Mosaic Artists Take Over Touchstone Retreat Center!

12 Jan

Mosaic WorkshopsTouchstone, a craft and retreat center in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania, has invited a full slate of mosaic artists to teach in 2014.

Instructor: Rachel Sager
May 16–19

Building Stories in Stone: Contemporary Mosaic in a Geologic Medium (Intensive)
All Levels | $300 Plus Selected Housing/Meal Plan
Extended Weekend Workshop

Instructor: Rachel Sager
August 10 – 16, 2014

Building Stories in Stone: Contemporary Mosaic in a Geologic Medium (Immersive)
Instructor: Rachel Sager
All Levels | $500 + Selected Lodging/Meal Plan
Weeklong Workshop

Rachel Sager WorkshopAre you ready for adventures in the creeks, hills, and valleys of Touchstone’s woodland campus? Join award-winning and internationally exhibited mosaic artist, teacher, and speaker, Rachel Sager, in her journey into the magic of sourcing local Southwestern Pennsylvania stone and transforming it into elegant tesserae, the building blocks of mosaic. This extended weekend intensive will cover building a sturdy substrate, mixing and applying high-quality thin-set mortar, cutting with hammer and hardie, the classic tool of the Italian mosaic maestros, and learning the nuances of andamento, the flow and pathways of mosaic. The field trip part of the workshop will include Rachel’s singular process of hunting and gathering for her material. This will be a challenging but also contemplative workshop, and students will learn valuable cutting skills along with mosaic philosophy. You will leave with a 12 x 12-inch mosaic, but more important, you will take home specific knowledge of an ancient medium translated into a contemporary format.

Rachel’s bio and class schedule can be found here for the May Intensive, and here for the August Immersive. Learn more about Rachel’s work here. Lodging/Meal Plans here.

May 23–26
Realistic Flower Mosaics
Instructor: Yulia Hanansen
All Levels | $300 + Selected Lodging/Meal Plan
Extended Weekend Workshop

Yulia Hanansen WorkshopLearn to translate images of flowers into realistic and powerful mosaic statements in this extended weekend workshop. To create flower mosaic, students may work in a traditional mosaic layout or master an exciting and visually effective “brush-stroke” technique that Yulia uses for her own flower portraits. Materials and techniques are discussed in-depth with demonstrations given in groups and individually. Stained glass is used as a primary material for this project with instructions provided on how to cut, shape, and lay out the pieces. Students also explore color and composition in mosaic arts. The workshop concludes with instructions on grouting and a group discussion on the made pieces.

Yulia’s bio and workshop schedule can be found here. Learn more about her work here. Lodging/Meal Plans here.

May 30–June 2
Exterior Mosaics
Instructor: Bonnie Fitzgerald
All Levels | $300 + Selected Lodging/Meal Plan
Extended Weekend Workshop

Bonnie Fitzgerald WorkshopThis workshop covers everything you need to know about creating professional permanent mosaics to withstand moisture and freeze-thaw cycles in exterior environments. Workshop lectures will include important information about selecting appropriate materials, substrates, and fixatives that will endure weather year round. We begin Friday evening with a picture presentation and lecture covering technical considerations and design principles. We will spend a portion of the workshop experimenting with both stained glass and ceramic tiles suitable for exterior use. You will make 2 small experimental/prototype pieces, one in glass and the other in ceramic. These exercises are a valuable experience in cutting and designing. We will then embark on our larger project on Saturday.

Bonnie’s bio and workshop schedule can be found here. Learn more about her work here. Lodging/Meal Plans here.

July 27–August 2
Strata Chroma: Mosaic High (Relief) and Deep (Color)
Kelley Knickerbocker & Erin Pankratz-Smith
All Levels | $500/+ Selected Lodging/Meal Plan
Weeklong Workshop

Erin Pankratz Smith WorkshopThis workshop is geared to interest and challenge students of all levels of mosaic experience.

You will first learn to build and rig your own durable, lightweight 2D mosaic substrates, incorporating pigmented cement in an adventurous exploration of color merging, layering, and texture. Next you will learn to recognize/create/exploit ideal joins of angle, height, size, and shape of a wide variety of black materials – both natural and manmade – for various visual effects, and then experiment with setting each into colorful cement mortars. Finally, using the strata format as a compositional framework, students will incorporate all they’ve learned into the construction of a small mosaic on their handmade substrates.

Their first collaborative artwork, I’m Pervious, built-in 2013, combined Kelley’s achromatic leanings and stratified-high-relief-materials approach with Erin’s saturated color aesthetic and birthed the idea for their ”Strata Chroma” workshop. 2014’s ”Strata Chroma” workshop marks the beginning of their collaboration as educators.

Kelley and Erin’s bios as well as a schedule for the workshop can be found here. Learn more about Kelley’s work here and Erin’s work here. Lodging/Meal Plans here.

Instructor: Carol Shelkin
September 5–7, 2014

Tempered Glass Mosaics
All Levels | $200 + Selected Lodging/Meal Plan
Weekend Workshop

Carol Shelkin WorkshopLearn how to create glittering mosaic art mixing collage with mosaic techniques using “Tempered Glass.” Tempered glass – also known as “Crash Glass” and “Safety Glass” is used to create mosaic art and architectural installations. A presentation showing examples of some of the finest works in Tempered Glass will be shown. You will learn to develop a jewel-like surface for both interior and exterior installations; and you will complete a mosaic using an overlaying technique with metallic papers, tissue, foils, glitter, photos, wordage, and more. You are encouraged to bring a variety of small paper images, photos, embellishments, and/or text to include in your mosaic. This is the perfect medium to permanently incorporate printed imagery!

Carol’s bio and workshop schedule can be found here. Learn more about her work at here. Lodging/Meal Plans here.

Instructor: Cynthia Fisher
September 19 – 21, 2014

Glass Mosaics
Cynthia Fisher WorkshopAll Levels: $200 + Selected Lodging/Meal Plan
Weekend Workshop

Mosaics are a medium one can readily learn at a workshop, and then continue with at home with minimal investment in tools and materials. You will learn about (1) the rich history of mosaics materials, (2) tools and substrates, (3) a variety of methods of mosaic assembly with the major focus on the indirect method, and (4) color and the mosaic palette and how tile shape creates visual texture. Lecture time will be kept to a minimum, and there will be an emphasis on one-on-one guidance, maximizing individual interests.

Cynthia is eager to share her considerable knowledge and experience working in the medium of glass mosaics, from artistic considerations unique to mosaic to architectural installations. Cynthia’s bio and workshop schedule can be found here. Learn more about her work here. Lodging/Meal Plans here.

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One Response to “Mosaic Artists Take Over Touchstone Retreat Center!”

  1. Susan Watson January 13, 2014 at 10:47 AM #

    I am excited about all the offerings and wish to confirm my enrollment with Ms. Sager in May. After my first experience at Touchstone, I will probably be interested in some of the others over the summer. I hope that there will still be room in the workshops if I sign up for them in May.

    Looking forward to joining you in the spring,

    Susan Watson arbiter

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