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Modern Mosaics, Ancient Motifs


About Instructor

Workshop Overview

This is the Smithsonian 2020 Autumn offering, VIA ZOOM, Tuesdays, October 13 – December 8. No class Thanksgiving week.   

You register for this workshop through the Smithsonian Institution.

In this course students create a modern interpretation of a classical mosaic design using unglazed ceramic porcelain. Inspired by designs from Roman and Byzantine periods our modern interpretations will be of ancient motifs and subjects.

Weekly lecture will cover various aspects of mosaic history and “how to information”. In addition to lecture students will interact with instructor and other students during class time via Zoom platform.

Unglazed Porcelains are the perfect choice to mimic the look of traditional mosaics. They have a natural look and earthy feel that is second to none. Its high-density clay body is easy to cut with inexpensive tile nippers. The material is very versatile, each tile is the same color inside and out (a full body clay) and the palette is rich, earthy tones.

The course begins with a review of the history of mosaics as students gain an understanding of classical mosaic design and fabrication. Lectures will cover specific technical considerations, materials management and students will share work in progress images. There will also be in class, live demonstrations.


Students NEW to Bonnie and/or new to mosaics must purchase kit to participate in class.

For returning students, you are welcome to provide your own design and all materials. Please understand you will be responsible for providing ​everything you need, ​including your substrate.

Kit design options are above and photos are of completed examples. Each kit is $95, plus applicable sales tax and domestic USA, “if it fits it ships” medium flat rate box shipping. International and rush shipping costs will be additional. Kit will be shipped one week prior to class and only after payment in full has been received, however we ask all students to make kit selection as soon as possible and no later than October 1. Your kit includes substrate, pattern, tiles, adhesive, grout, everything you need to complete the project as pictured.

Additionally a tile nipper or mosaic wheel nipper will be needed and can be purchased from instructor for an additional $35, or on own. A detailed supply list is downloadable from the workshop description page on the Smithsonian website (click purchase to your right). This document includes exactly how you order your kit. Kits are non-returnable and non-refundable.

All skill levels welcome. We will only be working with unglazed porcelain in this course. If student completes project in less that allotted 8 week course additional kits are available for purchase or design another on your own, everyone is welcome to attend all 8 classes regardless of how far along you are on your project.

We encourage you to become a member of the Smithsonian Institution’s Associated Program, benefits include:

  • Members-Only Ticket Priority before programs go on sale to the public
  • Eligibility to purchase one ticket per program at the discounted member price (savings up to 35%)

Membership pays for itself with the 35% discount!!

Images here are the four kit images available. By Bonnie Fitzgerald

Start On October 13, 2020
Duration 8 weeks via ZOOM
Level Any
Supply Fee $95 plus applicable sales tax and USPS shipping
Dates Tuesdays, October 13 - December 8, 2020
Hours 1:30pm-3pm OR 6:30-8:30pm
Tuition Members $235, Non-Members $265
Price $235.00

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