Before the invention of ink, all communication had to be done in mosaics, resulting in delicately assembled stop signs, meticulously crafted grocery lists, and heartbreakingly difficult to read Dear John letters. Commune like the masters with today’s Groupon: for $72, you get a beginners' mosaic-art workshop at Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art (a $145 value).
At the Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art, resident mosaic specialist Tami Zweig Macala, mentioned in local newspaper Noozhawk, brings the ancient-world technique of arranging small, vibrant pieces of tile, glass, and ice-cream sprinkles to the art-eager fingers of Santa Barbara. Students are invited to two sessions to create a 12”x12” piece of tiled and styled mosaic beauty in Tami’s own outdoor studio. The first available workshop takes place Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More workshops, which would follow the same two-day format, and may be added based on customer demand.
Classes usually have 12 students—beginners' workshops are designed to teach students ages 10 and older about the history of the art form, the intricacies of the various types of tools, and the ancient ritual of screaming while throwing plates against a wall. Using Tami-provided materials, students learn how to use substrates, adhesive, and grout while also grasping more broad artistic techniques such as composition, design, and how to capture the meaning of life through colorscapes.
Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art
Once a costumer for TV shows including House and Weeds, Tami Macala switched careers midstream when she discovered the art of creating mosaics, according to a Santa Barbara Sentinel profile. She started mosaicking everything from fireplaces to fountains, eventually landing high-profile projects at the Florida Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Arby’s restaurants.
After more than a decade of working as a professional mosaic artist, Tami opened the Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art (SBSMA). At the school, Tami and guest artists from near and far teach how to trick out tables with colorful shingles, coax gently luminous Mexican smalti into intricate patterns, or fuse glass for even more complex designs. Students can pick up tools and tiles at the SBSMA supply store and drop by during lab hours to work on independent projects.
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