Workshop Guidelines and Introduction:
"Is this the right kind of class for me?
My background is in the classical and traditional Italian principles and methods of making mosaics. These are methods handed down through ancient Roman and Byzantine times.
These are the principles and methods I teach. However, the world of Mosaic is vast and there are MANY methods.
What you can learn from me is just the tip-of-the-iceberg of the many things you can learn in this versatile medium. And there is always more being added as the art form evolves. BUT what you can learn from me is a great and stable foundation and understanding from which to launch into your own journeys.
I don’t believe in the thought that there is only one right way to do things. We study and reproduce ancient mosaics, not because I believe we are dwelling in the past, but because these fundamental principles are illustrated and already there. I teach the traditional methods not to restrict you but to free you. As a strong foundation these principles can be very useful in finding expression for your own explorations and visions .
There are very few “absolutes” in Life, and it is also true in Art and Mosaic. Never, Always, Right, Wrong, have little relevance in these areas in my opinion.
I try to teach knowledge so that you can make informed decisions that help you express yourself/ your idea/ your image more clearly.
My teaching style is somewhat “no-frills”, “no-nonsense” and “learn-by-doing”.
My classes are for the more serious minded student, and those looking for a more socially interactive experience may be frustrated by the focused and structured style of my classes. Not that you won't have fun, but you will be very busy.
I am not a big lecturer; I present information and then we work a lot. Then I present some more information and again we work a lot. I teach progressively as the class moves forward in a systematic way. I do not flood you with all the information in the beginning and then expect you to remember it. I give you a little at a time as you need it, we apply it hands-on, and then I give you some more and so on.
I am not an historian; I do not know, nor do I pretend to know everything there is to know about ancient mosaics, however, I do know plenty and will strive to answer any on-topic questions I have the answers to. If I say I don’t know, it simply means I don’t know or I haven’t been trained in that information and can’t speak to something I don’t know about.
This may be a radically different kind of class than you are used to. I take my job as a teacher very seriously and my goal is to pass along knowledge and help you. To help me do this please observe the points below:
I am big into classroom etiquette and basic manners. I am not trying to be rigid, however from experience, these are the Ground Rules and expectations I have that make classes run smoothly and efficiently. I consider what I ask for to be based on normal common manners however I prefer to state it from the start so it is clear.
- Please try to be on time both in the morning and after lunch; this is often when new information is being given and I don’t want you to miss out.
- Please turn cellular devices to vibrate and if you take a call I expect you to take it outside.
- Be Courteous to each other: sometimes classes can get a bit crowded; be respectful and kind.
- Though I definitely want you to have fun, I insist that you are aware that you are one student among a group of students who all have paid to be here, concentrate and work on learning. I encourage exchange of ideas and “cross-pollination” but during class-time, dialogue and conversations are to be kept to a respectful level and length.
If you are a person who needs a lot of social conversation while you work, this is NOT the class for you.
Many are here to focus and constant chatter is not conducive to the work you will be doing or respectful of the work others are trying to do.
Before and after class and at lunch time feel free to let your hair down and talk all you want.
- If things get out of hand I WILL say something. I have, unfortunately had instances where I had to remove a student from class who could not take responsibility for their own behavior or who could not conduct themselves in an appropriate manner for a group class.
- I also have a “thing” about being interrupted while I am speaking and presenting.
I understand it is normal for you to be excited about the new things you are learning and I am very happy about that. But please control yourself and do not interrupt.
I encourage questions; it means you care about learning HOWEVER, I am VERY thorough and very good about checking in as I am presenting; “does that make sense? Are there any questions about that?” THIS is the time to ask. If I say “later please” it means I am coming to that and will answer at some point in the future of the class and you don’t need to be concerned about that at this point. There will be plenty of time to answer as many questions as I have the answers to.