Barbara King writes: In 2007, my husband and I moved from busy Houston to a country property in the Texas Hill Country. This change of scenery and newfound freedom from corporate life became the start of my mosaic journey. Here, I chronicle a few of the works we live with and enjoy. The colors, the textures, and the artistry make me feel very much at home.
This sculptural piece by Father Jairo Lopez was my first mosaic purchase. It was showing at a local sculpture event and I quickly realized it would be perfect for the entrance of our new home. Over time, bits of lichen have begun to grow on the granite, producing the feeling that the piece “has always been there”.
When family and friends gather we serve meals buffet-style in this place, where I display two mosaics alongside my pottery dishes. On the left is a favorite created by Diane Sonnenberg. I purchased it in 2009 at the glass shop I frequented and where she served as resident artist. I created the work on the right in Luciana Notturni’s workshop in Ravenna. I spend a good amount of time in my kitchen, and having these works on display brings me great joy.
This special Madonna and Child was gifted to us by my mosaic mentor and friend, Father Jairo Lopez. It is composed of smalti and his signature recycled bottle glass. The beautiful theme and colors fit perfectly in our living area.
The lower level of our home consists of an exercise room and sunroom flanked by a pool. Inspired by a Roman motif, I rendered these fish in contemporary materials.
In the sunroom, I display a work created by two adult students in my collaborative mosaic workshop. The student design was inspired by the work of Ilana Shafir.
This small side table was purchased at a mosaic workshop in Madaba, Jordan in 2019. In the 1960’s, Queen Noor challenged various districts of the country to revive ancient arts, and her challenge included the training of handicapped individuals. These skilled artisans, many working from wheelchairs, produce some of the finest mosaics I’ve seen.
In 2019, we traveled to Sicily. Near the amazing Monreale Cathedral, I spotted a mosaic atelier and was, naturally, drawn to the place. What mosaic artist wouldn’t be? We entered only to find the shop owners, a husband and wife, busy at work. The place was filled with beautiful mosaics, all created by their hands. The man greeted us in Italian as I browsed. I noticed a book in the corner of the shop – one that I had recently purchased at the SAMA Conference. Suddenly, I realized that the man pictured in the book was one and the same as the man standing before me! Excitedly, I explained that I had just purchased his book and liked it very much. We had as friendly a conversation as my very poor Italian would allow, and I purchased this little work. Exquisite in its execution, Angelo Cangemi’s work sits on my desk and is a daily source of pleasure.