Damaged glass in the alley isn’t commonly found as artwork, but local mosaic artist Debra DSouza has used damaged glass to make wonderful mandalas gracing a person of Rochester’s downtown alleys. If an individual glanced up at the next tale in the alley guiding The Castle, 121 N. Broadway, they may possibly discover a selection of shining and boldly coloured circular mosaics lined in intricate repeating styles.
Functioning with Threshold Arts and numerous previous college students, DSouza finished 12 glass mandalas that have been put in as portion of the Alley Activation Task in 2020. Some of the mandalas are as massive as 3 ft in diameter, and they are scattered all through the alley corridor at places like the Bleu Duck Kitchen area.
DSouza’s love of glass artwork stretches back again to the 1970s when she took conventional stained glass-generating classes from Mike and Stephanie Podulke and even began to make some commissioned windows and teach her own lessons.
“Once my sons bought a bit older, I went off on a various route, but saved my glass with the intentions of returning to it one particular working day,” she suggests.
1/4: Debra DSouza functions on a mosaic task Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at her residence in Austin. Traci Westcott / Put up Bulletin
3/4: “Transitions” by Debra D’Souza
In 2012, DSouza returned to her love of glass in a a little distinctive type when she built her 1st mosaic.
“Once I designed my 1st few jobs on my very own,” she clarifies, “I was hooked and started off taking courses and workshops with mosaic folks any where I could go.”
DSouza sometimes employs the classic Italian smalti method of producing mosaics. This approach requires cutting irregular glass with a hammer and a unique chisel referred to as a hardi. She also makes use of hand tools like a glass cutter, a wheeled nipper, glass pliers and tweezers.
“I really like the full method of doing work with the glass and the resources that assist make the visuals,” she suggests.
With a Bachelor of High-quality Arts diploma in Studio Art concentrating on portray, DSouza usually thinks of her mosaic work as portray with glass.
“Painting with glass is no different than mixing the paint and laying it on to the surface,” she claims. “I have just changed paint with glass.”
From planets to pears, DSouza’s mosaics depict a selection of topics, but they all have to have her consideration to depth and focus. They can variety in dimension from very small micro mosaics that could be worn as jewellery to functions that are several toes extensive.
DSouza states she needs to keep a huge supply of glass on hand to nourish her creativeness. Some of her glass arrives all the way from Venice. Right after she attended a workshop there, she delivered property 300 lbs . of Italian smalti glass which is frequently characterised by gorgeous irregularities like bubbles, colour variants and shifting textures.
Neighborhood jobs have been a central element of DSouza’s mosaic creations. For illustration, this yr she has been doing work on a “50 by 50+” task that is at the moment getting exhibited at the Rochester Art Centre. It will be on screen right until Jan. 30. The venture resulted from a grant and associated DSouza training 50 grown ups who ended up 50 yrs outdated or older in 7 mosaic workshops. Every single of DSouza’s 50 pupils developed and created their personal glass mosaic mandala.
DSouza has her will work for sale at Threshold Arts and other regional art galleries.
In addition, her mosaic function “Transitions” is at this time on display at the Rochester Airport as component of the Arts Elevated Plan. “Transitions” is a round do the job 4 feet in diameter that features both of those stained glass and fused glass, glass that has been melted in a kiln.
Several hospitals have commissioned DSouza’s functions.
She lately done 9 personal mosaics, some that includes landscapes and some that includes mandala designs for the Penn State Hospital’s ALS clinic.
“This project has specific indicating for me as 1 of my shut buddies is at this time living with this disease,” she suggests.
A massive “Solar System” mosaic is a undertaking she done for the Stanford College Children’s Medical center. DSouza offers her commissions as a result of her web page
Portion of the purpose DSouza is drawn to making mosaic artwork is that the medium retains the natural beauty of glass while keeping away from its fragility. She notes that there has been a renaissance of mosaic works in airports and subways.
DSouza says she will never tire of the mosaic medium simply because there are so several elements and examples of the art form. While she’s discovered her fantastic medium, she needs the exact joy for some others.
“Everyone is an artist,” she suggests, “it just requires the right spark to gentle that hearth and curiosity to generate.”
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