Making a Thought Mosaic by Pamela Landi

February 20, 2015 by Jess

On a sunny but chilly afternoon in January I returned to the Musketaquid Arts workshop to mortar the mosaic coaster initially constructed during this month’s Thursday Night Winter Salon.   Nancy Lippe, the director of Musketaquid Arts and Environment Program and host of the Salons, has designed these monthly soirees as a type of maker’s circle.  Inspired from the idea of the classic artist’s salon where individual makers would gather to share not only work but also to collaborate and critique, this Salon serves as a vehicle of discovery where hands and heart engage with an external task, with the hope that each mind will gain the latitude to move into the magic of free-associative thought.

Well, by chance I stepped into this environment for reasons that are my own and found to my surprise that I became the fortunate but unwitting generator of this experience.  Perhaps it was the quiet of the space paired with the presence of Nancy’s receptive ear, but as my hand coaxed grout into the cracks separating the blue, brown and pink glass fragments, then carefully wiped the surface smooth with sponge and clean water my thoughts began to swirl into form, emerging eventually in auditory form.  The ideas manifested first as pragmatic thoughts.  What to do with this coaster? Perhaps create a window at the center of the coaster through which to display inspirational messages that sometimes accompanies a favored cup of ginger tea? 

A landscape designer by trade, I wondered if a creative collaboration between a woodcrafter and a mosaic maker could result in weatherproof mosaic topped posts to display as trail markers or objets d’art in one’s garden.  Perhaps the mosaic tile is a model inspiration for a fountain design.  Or how about a mobile mosaic, and bells, that will make the motion of the air visible in movement and sound.

With this momentum the path of thinking swept in to more organizational ideas, what I think of as bridge building or connecting.  Could a Musketaquid program construct temporary environmental art at this wonderful garden nearby that serves people and their families who are journeying with cancer?”  Now mind you, one genre of thought is not isolated from another.  But now prompted through the conversation and the intervals of silence that intervened, I found myself pouring out.  As this small tidy mosaic emerged from behind the grout, a mosaic of ideas also emerged and transferred as little sparks into the atmosphere that could either set alight another’s ear, or fade away softly

Who knows what a little quiet attention on a project in an environment with creative persons will bring.  Let me leave you with a question.  How do you hear and honor the ideas that flow from your mind when you engage in thoughtful, meaningful creative activity?  Perhaps the thought sparks that I describe rising from this month’s project will emerge from your thought mosaic when you come join the next Salon March 12th.

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