FEATURED ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Toy Piano by Cherie Bosela
This month’s Featured Artist is a few days late… my apologies for the delay! As for many artists, the busy time of year has come for both Chris and me! Creating art to fill art show booths, making sure we have created special gifts for friends and family, and still tending to all our “other” responsibilities outside of our own creative worlds… I am sure NONE of you can relate! Ha!
This month’s Featured Artist is Chris Emmert. I couldn’t be more happy to be featuring Chris and her work, unless I actually got to spend time with her in person. Many of you are familiar with Chris’ work from the internet, wether it be Facebook, Flickr, or other electronic outlets. I have the privilege of owning a couple go Chris’s pieces, and I will say that pictures do not quite do them justice!
One of the best places to see Chris’ work would be her Flickr photo stream. Here you can see her progression in mosaic art, and varied styles and substrates. I specifically gave Chris the question of naming some of her favorite substrates, and was surprised by the two she mentions below. Maybe because I expected her to say, “everything!” In my eyes, Chris is fearless when it comes to substrates as well as the varied materials she chooses to work with.
Building a full time business is never an easy task, and even more difficult, as many will share, when it comes to doing so with original art. Chris has managed to do so with wonderful presence on the internet, while offering specialized items that she enjoys creating and her clients more than enjoy receiving. She has created her own niche in the art world, with a distinct style all her own, which continues to expand and grow. Chris is one whom has had the fortitude and perseverance to make her dream a reality, and the wonderful thing is that she shares this by offering classes and workshops!
I hope you take time not only to ready Chris’ interview below, but to check out all the beautiful creations she has made over time, by visiting the links below.
Silver Platter by Chris Emmert
Teapot by Chris Emmert
LMA: How did you get started creating mosaics?
Chris: I had a coffee shop that I started in 1994 and when I was going to move to a retail location in ‘96 I made all of the tables and interior design. One of the tables was a Mosaic made up of broken coffee cups. I did not know there were tools for doing this work, so I just used a hammer to break my coffee cups. It was then put into a shadowbox type of frame that my husband made and mounted on a treadle sewing machine base. (None of the photos I have from this time are digital, so I don’t have anything to show you.)
I really enjoyed the process and in the back of my mind I wanted to pursue it, but because I was running a business, I did not have the time. The main reason I sold the shop in 2007 was to pursue my art. I started by teaching myself everything I could using different materials, adhesives and substrates. My Flickr is a photo diary of my progress.
LMA: I know you mosaic more than rocks, but could you tell readers how you got started using them and a little about your journey in that direction?
Chris: When I learned about the results you can get and use with epoxy grout, I started doing the rocks that would’ve been around 2010. It grew from there. My daughter is the one who suggested doing pet memorial stones and they are the bulk of my custom orders.
Having an online business like mine does keep me from doing more art pieces. I do sneak in a few from time to time.
LMA: What other substrates are your favorites? What do you like about them?
Chris: I also design new types of art to add to my online business. I recently started doing the garden spinners. These are on a lightweight substrate but take quite a bit of time because they are done on both sides. But I enjoy doing something different along with the rocks. It also helps round out the look of my shop.
I love Hydroban (foam core from Laticrete) so light weight. I use it for my mirrors and right now I’m using it for a sign I’m doing.
Shapecrete is another product I love using.
LMA: I noticed that you like to use mirror and glass as well as ball chain in your mosaics…
Chris: all good for the rocks and outdoor work…
Rocks by Chris Emmert
LMA: What other materials do you like to work with?
Chris: For things indoor...I’ll use anything that achieves the look I want. The treehouse has wood, sharks teeth, mother of pearl, burlap curtains, jute rope, glass and stone. Electronic gizmos are fun too.
Treehouse by Chris Emmert
LMA: Do you support any charitable causes?
Chris: Not at this time. but have done mosaics for Doctors without Borders auctions every year that they were held.
LMA: What is one of your favorite quotes or sayings?
Chris: “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” ~Marilyn Monroe
by Chris Emmert
LMA: If you could give readers one single piece of advice, what would it be?
Chris: Just to it and not be afraid to fail and move on.
LMA: Tell us about your single greatest mosaic moment.
Chris: Winning $1000 in the “Art of Patron” contest. (Cherie helped me with this.) (Cherie: Hhaha…Well I only helped with her photograph.)
Patron Bottle by Chris Emmert
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