Category Archives: Cafe

Artist Watch: Judit Bozsár

I’m trying to make a disconcerted effort to include artists from all over the world here and have noticed many of the artists featured so far are from the US. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… as Seinfeld might say 🙂 but in keeping with the effort of making this as international as I can, I introduce you to Dr Judit Bozsár who was born in Hodmezovasarhely, Hungary and now resides in Pilisvorosvar, just outside Budapest, Hungary. She is known as stiglice on Flickr, one of my preferred stomping grounds.

Now I know there is a very lively mosaic community in Hungary because I have had alot of hits from atleast one mosaic forum, and alas have not been able to understand a single word that is said. 😦 I still marvel at the fact that we English speaking countries have very often only the one language, whereas every single non-English speaking country that I have travelled to, bar one, had some English.

After being a slave her whole life to her watch, Judit retired as a research scientist of veterinary medicine back in May. Nowadays she enjoys “going to bed, getting up, eating, strolling in the garden, playing with mosaics, with my grandchildren, with my animals, etc. whenever I feel like doing so.” 🙂 I’ve always said I can’t wait to retire! lol…

Judit has been making mosaics now for 3 years and it has pretty much taken over her home as she states: “No room is singled out yet to be furnished as a workshop, so I am forced to litter the house with my treasure of half-made pieces, china and glass shards: cellar, garage, my former study, the guest room (the only one with an appropriately positioned window), wherever I can…”.

When I asked her if she had any advice on making mosaics, her response was first and foremost having a spouse who does not mind but does care. 😉 Acquire some very good tools, browse the internet, see as many mosaics as you can, find all the websites and blogs of as many artists as you can. Learn from everyone kind enough to share his/her knowledge – “and be as grateful to them as I am”. Have patience, do not feel you are wasting your time with more important tasks waiting … Do not let your failures disappoint you rather learn from them. Study the properties and descriptions of the used materials carefully, enabling your work to stand the test of time in both senses. Be courageous in your experiments, “except when you are working on a commission.” Food for thought and then some…

In recent years, her life has undergone many positive changes that she now feels there are too few hours in the day to do everything she is interested in. “At long last I can live in a large garden with as much domestic and wildlife around me as I like. I am enthralled with all forms of LIFE from those lovely spiders’ nets through the teeming plant life to the titmice brooding in their birdhouses … Since I was given my first digital camera, photography has also been a standard hobby.”

Judit’s first grandchild was born a year and a half ago and was followed by two more: “…they are opening up a new world for me, one very different from what I and my two sons used to live in”. Her other passions are reading and gardening, though these two suffer most since discovering mosaics.

Judit is self-taught and has learnt, and is still learning, everything through the web. She is ultimately very grateful to all those who have supported her in her newfound passion – her husband who encourages rather than sneers; to her Hungarian mosaic friends who introduced her to this medium and whose constructive criticism is a huge help; to her virtual friends at flickr who leave supportive comments; and last but not least “to those colleagues, friends and relatives who remember me whenever they break a plate or cup or renew their bathrooms and thus keep supplying me with much of my precious basic materials…”. 🙂

Judit’s website is still being constructed and you can also see her work on her flickr account.

Now for the nity gritty! You’ll see why I love her mosaics. She is one of the most versatile mosaic artists that I’ve come across…

Finally meet Judit…



Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Artist Watch Series, Artists, Building, Cafe, Emerging, Female, Flickr, Judit Bozsar, Mandala, Mosaic, Murals, Public Art, Signage, Uncategorized, Wall Hanging

Disneyland Mosaics

While in CA, we took the kids to Disneyland. Their first time and my 1st time as a parent… It’s an odd place I tells ya. I had a load of fun, but it’s an odd place! Of course what I did notice all over everywhere were the mosaics. In Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure Park and Downtown Disney. See?! It is an odd place. It’s like a city all it’s own! I was rather taken aback at the money spinner that it is. Here we are with global poverty, shortages on basic foods and then here in the West there’s Disneyland, where I don’t know how many tens of thousands of dollars get turned over in a day. Kinda crazy. But that’s not the point of this post… “The Happiest Place on Earth”, perhaps. But something about that slogan makes me feel uneasy. I have to say thank goodness the ride known as “It’s a Small World After All” was closed for construction. That ride is trippy! Don’t know if I could have done that one all over again… lol!

It was pretty awe inspiring just how much detail in everything there is. First of all it’s really clean. I mean like really clean. People that worked there were friendly. Everything just ran really well. The amount of organisation that must go into creating and maintaining something like that is, in itself, quite remarkable. And to top it all off, every night they had fireworks that far surpass the New Year’s Fireworks we get here!!! Every night! Certainly alot of fun to be had. We went with extended family, and it’s definitely a lot more enjoyable in a large group 🙂 Makes all that waiting around doable…

There were some beautiful mosaics. I have no idea who made any of them so this post will just be a bit of a visual feast. Plenty more in my Disney Mosaics Flickr set… There are some hardcore families who seem to go a lot. I don’t know if that’s me, in fact I know it’s not!!! By the third day (of all of us looking out for 6 young kids) I was holding L’s hand and suddenly looked around, panicked, blood drained from my face and I screamed out “Where’s L!!!?”. I knew it was time to leave. 😉

Waterlily Fountain

Something Silver Mosaic
Such a perfect use of mirror!!! This mosaic quite literally sparkled…

Naples Pizza Mosaic Floor
The floor entrance to Naples Pizza, in Downtown Disney.

Sunflower Fountain
Detail shot of the Sunflower Fountain at the entrance of Disneyland.

Mosaic Benches

Sun Fountain

Catalina Casino Mosaic

Disney Mosaic

Disney Mosaic

Disney Mosaic - floor detail

Disney's California Adventure Park Mosaic Mural

Disney's California Adventure Park Mosaic Mural
Gorgeous hand made tiles it seems… This mountainous mural flanked both sides of the entrance to Disney’s CA Adventure Park. It depicted everything that CA is famous for… Really a fantastic mural!

Aladdin's Mosaic
The mosaic on the floor to Aladdin’s theatre in Disneyland. Didn’t go in to see the performance but this mosaic certainly caught my eye…

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Filed under Abstract, Architectural Installations, Art, Building, Cafe, Flickr, Floor, Flowers, Fountains, Garden Mosaics, Inspiration, Kids, Kids' Projects, Mosaic, Murals, Park, Pavement, Pools, Public Art, Round the World, Signage, Sunflower, Travel, Uncategorized, Wall Hanging

Mosaic Mural – My 1st Group Project

One of the main reasons for me heading over to the US was to participate in the mural intensive workshop offered at the Institute of Mosaic Art in Oakland, CA. It was FUN!!! It’s all I can say about it really. The workshop took place over a week and there were seven of us – 2 of us came from OS (me being from Australia and another from Canada), 2 others from interstate, 1 from Southern CA and then 2 locally. So we were a diverse mix, not only of location but also in mosaic background. Laurel True facilitated the entire project, right down to designing the mural in advance. Our first day there the mural map was up on the wall, colour coded and all! Seeing it up there did not give me an idea of the work involved until we actually started setting tile. I had an idea of how murals were done, theoretically speaking, but given the opportunity to actually DO it and also be given all of Laurel’s tips along the way was a true gift (pardon the pun, Laurel). 😀 It was also incredibly enjoyable working with other artists. Talk about no pressure! We all got stuck into it immediately, setting tile by the second day.

The mural was made from high fire ceramic and mirror. I’d worked with high fire before and it is work getting it cut the way you like. Most of the tile was just broken tile, but alot had to be carved too. I think I’m a helluva lot better at cutting high fire now 😉 I even had the torn blisters to prove it… I feel all hardcore, lol!

I really enjoyed watching others work too: how they set their tile, cut the tile etc… It’s all very interesting to me since I’ve always worked alone, and am self taught. I’m amazed really that the finished mural looks as seamless as it does considering the scope of people who worked on it and offered assistance here and there. You wouldn’t know really that there were so many people involved. All the sections just fit together. What makes a project like this such a success I think. I guess that’s the upside to using predominantly broken tile too. I would have liked to have seen all of our work before hand. It would have been really interesting to see how, I’m sure, we all differ and yet are able to come together to work on a single project.

It turns out that two of the participants I “knew” – yet more evidence that the international mosaic community is soooo small ( I mean that in the sense that all the mosaic related forums have alot of the same members, it’s great!) . Pam Goode was a flickr friend that I can now call a real friend… she’s not imaginary anymore either! (Got to meet alot of my efriends this time around, that’s another post…) I love Pam’s work, and she’s as gorgeous as what she creates. Also there was Jill Montgomery whose work I’d seen on one of the Yahoo forums. By the second day I’d put two and two together… Her work is also amazing! Definitely check out their websites! Suzanne was a mosaic beginner, though clearly an established artist. Karla was loads of fun and had only ever worked with smalti. Carol, as I understand, was the IMA-Ho in the class. I so would be too if I lived down the road from them… 😉 Renata, the other Commonwealth Cohabitant, was also an established mosaic artist. We’d often look at each other wondrously when everyone started talking inches, feet or fahrenheit… lol! I think I have the inches and feet down pat, basically, but farhenheit I just simply can’t get an understanding for. It really means very little to me. Renata had it right: she came for a month and just fit in a bunch of different classes.

The background on the project was fairly straightforward. For this class Laurel donates the murals to local small businesses and non-profits. This time she chose a coffee shop a couple blocks away. I guess it was a cafe that has changed hands a number of times in the time that Laurel has been in this particular neighbourhood. So in the design process she decided immediately that she didn’t want it to be so specific… The business is called Kefa Coffee. I understand that Kefa is a province in southwest Ethiopia. The owners are Ethiopian and specialise in Ethiopian coffee, but their menu is not Ethiopian food (which I will say is delish). We all chowed down the BLTs there, serious yum fest!!!! So design inspiration came about from Ethiopia and coffee basically!!!

Anyway, it was well worth it. I realised just how much making a mural alone is not possible… Well it is as far as setting the tile (though I’d be setting tile for a really loooong freakin’ time!!!), but actually installing it would be physically impossible and a nightmare. I have a couple murals lined up and this was just the jolt I needed to knock me out of lala land and get with the reality of managing a large scale project on my own. I’m certainly going to change my original plan, I think… 😉

Laurel is a great instructor and a wonderful, fun person. Very animated and all the techy talk was so inspiring (talk to your tile and tell it what you want (at the frustration of not getting the tile cut the way we wanted!!!), BOMP!!!! etc…) LMAO! She’s a classic 🙂 She also talked a little about her work and plans over in Ghana. Sooo interesting and it’s really refreshing to hear people give back I think. What I’d give to participate in one of her projects over there…

We also got to meet some well known mosaic artists, so the whole week was very inspired: Lillian Sizemore, Karen Thompson and Sherri Warner Hunter was there teaching her concrete form class. I almost did that class instead of this one. Looked veeery fun but I have to say I’m really glad that I did this one. Certainly where I’m going to venture into, and am able to as far as my current studio space. Watching the snowy mess coming out of Sherri’s class made me realise that there was no way I could do this just yet given the available space I own… 😉

*sigh*… wouldn’t it be lovely to travel the world doing workshop after workshop?! I was thoroughly exhausted by the end of the week. I’m not a day napper, but when we finished on the Sunday I went home and promptly fell asleep. Overall just a great experience. The opportunity to participate in a large scale, group project and mosaic all day, everyday for an entire week is a memory I’ll hold close to my heart!

My Section Day 3
My section…

Pam's gorgeous work
Pam’s section: I just LOVE that hibiscus! Pam’s technique is just amazing. She puts such thought into everything involved (cutting, placement etc…). She’s truly amazing!

Day 4
The other section I made with Laurel. I cut out most of the circles… ouch! I loved watching Laurel work. She’s fast and her cutting and placement is just so perfect… gotta do the precision tile setting class!!!

Me and Pam
Me and Pam on the install day

Kefa - Coffee from Ethiopia to Jingletown 2008
Kefa – Coffee from Ethiopia to Jingletown 2008

Mural detail
Mural detail

Mural detail
Mural detail

Mural detail
Mural detail

All done!!! It’s amazing. We’re all so proud and I think we all kicked butt!
From left, Renata, Pam, Carol, Laurel, Karla, Jill, Suzanne and me.

To view more photos of the project, check out my Flickr album.

Here is the actual lowdown on the mural:

Kefa- Coffee from Ethiopia to Jingletown 2008
Ceramic tile, glass and mirror
Kefa Coffeehouse, Oakland, CA
4’ x 10’

Mosaic mural by True Mosaics Studio and students of Mosaic Mural Making Intensive at Institute of Mosaic Art. Design and facilitation by Laurel True. Production and installation by Kim Grant, Pam Goode, Jill Montgomery , Renata Kolarova, Karla Silva-Ruiz, Susannne Takehara, Laurel True and Carol Waldren

Additional production assistance by Deborah Block, Debbie Callen, Kara Graves, Delaine Hackney, Celeste Howell, Rachel Rodi and Lillian Sizemore. Handmade ceramic tile accents by Saundra Warren.


Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Artists, Building, Cafe, Events, Female, Flickr, Inspiration, Institute of Mosaic Art, Kim Grant, Laurel True, Mosaic, Murals, Oakland, Public Art, Round the World, Schools, Travel, Uncategorized, USA, Workshops

Cafe Hoz

Over at the Canberra Hospital is Cafe Hoz, with these 2 mosaic wall hangings sitting out front. They’re beautiful, atleast I really like them specifically the blue flower.

These ones were made around 10 – 11 years ago, I’m told. Not sure of the artist, though I know she is female. It seems to me these are the works of Suzie Bleach. It certainly has her “look”. All ceramic, I’d say they are probably around 80 or so centimetres in diameter. Hopefully someone will get back to me with the artist and I will update the post.

I still struggle with doing words. Probably because I generally don’t do them, but I love how this has been executed. Very clean and presice I suppose and definitely stands out. I think the cup looks pretty awkward – the perspective is all off – but it doesn’t seem to take anything away from the pieces as a whole.

Cafe Hoz - Panel 1

Cafe Hoz - Panel 2

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Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Australia, Business, Cafe, Canberra, Flickr, Flowers, Hospital, Mosaic, Murals, Nature, Public Art, Signage, Uncategorized, Wall Hanging