one-of-a-kind mosaic platters, dishes, and boxes in my studio, Mad
Platter Beaded Mosaics, in La Jolla, California. Uniquely,
most pieces are grouted with seed beads rather than standard grout.
"pique assiette" tradition of mosaic art, I use chipped
and broken antique china plates that have retained their exquisiteness
despite having lost their value to serious china collectors. I scour
antique stores and estate sales to find these "fragments of
beauty", looking for such well-known makers as Wedgewood, Limoges,
and Royal Doulton. I delight in recycling them into new patterns
that give them a renewed context. I am especially enamoured of seashells,
collecting them since I was 5 years old, and often incorporate them
in my work.
beads for traditional cement grout when I began looking for something
that would complement and be more compatible with the delicate look
of the china patterns. I love beads and since I had already used
this medium to create jewelry and related beaded art pieces (including
an armoire), it was the natural choice for me.
Mosaics and Pique Assiette
people are familiar with traditional mosaics as an ancient art form.
Especially remarkable to me are the Byzantine mosaics in Ravenna,
Italy. At the turn of the 20th century, modern mosaics were created
by such masters as Gustav Klimt , Antonio Gaudi, and Louis Comfort
Tiffany. Today, mosaics are enjoying another revival, incorporating
old techiques and materials with mixed media, new imagery, sculptural
themes, and the reinterpretation of old forms.
represents a contemporary redefinition of the "pique assiette"
tradition in mosaics, a folk art popular in Victorian times which
utilized broken shards, pottery, dishes, and porcelain in decorative
objects for the home. "Pique assiette", literally meaning
"stolen from plate", dates back to the 1930's with the
work of an eccentric named Raymond Edouard Isadore in Chartres,
France. Isadore obsessively covered every surface of his house,
interior and exterior, with mosaics made of pottery shards and glass.
art was not something that was always on my agenda. I began
working as an urban planner with an emphasis on urban design
and historic preservation. I subsequently held several positions
as an arts administrator, including director of a museum and
an international organization for children's museum professionals.
My childhood interest in painting and creating art was rekindled
in 1995 when my two young sons and I lived in Florence, Italy
for a year. There I attended the Florence Academy of Art and
trained in classical realism drawing. I also studied maskmaking
from a maestro in classical Italian technique. The incredible
mosaic work I saw in my travels throughout Italy, France and
Spain inspired me to create mosaics myself when I returned to
create a custom art piece for you incorporating your own broken
china heirlooms or
specific color scheme.
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