All posts filed under: Featured Article

At the Muzzio

The Muzzio is the city of  Watsonville’s community mosaic workshop. Here every afternoon members of the community drop in and help beautifying their city with mosaic works. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays Highschool Students are coming after school to spend a few hours winding down from busy school day breaking and setting mosaic pieces with their AirPods in their ears. When I arrived on September 6 a Croatian board was being started using very small tiles to depict the stitches of a needle work with the typical pattern from Croatia. On Wednesdays is women’s day at the Muzzio. The atmosphere is more chatty! Together with Helga and Suzanne, two Germans I am working on the design featuring a Chinese dragon and a Jewish Star symbols for the family of the main private sponsor of the project. How long will it take? On Sunday I met the Mekiz family of Croatian heritage working on their panel. They submitted the design, sponsored the material and installation costs and now came to spend a creative family afternoon together. …

This little town of mine let it shine

…. this verse slightly altered from a song I once sang with my choir comes to my mind being around Kathleen Crocetti and her mosaic projects in Watsonville. Her dream is to make Watsonville the Barcelona of California together with the young community of the 50.000 inhabitants of a small agriculture town situated in the fertile back garden of Monterey Bay/California. A lot of nutrition is produced and exported here on large farms with immigrants hands. Strawberries, lettuce, artichokes, apples you name it have been tended to since over 100 years by many groups of immigrant workers. Some stayed. At the moment 85% of Watsonville’s population is of Mexican heritage. Still the average income here is a quarter less than that of near by Santa Cruz/CA. The difference in between pitoresque coast dwellings like Monterey or Carmel and Watsonville is striking on first sight. In the coast cities individual wealth designs beautiful cost homes and inviting shop fronts and brings in enough tax money to make sturdy wooden public walkways with views of the beautiful …

Where Porcelain comes from

As part of my residency to explore the interfaces between mosaic and porcelain craft I went on an excursion to Jingdezhen, the birthplace of porcelain. We took the train to ride slow into history. Porcelain production started first time in the world in the area around Jingdezhen in the 11 century. Here the craftsmen first experimented with the special earths found in the area that are needed to fire pure white and often delicately thin vessels. It soon became the highly sought and expensively traded “white gold”. Jingdezhen is a small city in the middle of China. Everyone who has a window to the street sells porcelain or pottery. Even the street lamps are exhibiting porcelain. Unfortunately the historic area with the ancient kilns dating back to the 11 century was under reconstruction. See below. But the large porcelain museum at the city fringe shows a detailed history of porcelain craft on 4 floors.  It was nice to see the craft very much alive and we could lay hands on the pottery wheel feeling the …