Monday, August 10, 2009

Help Fund a Community Mosaic Mural Project in Nairobi, Kenya this Fall!

Hello All!

I will be doing an artist's residency this fall at a glass workshop in Nairobi, Kenya during which I will be facilitating a community mosaic mural project with school children. I am very excited about this project!

I am funding this project in part through a really cool website called Kickstarter, which helps to facilitate funding for creative/ alternative projects.

Please consider supporting my project by following this link for more info:

If you know anyone who might be interested in making a micro-investment and supporting this project, please forward this e-mail to them!
My goal is to raise $3200 by September.

There are kickbacks for funders ;)

Thanks so much!


More complete info:

Facilitation and creation of a community mosaic mural with Kenyan youth at a Rudolph Steiner school outside of Nairobi as part of an artist residency.

My name is Laurel True. I am a mosaic artist and educator seeking funding to support a community mosaic mural project in Nairobi, Kenya as part of a youth project series called "Woven Stories".

I have been creating site-specific public and community based artworks for almost 20 years. Since 2006, I have been creating mosaic projects that highlight collaboration between youth in Africa and the US. I focus specifically in under-served areas of Oakland, CA and New Orleans, where I divide my residency. I have been facilitating community mosaic mural projects in Ghana, West Africa for the past 8 years.

This September, I have been invited to Nairobi, Kenya to do an artist's residency at a renowned glass studio called Kitengela Glass that also operates an alternative school primarily for Masai children. I will be working with the school children to design and create a large glass mosaic mural for the facade of the school.

The school where the mural with be sited serves as a model for similar schools across East Africa.
The philosophy at Kitengela is "recycling everything, paying fair wages, protecting our environment." In this vein, we will be using all recycled glass materials from the studio for the mosaic mural project.

In the community projects I facilitate, I value fostering creative expression while including viable job training. I believe everyone has endless resources of "creative capital" — an enthusiasm to learn coupled with new skills can often transfer into economic opportunity. One example is a pair of my young students in Ghana, who have gone on to start their own small business as mosaic artists to help contribute to their own school fees and their families’ economies.

I will use your generous pledges towards this project for travel expenses, art materials and supplies for a mural both at the school in Nairobi and a partner project in the US. Your contributions will also assist with transportation, local support, a small stipend for myself and and local assistants, and project documentation.

As part of the Woven Stories Project, I will bring back design feedback from youth as well as glass elements from Kitengela Glass in Nairobi that will inspire and be used the creation of a future community mosaic mural with youth at a school in Oakland or New Orleans.

I am excited about this and other projects in Africa and in the US.
Thank you for your support!

For more information, please visit my website:

Kitengela Glass website:

For information on my next project in Ghana please visit:


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

True Mosaics On the Road!

Please check out the True Mosaics Studio Website for a list of upcoming mosaic classes in Oakland, CA, New Orleans, LA and in Austin, TX this summer!

New Orleans, LA:

July 18 - 19th
Mosaics for the Garden — Tile and Glass
August 1 - 2nd
Tools and Techniques for Mosaics

Austin, TX:

August 8 - 9th
The Business of Mosaics

Oakland, CA:
June 13 - 14
Introduction to Glass Mosaics
June 20 - 21
Architectural Applications for Mosaic
July 4 - 5
Intro to Smalti
July 6 - 10
Mosaic Summer Camp for Adults FULL! Wait list available
August 15 - 16
Glass Fusing Extravaganza
August 22 - 23
The Business of Mosaics

See you this summer!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mosaic Class in Austin, Texas

I will be teaching a one- day intensive Architectural Applications for Mosaics class in Austin, Texas on May 31st, 2009.
There are currently 3 spaces left.

Architectural Applications for Mosaics- Floors and Walls
Instructor: Laurel True

Please see class description on the IMA website:

Please note: This is a lecture and demonstration format class.
Bring a notebook to take notes please. Handouts provided.

Sunday, May 31st, 2009
One -day intensive format
9 am - 5 pm
Cost: $185
Limit 18 students

Bohemian Riot Mosaic Studio
(Tamara Kikel)
email for directions

There will be a 30 minute lunch break. Please bring a lunch with you.

You must pre- register for class by e-mailing me with your information:
Name, address, e-mail, phone #

LaurelTrue at gmail dot com

Please indicate how you will be paying, check, cash or cc.
Please note: there will be a $10 service charge for cc payments.

If paying by check please contact me and I will give you the correct address to send your check.
Pay by cc: Use pay pal (add on $10 to registration fee)

Cancellation Policy:
Sorry, due to the short turnaround time for this class, there will be no refunds for class cancellation given after May 20th.

Laurel True
True Mosaics Studio

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Work 2009

New Studio Work 2009- Laurel True

Current Exhibitions:

Visions/ Journeys, Solo Exhibition
Institute of Mosaic Art, Oakland

2009 Mosaic International, Group Exhibition
Museum of Man, San Diego

Please contact Laurel True for pricing information.

Emergence 2009
(After Klimt)
Copper and gold smalti, glass, handmade fused glass tesserae and tiles
Gold leaf frame
45" x 34"




Invisible 2009
Glass tile, smalti, mirror, dichroic glass, recycled glass from Ghana, stones
Silver frame
42" x 20"



Ten, Earth 2009
Mirror, stained glass, antique gold smalti, African clay, dichroic glass, cabochons
Bronze frame
24" x 16"


Two, Water 2009
Mirror, stained glass, glass tile, dichroic glass, antique glasscabochons
Pewter frame
24" x 16"


Rajasthan 2009
Copper and gold smalti, glass, mirror, antique cabochons
Copper frame

New Orleans Shotgun House 2008
Vitreous, dichroic and stained glass, mirror, antique cabochons
Pewter frame
9" x 9"


Magic Door 2008
Vitreous, dichroic and stained glass, beads from New Orleans, mirror, antique cabochons
Pewter frame
9" x 9"


Lancaster 400 2008
Asphalt, concrete, mirror, glass
24” x 18”
Charcoal metal frame


Crack/Peterson at Chapman 2008
Asphalt, concrete, gold smalti
Charcoal metal frame
24” x 18”

On display at Mosaic International Exhibit, Museum of Man

Skidmark/ E. 7th at Derby 2008
Asphalt, concrete, dichroic and antique glass
24” x 18”
Charcoal metal frame


Crack/ Lancaster 9846 2008
Asphalt, concrete, diamonds
Charcoal metal frame
24” x 18”

2009 Spring Classes In New Orleans

Time to get down to Beautiful New Orleans!
Spring is one of the best times to be there and there are lots of ways to combine business/ education with fun

Here's the info :


I will be returning to New Orleans for April and May and have a pretty extensive line- up of mosaic class offerings lined up, hosted by NOCG. Jump in, it's going to be a fun couple of months.

New Orleans is quickly becoming a very hot art destination with many up and coming galleries, public and renegade installations, art markets and of course music and food.

April and May are chocked full of festivals as well, including the (free) French Quarter Festival ( )
and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (

Classes I will be teaching by list.. see below for descriptions.

Mosaic For Three Dimensional Forms- Mosaic Sculpture
Architectural Applications for Mosaics- Floors, Walls and More
The Business of Mosaics - Doing What You Love and Making a Living at It
Beginning Glass Mosaics
Intro to Italian Smalti Mosaics- Contemporary Mosaics with Ancient Materials

All courses given at New Orleans Conservation Guild in the historic Bywater neighborhood.
For more information or to register please go to:
or call 504-944-7900

Info on True Mosaics Site:

Mosaic For Three Dimensional Forms- Mosaic Sculpture
6- week class
Thursday Evenings 6 - 8:30
April 9- May 21st
(Class skips April 30th)
$25 Materials fee (for piece the size of a 3 gallon bucket)
Students must bring own form to mosaic.

This exciting class focuses on issues related to covering three-dimensional, sculptural forms with mosaic. Class will cover appropriate substrates and adhesives, prepping three- dimensional forms to receive mosaic, types of materials appropriate for different surfaces, cutting, shaping and setting mosaic tesserae, correct spacing and laying of tesserae for a professional finish, safety considerations, grouting and finishing 3-D work.

Discussion will include important issues to consider when creating small and larger scale sculptural work as well as a discussion of various ways in which sculptural substrates can be created for both fine art and utilitarian work.

Students should bring in their own three-dimensional form to mosaic to the first day of class that is about the size of a 3-gallon bucket or smaller to complete in the 6-week course. Students may bring larger pieces and continue on their own at the end of the course with their own materials. Forms can be for interior or exterior use.

Some ideas for three-dimensional forms: Concrete birdbath or fountain (unsealed concrete only), large flowerpot or urn, sculptural piece or concrete form.

Students will have access to ceramic tile, glass, mirror and mixed media to use for their mosaic. Students are also welcome to bring materials from home. Lecture and demo will include information on tool use for a variety of materials.

Beginners and continuing students welcome. Minimum 4- Max 8 students.

Please note: this is not a sculpture class. We will be covering already made forms in this class and lecture, demonstration and technique will focus on mosaic setting. As stated above, there will be discussion about the creation of sculptural forms and different methods will be described by instructor and resources will be given for these types of projects.

Recommended reading for students interested in making their own concrete forms to cover before the start of class:

Making Concrete Garden Ornaments by Sherri Werner Hunter
Available online at Mosaic Studio Supply

Architectural Applications for Mosaics- Floors, Walls and More
Saturday 10 - 3
Sunday 11- 2
All materials included

Thinking about making a mosaic for your home? This is the perfect class for you. Instructor Laurel True has 18 years experience in the field of mosaics and has completed hundreds of permanent installations in homes, businesses, hotels, schools, parks and more across the United States.

This is a lecture and demonstration format course that focuses on wall and floor applications as well as other permanent installations.

Class will begin with a digital presentation of instructor's architectural work including floors, walls, back splashes, fireplace surrounds, floor and pavement insets, large scale mosaic murals and other site specific work in residential and commercial spaces.

Using a mock-up of a kitchen backsplash and an example of a mosaic floor installation, students are taken through the steps required to complete a successful and durable mosaic application.

Class will cover issues involving choosing the proper substrate, dealing with existing substrates, prepping surfaces, work styles and preparing the area to do a project, correct setting materials, choosing the right type of tile or other tesserae, designing for an architectural application, transfer techniques, methods of setting, including use of fiberglass mesh and other face and back mounted off - site construction methods , mixing thin-set and concrete based fixatives, grouting, caulking and finishing a permanent application.

Special focus will be given to dealing with architectural issues such as thresholds, trims, pipes, plumbing, fixtures and appliances, baseboards, expansion joints, sub flooring and more. Students should expect to take notes and will receive handouts with technical and resource information.

This is an important technical class for those who want to experiment with more permanent mosaic applications and do them right!

Students will see the process of creating a permanent mosaic installation with some hands-on opportunity. (Students do not make an individual project in this class).

Please note: This is not a setting class. It is expected that students will be able to combine this information with basic setting and mosaic skills they already have.

For more information or to register for this course please contact New Orleans Conservation Guild:
or 504-944-7900

The Business of Mosaics - Doing What You Love and Making a Living at It
April 28-30
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Evening 5:30 - 8:30 pm
Includes binder/ materials

This unique course is designed for mosaic artists who are considering formalizing their practice into a business and/ or moving into the professional realm with their work. This three- day course will explore how doing what you love and making a living can coincide successfully, and will focus on the nuts and bolts of having a mosaic business.

Seminar will include lecture, discussion, personal exercises, visual presentations and question and answer sessions.

Topics covered in lecture will include: developing, visualizing and manifesting personal, business and creative goals; establishing a market identity and specialization; pricing and marketing work; building an effective resume and portfolio; documenting, presenting and exhibiting mosaic work; contracts and commissions and applying for public projects.

Students will understand how to present their work and experience accurately and effectively, how to write design and production contracts and create proposals for architectural and public commissions, register a business and understand the basics of business structures, taxes and insurance.

This session would particularly benefit those who are considering going after or starting to receive commissioned projects, want to exhibit their artwork professionally, or are looking for information about how to proceed in the business aspects of mosaics. Class will include a discussion on how to market work in today's economic climate.

Please note: This class is in between the two weekends of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Another great reason to come to New Orleans!

Beginning Glass Mosaics
May 9-10
Saturday 10 - 4
Sunday 11-1
All materials included

A great introduction to glass mosaics! Perfect for beginners or continuing students.

Glass is a beautiful medium for mosaics! In this beginner friendly class, students will design and create their own glass mosaic piece.

Class will focus on designing for glass mosaics, introduction to different types of glass tesserae, surfaces suitable for glass mosaic, glass cutting tools, cutting and shaping techniques, lay patterns, fixatives for glass and appropriate applications.

Lecture will include a digital presentation of contemporary glass mosaics and instructor will present a literal visual encyclopedia of glass mosaic materials available to mosaic artists today- from low end recycled materials to high end specialty materials.

Students will design and create a 12" x 12" glass mosaic for interior display using stained glass and other glass media . No experience necessary, beginning and returning students welcome.

Mosaics for the Garden
May 16-17
Saturday 11 - 4
Sunday 11-1
All materials included

Beautify your garden with colorful mosaic art!
This class will cover the basics and beyond for exterior and garden mosaics.

Lecture will include info on substrates appropriate for exterior use and their preparation, fixatives, setting, grouting and sealing. Information on clay bodies and glazes for exterior use. Ceramic tile for exterior use will be used, which is a bit more challenging to cut than tile intended for indoor use.

This class is great for the beginner as we will be covering tools, cutting techniques, mosaic design and lay patterns...and is also appropriate for the student who has already experimented with interior or craft mosaics and would like to expand their knowledge to include exterior, garden or permanent installations.

Students will create a 12 ' x 12" mosaic stepping stone or flower pot to take home.

Intro to Italian Smalti Mosaics- Contemporary Mosaics with Ancient Materials
May 23-24th
Saturday 10 - 4
Sunday 10-1
$50 materials fee for smalti starter pack

Longtime professional mosaic artist Laurel True will introduce students to this wonderful, surprisingly easy to use material. As seen in the Vatican Mosaics exhibit this year in New Orleans, smalti is a beautiful, rich and reflective materials made from poured glass.

This exciting course will introduce students to the history of this exquisite glass material that has been used since the Byzantine Era and its uses in today's mosaic world. Class will begin with a slide presentation showing historical applications of smalti in architectural settings as well as how smalti is made in small batches by artisans today in Europe and beyond. Class will explore the unique light catching and reflecting qualities of smalti and how this material can be combined with other mosaic materials for exciting and rich effects.

Class will cover basic design, layout and visual understanding of a smalti piece as well as both ancient and contemporary cutting techniques. Each student will learn how to work with the hammer and hardie to process smalti, as well as gain an understanding of how to use modern tools with this material with as little waste as possible. Students will set smalti directly into a mortar bed for their project and will receive information on how to approach future smalti projects.

Class will finish with a digital presentation of contemporary smalti projects, both as fine art pieces and as integrated into an architectural setting.

Students will use Italian and Mexican smalti to create an 8 x8 mosaic wall hanging to take home. Smalti starter pack provided.

No mosaic experience necessary. This technique is significantly different from more contemporary styles of mosaic setting.


For more information or to register for these courses please contact New Orleans Conservation Guild:
or 504-944-7900

Mardi Gras Indian smalti mosaic by New Orleans student
Smalti Class

Glass Mosaic Fler de Lis by New Orleans student
Intro to Glass Mosaics Class

Sculptural mosaic heart by Laurel True
3-D Mosaics Class

Mosaic backsplash by Laurel True
Architectural Applications Class

Mosaic garden bench by Laurel True
Garden Mosaics

Smalti mosaic by Randy Sanders, New Orleans
Smalti Class