment by moment’ process can greatly support us as we explore our creative potentiality and myriad mixed media materials.
Adrienne making her white Tara mosaic - Emma Cavell

A gentle place to come and unwind, relax, and have fun with other like-minded souls, reconnecting with our innate gifts through the process of making mosaics.
Jane making her Yellow Flower mosaic - Emma Cavell
We will practice using mosaic hand cutters and nippers, explore stained glass scoring, and various adhesive applications.  

We will experiment with innovative ways of embracing the energy of colour to really enhance our mosaic, and also learn about the process of grouting and embellishing our mosaics.
Lesley making her 3D mixed media mosaic mirror - Emma Cavell
One to one support is given throughout the day within a supportive, small group field (approximately 8 students). 

No previous experience is needed, just a willingness to explore in curiosity together. 

I look forward to welcoming you!  

Let’s explore making Mosaics together  -  ‘Peace by Piece.’
Wendy making her Green Mandala mosaic - Emma Cavell

Tell us about your team - pets are definitely considered part of the team!

 A beautiful dance of co-creation with all of Nature, guardian Angels, helping Spirits – especially cats!
Emma demonstrating making mosaics at Art in Action - Emma Cavell

Can you describe your life as a maker?

Each week I aim to practice a process of mosaic play on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Harnessing the natural energies of these days – generosity, intention and desire, purpose, and pure potentiality! 

I spend time musing with mosaic movement, which often involves some walking in Nature, qigong, singing and dancing, bringing me more deeply into my body, releasing old energy and supporting an emergence of fresh, new inspiring energy to enter my being.  Birthing a space for day dreaming, wondering and glimpsing potentiality.

"Creation is the product of synchronising our energy with the universe. Once we experience the whole and recognise it, we become aware that we are nothing but the Divine Creative Force." - Rassouli

'Free To Be' - Emma Cavell

As I begin making mosaics I often just sit and start loosely nipping and cutting.  Inviting all the helping spirits into the process. Feeling into and aligning myself with little sparks of Angelic inspiration. Gently shaping each piece, listening from within my heart to the calling colours, miracles begin transpiring through mosaic metamorphosis.
'Flow of Love' work in progress - Emma Cavell

Giving great thanks to my trusted tools – cutters and nippers of various shapes and sizes. 

Appreciating my marvellous, myriad materials, which have been gathered & gifted over many years! 

I use various cement-based adhesives and PVA glues for fixing the fragments to the different surfaces.  

I often use natural pigments to colour my cement and grout applications.  This creates depth and tonal effects which I find very pleasing.
'Flow of Love' work in progress - Emma Cavell

My intention is to encourage harmony to emerge from diverse and discarded materials. Sharing the deeply restorative process of gently reawakening creativity through brokenness. 

‘Peace by Piece’ beauty emerging.  Sharing the joy and wonder of creative regeneration through the healing process of co-creating ‘Memorable Mosaics.’
'Weaving Light' - Emma Cavell

Do you still craft in your spare time, when you're not teaching?

Yes, absolutely! 
'Blue Earth Bear' work in progress - Emma Cavell

What crafts do you love other than the craft you teach?

All sorts of mixed media, sculptural ceramics, painting, especially water colour, gold leaf, doodling/drawing, wire crochet, crochet and knitting with natural silks and yarns. 

Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration professionally? 

Nature is my greatest inspiration and teacher above everything! 
'Freya's Garden' - Emma Cavell

Creative souls, past & present, who inspire me to aim for my leading edge are: Antoni Gaudi, Gustav Klimt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Frank Howell, Rassouli, Kaffe Fassett, Giulio Menossi.

"I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at - not copy it." - Georgia O'Keeffe

'Within my Heart' - Emma Cavell

What advice would you give to other people looking to teach their art? 

I would like to invite anyone who is considering sharing a creative craft with others to gently lean more into facilitation over teaching.  Remembering we are all eternal students, helps to keep us open to learning from everyone we explore with. 
'Forever Roses' - Emma Cavell

What is the most memorable or funny thing to happen on one of your courses? 

When my daughter was young she used to come with me at the weekends when I was offering mosaic courses at various art schools in my local area.  She has always been very curious, and I remember once she was having a rummage through the collection of old china we had to use in our mosaic projects that day, while I was opening the space with the group.  I became aware that she was desperately trying to get my attention from across the room, but I decided to continue with the class introduction, as I had always asked her to please wait patiently for me to complete this before she asked me questions etc.
Vintage china palette - Emma Cavell

She then came promptly to my side with one hand behind her back and began frantically prodding me with her other hand.  When I asked her what was wrong, she revealed her hidden hand, which had a coffee pot stuck on it!  She had playfully pushed her hand into the pot, but then couldn’t get it off!  After the initial shock, we all decided that plenty of washing up liquid and water might be the answer, and it worked!  She decided to cut the pot up and use it in her mosaic!  We always have a little smile whenever we look at that beautiful mosaic she made. 
"My daughter Amy and I with her amazing 'Horses and Flowers' mosaic mirror" - Emma Cavell
Thank you Emma for your thought-provoking account of your life, creative inspirations, and creating mosaics 'Peace by Piece.' 

Emma Cavell Art - 6-week mixed media mosaic course
Emma Cavell Art - 1-day mixed media mosaic playshop
Emma Cavell Art - 3-day mosaic summer school

If, like us, you are completely inspired by this talented artist, Emma also has unique pieces of one-off mosaic art that you can purchase:

Framed mosaic wall hanging - 'Soul Tide' - a mixed media mosaic wall hanging inspired by the fresh water spring lines emerging through the Outer Hebridean sands, dancing their way to the ocean. Size - Height 45cm x Width 30cm x Depth 3cm

'Red Buds at Dawn' - a mixed media glass/vintage china mosaic wall hanging, combined with a free-style painterly process, on a slate round. 10cm x 10cm

'Presence of Peace' - a mixed media mosaic wall hanging on slate. 10cm x 10cm.

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