In this super creative online course, follow award winning mosaic artist, Donna Van Hooser, as she takes you step by step through 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 demonstrates how to cut the 1/4" MDF (medium density fiber) board with a hand jigsaw. If that seems a little intimidating you can use the full size board and include a contrasting color on the background to allow the Milagro mosaic to stand out. Once your substrate is prepped, Donna will walk you through the steps of tracing the design on the board, deciding which colors work best and how to cut the tesserae to fit them cohesively together. Next she will go over the best adhesive choice for this project, followed by instruction on which grout color to choose and how to apply the grout to this project. She even adds a wonderful and inventive way to finish the edge of the piece so that you can display your work almost immediately. Once you have finished all these steps you will have the confidence to work with Mexican Smalti 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.
"Donna does a great job teaching and demonstrating in detail how to work with Mexican Smalti. After watching this course and getting the materials, I am thrilled to say I successfully created my first Mexican Smalti mosaic. Thank you, Donna." Linda Z.