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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

Creating Mosaics

Amy seems to run on the juices of creativity. The posts that I see on Facebook of her work are rich in detail and what feels like a universe of ideas. All during the pandemic Amy painted and created and cooked and created some more. I hope some of the creativity will be rubbed off on all of us as we read a little bit of her process. Thank you, Amy, for sharing this piece on Words Have Wings. I love how you go from something imagined to creating a real piece that embodies your thoughts and dreams in vivid colors!


On my work table are pieces of broken Blue Willow china from my grandmother’s kitchen, milky white and pale blue stained glass, shards of broken mirror, iridescent blue-green tiles that recall peacock feathers. Sunlight falls on dark blue-green stained glass, sending glimmers of ocean onto the white paper next to it.

I’m thinking about water, ocean waves cresting and breaking. The sparkle of the water droplets and spray in sunlight. The play of shades of deep blue, steel grey, darkest green of water at different depths. The flow of currents, pushing and pulling.

Or sometimes a flower garden, with colors and shapes all vying for the eye’s attention. A landscape that evokes Tuscany’s rolling hills and spring poppies? How about a sinuous abstract design today, drawing on the ancient mosaic term for line and flow, Andamento. Or to pay for my glass habit, a commission for an address sign?

I pick up a glass scorer, and carefully score a curve in a piece of stained glass. Then I give it a few gentle squeezes with pliers, hoping that the glass will break along my line. The glass sometimes has other ideas, splintering across my shape, or splintering up an unseen fault line in the glass.

Now, will my shape rest right next to the piece I’ve already adhered, or will I need to carefully use my nippers to gradually bring it into perfect shape? Has my adhesive started to cure while I’ve been fitting, do I need to mix up another tiny batch to put into a ziplock I use rather like a pastry bag? Does this piece contribute to the flow of my design? Would a different shade of blue tell a different story of sunlight, or depth?

Hours go by, where did the time go?

I cut things up, and put them back new ways.

Amy Gilman is a retired preschool teacher who has been rediscovering her artistic side in retirement, working in watercolor, mixed media and mosaic. Her mosaic work can be seen at and

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