Growing up in Maine, with its abundant natural resources and beauty, has had a significant influence on my creativity. By making my own papers, I can convey a sensitivity and detail of nature that cannot be obtained by other methods. I hand harvest natural elements such as flowers and seeds to add texture, color, and design to my papers. I observe the aspects of the natural line formation in Maine’s coastline and plant life and bring my studies to the studio, where I create my voice of nature. Translating my inspirations into botanically inspired copper wire forms, I solder these structures together to use with my own handmade papers and often include wood as an accent. I then apply my handmade papers to each sculpture and then electrify it to create a cocoon of light, an ember glow. My creations take the outdoors in, enabling the enjoyment and interaction with nature on a daily basis. Every piece is one-of-a-kind; no batch of paper is ever alike, just as no form is ever the same. Custom work is always welcome.
I have been weaving all my adult life. I have come to believe that being a weaving is why I am here. I have always seen myself as a designer of functional textiles. I want to make products that people use in their daily lives as body adornment or other functional uses. I have always been interested in the complexities of woven textiles, the interplay of fibers and threads to create patterns, textures, and movement.
Paul Monfredo began learning the technique of water gilding more than twenty-five years ago. It is an ancient technique using the same materials and methods today as hundreds of years ago. First the wooden structure of the frame is built and carved, if required. Then gesso, which is made from animal skin glue and whiting (ground chalk), is gradually applied, producing a hard, evenly smooth layer. Red, black, blue, or yellow clay or bole is painted on the smoothed gesso surface. 23kt gold leaf is then applied with a gilder’s tip, a thin, flat brush. The gold may then be burnished with an agate stone, or rubbed and antiqued, depending on the desired finish. If the frame is to be painted, Nancy will have incised the design into the gesso surface before it is gilded. After the gilding process is complete, the egg tempera is painted on in many layers, one color over another, each layer adding to the next.
An artist since childhood, exploring all manner of media from fiber to metalwork to painting, I turned to mosaic in 2000. Mosaic allows me to combine my love of texture, color and fine craftsmanship to create images inspired by the natural world.
My influences are diverse, from the patterns and stylized forms of Roman and Byzantine mosaic to the paintings of Gustav Klimt, with their juxtaposition of naturalistic portraiture against atomized, abstract fields.
I concentrate on natural images, notably wildlife found where land and water meet – fish, dragonflies and, in particular, herons, to which I have dedicated a series of mosaics.
The use of natural stone in combination with classic mosaic materials such as smalti, porcelain, marble and glass allows me to contrast color, texture and reflectivity in my work.
I do business as Great Blue Mosaic, and produce fine art wall pieces, a line of decorative vessels and a line of mosaic jewelry. I work with contractors and individuals on custom commissions.