Artistic expression can take the form of a vibrant painting, a stunning sculpture, or front-yard hedges trimmed into the shape of longing. Let creativity blossom with today's Groupon: for $49, you get a three-hour introduction to mosaics class at Institute of Mosaic Art in Oakland (a $125 value). Several classes are available every month; check the schedule for exact dates and times.
The Institute of Mosaic Art hosts a roster of skilled instructors who host more than 80 classes and workshops that help transform students' creativity into contemporary and traditional mosaic art. The three-hour introduction to mosaics class teaches groups of up to 10 students how to craft 8"x8" mosaic frames festooned with handmade tile, vintage gems, and stained glass molded into unique patterns and secret grocery lists. Classes include all required tools and materials and kick off as instructors greet students before outlining the process of cutting materials. After instructors help select colors and pick out design templates and teacher's pets, students set to work cutting and setting mosaics as instructors circulate, sprinkling on advice and lending a hand when needed. By the end of the class, students leave with a completed frame ready for hanging on an interior wall and for keeping the portrait of a loved one from running away and joining a rogue photo album.
Institute of Mosaic Art
The two grand exhibition rooms at the Institute of Mosaic Art show off the textured tile work of its staff and visiting artists, with more works displayed outside in its lush garden. Within, more than 80 classes and workshops for all skill levels cover a wide range of topics and techniques, including working with glass, smalti, and tiles, as well as projects such as jewelry and exterior decorations. Visiting artists conduct special workshops, giving students insight into their creative processes and suggestions on the best brand of car windshield to smash for supplies.
The institute also houses Mosaic Studio Supply, which fills its homey halls with materials and manuals for all projects. Mosaic makers can browse the stock of a la carte supplies, from colorful tiles to tools and adhesives, as well as kits full of color-coordinated pieces.