Great learning experience with Michael in 5 day Ravenna class at his new studio in Hunters Point Shipyard. We covered so much more than just the Ravenna method, which is quite elaborate in itself. We also covered substrates, multiple direct and indirect methods, the history of mosaics, color valuation, andamento, best products to use, etc. I would highly recommend this class.
"Through a fun and well-organized combination of lecture, demo, and hands-on exercises, MK demystifies classical mosaic technique, illuminating its practical relevance, advantages and accessibility. I had a blast in his course, learned so much, and with his patient attention overcame my hesitancy with the hammer and hardie."
I took the five-day mosaic workshop with Michael in Tucson last month and was treated to a fantastic experience. I knew nothing about mosaics when I entered the class, but came away with enough knowledge and skill to begin doing mosaics on my own. The atmosphere of the class was very friendly and enjoyable, however, serious as well. Michael is an excellent teacher. I had been thinking of going to Ravenna for the five-day workshop, but I'm glad I went to Tucson. Michael studied in Ravenna and I believe I gained from him everything I could have gained in Ravenna, except perhaps the great Italian food. Tucson and San Francisco have some good Italian restaurants, though, so save a couple thousand bucks and attend one of Michael's workshops here in the states!
"Michael Kruzich offers North American artists a rare and adeptly-presented opportunity to learn the Ravenna method without having to go to Italy."
"I wish I had taken a hammer and hardie course with Michael Kruzich years ago."
"I've taken two classes from Michael and in each he has demonstrated an intensity and thoroughness that I greatly appreciate and respect. His preparation of materials for the class is phenomenal. In each class he provided a syllabus that is extremely specific and backs up all of his demonstrations. His teaching manner is very respectful of each student's skill level. He offers help where needed but does not insert himself into the student's piece. I was a teacher for thirty-five years and know what it means to prepare lessons for art projects. Michael surpasses anyone I know with this skill."
"Studying the Ravenna Method was incredibly important to my artistic skill-set. As a mostly-self-taught (mosaic) artist, I've generally preferred non-traditional materials and methods. Though I've always enjoying experiencing and studying classical mosaics, I've never been particularly interested in producing one in an ancient style. However, we don't need to make work that literally mimics classical pieces to have the underlying principals, priorities and disciplines influence our own style. Learning this method made me feel even more connected to the traditions of the mosaic craft, as well as increasing my technical proficiency. Studying abroad isn't always feasible and Michael makes the fundamentals very accessible and relevant to a contemporary practice. I would consider a class like this required for anyone committed to a serious mosaic practice."
"Although a mostly self taught mosaic artist, I have taken short one day classes at SAMA conferences for the past 9 years. I felt that I learned a lot during Michael's class about the various ways to make a smalti or stone mosaic and transfer it to a substrate. In addition, Michael's powerpoint lectures did an excellent job of pointing out methods of laying down smalti, the history of mosaics, etc. Finally, I found Michael to be an articulate, caring, and charming instructor who was able to get his points across with ease. He allotted his time very well amongst students of greatly varying skill levels, and I am very happy to recommend him."
--Richard Davis; co-chair SAMA 2013 conference
"I’ve taken three of Michael’s classes and each has been a great learning experience. Michael skillfully uses his extensive knowledge and technique to give students a solid foundation for growing their own skill sets. Classes are a great blend of lectures, slides, drawing, and demonstrations. Michael’s organization and teaching skills keep the group organized and moving forward, but he also makes ample time for one-on-one coaching and is comfortable with each student heading off in their own creative direction. Michael’s enthusiastic support makes his classes a great way to learn, but also a lot of fun."
-James V. Henry
" I have taken quite a few classes in many subject areas over my life, and your class was one of the best I’ve ever taken in anything. The class was extremely well-organized and I enjoyed the incredible amount of subject matter packed into five days. You kept the class moving quickly and provided many different activities (i.e. lecture, demonstrations, hands-on work) so that the class was not ever dull. You were able to balance the needs of class members with no prior knowledge of mosaic with those who were much more advanced (a real feat for a teacher…). You have a wickedly funny sense of humor and I much enjoyed your wit during the lectures and comments during class. I mean it – there was not one dull moment in the entire class. Not one moment that I wished I was doing something else, or was thinking of something else. Not one moment that I wanted to pull out my phone and check my email or search the web. Not one moment that I wasn’t anything except one hundred percent engaged in the class. I have also used your advice and instruction in my work after the class – I wish I had more time to practice because your class really inspired me to try new techniques and create new art. Your class was truly extraordinary, and I thank you very much for the experience."
-Dana Edberg, PhD
Associate Professor, Information Systems
University of Nevada, Reno
“I loved class, Michael, and enjoyed you so much. My brain is on fire with ideas. Yours is the best class I've taken and I've taken quite a few. I love all I learned and can hardly wait to dive in.”
“I thought the class was excellent, very clear and well presented. Your understanding and respect for this tradition is inspiring and your talent for this technique is really quite extraordinary. Your feedback on each step of the project was invaluable! And then, of course, you are a delight to be with!”
"If you are interesting in learning classical mosaic making techniques, then I highly recommend studying with Michael Kruzich. I have taken both the 3-day Smalti Intensive using the direct method and the Ravenna Method 5-day intensive workshops. Previously I had taken an introduction to smalti course and I wanted to go deeper. So I was happy to find such a talented mosaicist and instructor to guide me down that path. Michael has developed well-structured courses that accommodate all skill levels. As an instructor Michael generously imparts his knowledge of classical techniques; he is very patient and provides individualized attention. A bonus to studying with Michael in his workshop is the ability to view and learn from many of his own completed classical and modern mosaic works of art. Michael encourages his students to “be curious, committed and courageous,” an approach that will motivate anyone to do their best work! I’ve learned heaps from Michael and look forward to studying with him again."
“I took Michael's 3-day class first, and learned so much that I thought there couldn't possibly be more. But I enjoyed the experience so much, I signed up for class on backgrounds, and my skills took another leap forward. The 5-day Ravenna technique was the logical next step and I finished that class with two pieces I loved and a solid knowledge of how to proceed. There is nothing like studying with a working artist in their studio. I want to do it again.”
"Michael is extremely knowledgable and skilled with a warm and welcoming personality. He is organized, provides good handouts, and plenty of hands-on. He is patient but quick to point out improvements or mistakes in the class projects. If you can't make it to Ravenna, Michael's studio in Hunter's Point is a great alternative."
I have just returned from Michael's three day class "Drawing Andamenti and Tessellation for Mosaics" & one day class "Value/Gradient/Color Mixing", both held at diMosaico in Tucson, AZ. Both classes were invaluable and inspirational, and are highly recommended for those looking to take their mosaic prowess to the next level.
Michael’s techniques from his years of experience with the Ravenna Method, as well as from his own experimentation, are conveyed in detail during the first class. It becomes apparent very quickly how valuable thinking through and embracing all the important design elements of a mosaic (before even one piece of tesserae is cut…..) can lift the quality of an artist’s work.
There’s plenty of exercises to begin students down the path of honing their mosaic design skills, and plenty of handouts so that students do not have the burden of note taking. I personally enjoyed not having the “distraction” of actually producing a mosaic piece in class- so I could focus on individual design skill attainment.
I would also point out to future students that these skills are relevant and valuable, regardless of both the level of the student and the student’s favored tessera material type to work in. I consider myself more novice than “intermediate”, but want to get serious about improving my design abilities; these classes fit the bill. Italian Smalti and Stone are emphasized, because the ancient Ravenna method favors those materials …. but the skills acquired can be applied with glossy or matte glass tiles. vitreous glass tiles, broken china….. etc. Whatever mosaic medium you favor …. you’ll benefit from Michael’s teachings.
I am also inspired by Michael’s own personal discipline, diligence and passion to “all things mosaic”. His own dedication to both learning traditional mosaic practices and experimenting with new mosaic methods is quite impressive. At one point during the class, Michael turned to me and said “practice and repetition makes everything better”. It really is true …… so now, it’s time for me to get busy and apply these techniques to new mosaics – I can’t wait!