A way to place energy, feelings, and soul before the viewer.
It all began with a thumbprint, a solo journey to Italy, and the lessons discovered through loss. Your left thumb is said to be the shortest distance from your hand to your heart. My Dad taught me at a very young age about HANDS. How important they are. How fortunate I am to have the use of both of mine. He taught me that hands could be used to heal or to hurt...to build or to destroy. I learned from my Dad that THE best tools were my own two hands. My brothers and I built treehouses and go carts, we chopped wood, carried stones, and mixed cement...my hands were ALWAYS busy back then--and have remained so to this day. I was 8 years old when I made my first stained glass piece--an owl. I made it in my Dad's Uncle's studio in Connecticut. Fast forward a few years, I had THE best art teachers in primary and secondary school who greatly influenced and nurtured my artistic abilities--woodshop, painting, drawing, pottery...I could never get enough of those classes where I was doing something with my HANDS.
For 25 years, I used my hands to HEAL others as a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, caring for critically ill infants and their families--helping the tiniest patients to fight for their lives.
Through my art, I help others to fight for their Souls.
My Dad built my first glass shop workbench in the mid 1990s in the basement of my townhouse. I spent all of my free time working with stained glass, keeping the 'off cuts' from the larger pieces I had made in a large box--this is when I stumbled upon the art of MOSAIC.
In the years that followed, I was fortunate to learn from my mosaic inspiration: Laurel True. Not only is she an amazing mosaic artist, she uses her HANDS to bring about real change in the world--helping to heal others through her art.
In 2013, while having watched my Dad's health deteriorate over the previous two years--the tremors of Parkinson's stealing from him the rest of what Diabetes hadn't already stolen, he insisted that I NOT cancel my trip to Italy where I would have the opportunity to learn under the direction of a fourth generation Venetian mosaic master. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and he wanted to make certain that I didn't miss it.
My husband, whom my Dad adored and was so proud to have as his son-in-law, is the one who opened his hands and heart so wide to allow me the opportunity to go to Italy. My husband also used those same hands and that same heart to LET GO as I faced the MOST DIFFICULT time of my life: Losing my Dad.
He was hospitalized and began dialysis while I was in Italy. He didn't want anyone to tell me because he knew I'd return home immediately.
His thumbprint was being BORN in glass and gold in a 110-year old mosaic school on a beautiful canal in the most beautiful, mysterious, and romantic city in the world--Venice...by me...with MY hands...each piece that I cut and cemented was a prayer of Thanksgiving for my beloved 'Pops'--connecting me to him...hand to heart...soul to soul.
A month after my return, despite his rapidly declining health, he and my Mom flew across the country to attend our daughter's college graduation. I had never seen him more filled with JOY. It was during this visit, also, that he had the chance to see his thumbprint mosaic in person, feel the warm California sun on his skin, bask in the love of family, and say a celebratory goodbye to his favorite granddaughter.
Just one month later, as my Dad took his last breath, I held his left HAND in mine. Tightly. Lovingly. And for the last time.
The shortest distance from HAND to HEART.
HIS HANDS taught me SO much, gave me SO much, loved me SO much...all the 'FRAGMENTS' he taught me along the way, woven together into one big, beautiful MOSAIC: My Life.
Love given and Love received--the never ending circuit from hand to heart.
My mosaic studio is dedicated to the memory of my Dad--"Pops" as I called him.
FRAGMENTS Mosaics--a place where all the pieces come together. Each piece skillfully and intuitively handcrafted--
HAND to HEART and from my HEART to your SOUL.
Pieces of SOUL. Art from the HEART.
...It all begins...still today...with my HANDS...and a thumbprint.