Karen Sasine working on In His Hands
After speaking with Karen on the phone, I realized there was a great deal more that needed to go into this interview than just the answers to the initial questions below. As with many of the mosaic people I know, I had the pleasure of meeting Karen for the first time in person at the SAMA convention in Chicago. It was my first SAMA event, and I had just started Tiny Tile Mosaics. Karen visited me in the Vendor Marketplace and it was the highlight of my trip. Her energy and enthusiasm were uncontainable and contagious!
The tagline “For the Love of Mosaics”, speaks volumes. It is more of a mantra than a tagline. Many of you are most familiar with Karen Sasine through Mosaic Mentoring on Facebook, and know how true her commitment to growing the knowledge of ever aspect of the art of mosaics is… 110%!!
Just recently, Karen has opened her mosaic supply store on Etsy, has started offering online classes, will “officially” be teaching in person for the first time at Luna Mosaic Arts, and has made the leap to being immersed into her passion for mosaics full time.
I hope you all enjoy getting to know a little more about the creative force behind Mosaic Mentoring, Karen Sasine. If you happen to catch her mosaic “bug”, don’t blame me! :o)
Baby by Karen Sasine
LMA: How did you get started in mosaics?
Karen: I was recently divorced, needed a career had 4 small kids at home and a friend of mine gave me a bag of tiles. I made a mosaic and was hooked! I realized that I could stay at home and create art while raising my kids. I loved the variety that mosaics offered since I like to try new things.
LMA: Do you have any professional art training?
Karen: Yes. I went to SCAD, (The Savannah College of Art & Design)
LMA: What would you say delineates your work from others?
Karen: I have a varied style and have tried so many different kinds of mosaics. My smalti style seems to have a characteristic to it and my recent work seems to be changing. I look forward to seeing what comes from my new work.
(Here I would like to add that during our discussion, Karen expressed that she felt the use of Denwar was also a delineating facet to her work. You can see this in the following images.)
click here to learn more about Denwar Tile!
Denwar pendant by Karen Sasine
Mirror with Denwar by Karen Sasine
LMA: Do you support any charitable causes? Which ones and why?
Karen: I support SAMA. The Society of American Mosaic Artists.
I believe having an organization where mosaic artists can learn and expand their creativity by being around other artists is so helpful. I have been a member of SAMA since I started mosaics and I am glad I have because I have learned all of my skills through SAMA members.
LMA: What would you say defines a great mosaic?
Karen: I think a great mosaic comes from both great technique and deep meaning. Solid technique is definitely a foundation to a great mosaic.
LMA: What is one of your favorite quotes or sayings?
Karen: So many to choose from, but my Papa always had this quote in his wallet. Words to live by.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.”
LMA: If you could give readers one single piece of advice, what would it be?
Karen: Learn from good mentors. There is a lot to learn to ensure quality, lasting mosaics. Take the time to learn.
LMA: Tell us about your single greatest mosaic moment:
Karen: Winning a trip to study at Orsoni from the SAMA raffle. I only bought 1 ticket and won! I added 2 additional weeks onto the trip and immersed myself in mosaics for 3 weeks. It was amazing! A life changing experience that I will never forget.
In His Hands by Karen Sasine