Meditative, fun and addictive! All words used to describe the incredible craft of making mosaics. Whether you use pre-cut glass tiles, broken china, or a mixed media of materials, you can achieve impressive results. Emma at abelmosaics not only inspires students with her incredible workshops, but also represents endangered species with her makes. Read on to be inspired...
Back in 2010, when living in the rolling hills of New Zealand, I provided holiday mosaic workshops for school age children. Once we made the big move back to UK abelmosaics started up again in 2017.
Q2. Tell us about your workshop space/ surroundings.
With a large glass roof, my studio is flooded with light. Some people liken it to walking into a zoo, as I am also a Maker of wildlife mosaics, when I’m not delivering workshops. My walls are lined with boxes, brimming with mosaic tiles, and source books, brimming with inspiration; you can choose floral, patterned or animal mosaics, your options are limitless.
You’ll find all the essential tools from plus tea, coffee, and cake to feed creativity.
Q3. Tell us about the variety of courses on offer?
“Mosaic, Chat, Create” and “Christmas Mosaic Treats” are my main courses. Each workshop centres on your individual ideas, with emphasis on technique to cut tiles as accurately as possible. You could choose to to depict a special Islamic motif, a delicate flower, or a comical giraffe head- you can choose.
Q4. Tell us about your team.
My team is me! I love offering 1:1 tuition or small workshops with a maximum of 6 students so that they can get the best, bespoke experience for their mosaic project.
Q5. Describe a typical month as a maker/tutor.
“I am proud to support critically endangered animals with my craft.”
Sunday to Thursday I am a Maker of wildlife mosaics, researching and mosaicing critically endangered animals, fashioning feathers and fur out of intricately cut glass, slate, ceramic and more. Regular competitions and exhibitions help to spread the word about struggling species.
Friday and Saturday abelmosaics becomes a tutor-led workshop - I really enjoy the contrast and interaction with fellow mosaic enthusiasts.
Q6. Do you also craft in your spare time, are there other crafts that you enjoy?
When I’m not in my mosaic studio, practising my art, I am a keen musician and huge animal fanatic. Both influence my craft and I take real pleasure from my passions.
Q7. What advice would you give to other people looking to teach their skill?
If you have a passion for your craft, then your creativity will be infectious!
Q8. Who/what is your biggest source of inspiration creatively?
Colour, texture, and attention to detail are a constant creative challenge which I love. Endangered wildlife is my inspiration – I make these mosaics to give a small platform to struggling species through social media, competitions and exhibitions.
Q9. What is the funniest thing to ever happen on one of your courses?
We laugh a lot through the day so I couldn’t specify one thing - students often say my mosaic workshops enable them to completely switch off from their jobs and other anxieties. Mosaic is a truly addictive, fun, and therapeutic art form!
Something new and exciting...a GIANT 7ft hare 'hops' into the studio
For two months Emma has been “up to her ears” in mosaics, “hopping” around her studio mosaicing LEPUS Roman hare - a fundraiser for Southampton hospital. LEPUS is 1 of 30 giant hares “leaping” around Winchester between June and August and is mosaiced in Roman colours using the Guilloche (braided) and Wave band motif. LEPUS took over 400 hours and nearly 8000 tiles to mosaic! Did you know that the Romans introduced hares to Britain? Go to www.haresofhampshire.com, www.murrayparishtrust.com, or follow @abelmosaics.