In this super creative online course, follow award winning mosaic artist, Donna Van Hooser, as she takes you step by step creating your own Mexican Smalti Milagro. Milagro means "miracle" in Spanish. This course is a great way to be introduced to the very vibrant and colorful tesserae, Mexican Smalti. Starting with a template of the milagro shape Donna does a great demonstration on how to cut the 1/4" MDF board with a hand jig saw. If that seems a little intimidating you can use the full size board while including a contrasting color background to allow the milagro mosaic to stand out. Once your substrate is prepped, Donna walks you through the steps of tracing the design on the board, deciding what colors work best where and how to cut the tesserae and fit them cohesively together. Next she will go over the best adhesive choice for this project, what color grout to choose and how to grout this project. She even adds a wonderful and inventive way to finish the edge of the piece so that you can display your piece almost immediately. Once you have finished all these steps you will have the confidence to work with Mexican Smati and be able to create different mosaics using this wonderful tesserae.
I began making mosaics while working as an artist for Hallmark Cards. With my background in illustration, I try to incorporate storytelling in my work using classical and whimsical elements. I learn and grow through experimentation and often find inspiration from the materials themselves.
While I have been making mosaics since about 1991, it wasn’t until I retired from Hallmark in 2015 that I have been able to work as a full time mosaic artist and instructor.
I love working in mosaic, especially dealing with the challenges and limitations of the materials. The glass must be carefully chosen from a limited palette, since colors cannot be mixed, and each piece must serve as an individual brush stroke working in harmony with the surrounding pieces.