Piecing Together Their Joy: Custom Mosaic Artists

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Imagine your kitchen backsplash personalized with scenes from family vacations, a sink encircled by your favorite flowers in tile, or a jazzy mirror framed with stained glass in the colors you picked for your wedding. These are just a few of the ways that women custom mosaic artists around the country can turn your home into a unique reflection of the things that bring you joy.

One woman who creates top-of-the-line mosaic art is Allison Eden of Allison Eden Studios in New York, who started out in a fashion career at Nautica but began designing mosaics after being captivated by a storefront window in Greenwich Village selling colored glass. She landed her first contract to install a tile floor at a Burger King. She gradually grew her business, and she now designs large tile sculptures for Bloomingdale’s that look like perfume bottles and shoes. She has also decorated the homes of celebrities such as Elton John, Rihanna and Pink.

Allison loves to use flamboyant designs and bold colors to bring a little joy to the world around her. She was even hired to bring down the high suicide rate in the extreme northern city of Barrow, Alaska, by adding a colorful mural to their hospital. For Allison, mosaic art is a way for people to surround themselves with more of what they love. She says, “Your home needs to be positive. People want to live in a place that is happy.”

Not every mosaic artist started out in fashion or design; some of them stumbled into this field as they followed their dreams. Angie Halford Ré first started doing mosaics as an art project with her children. As a single parent, she worked multiple jobs, including flooring installation. As she developed her tiling skills and practiced mosaic art as a hobby, she began to dream of turning it into a business. Today she is the founder and owner of Unique Mosaics LLC in South Salt Lake, Utah, which produces custom mosaic patterns for flooring and wall installations, medallions, glass murals and tile inlays.

Angie loves creating one-of-a-kind work for every client. Her work has won many awards and has been featured in specialty tile magazines as well as art galleries and exhibitions across the U.S. Angie encourages women, “Don’t ever let anyone put out your fires for what is in your heart to become. Get out there and make things happen, even if you have to teach yourself.”
Another woman tile artist with a unique story is Lisa Bustamante, owner of Custom Mosaic Creations in Troutdale, Oregon. She ran a daycare for 18 years, and when her kids left the house, she decided to branch out by taking a class at her local community college. The class options were guitar building or mosaics; she picked mosaics and the rest is history. First, she began to design tile for her own bathroom as she remodeled. Slowly she saw that she had the talent for mosaic design, so she got a contractor’s license and built her business into a full-time job making custom designs for clients.

Lisa has a gift for connecting with people, understanding their stories and illustrating those special memories in mosaic form. One of the most interesting pieces she has created for a client is a “Lovers in Paris” mosaic to commemorate the love story of a couple whose relationship developed during their travels. The picture is made with bits of Starbucks coffee mugs from the couple’s collection.

These women mosaic artists have all found freedom and joy in their work. As Lisa says, “For women out there: please do what you need to do to follow your dreams, because there’s so much happiness on the other side.” If you’re not an artist, you can still add beauty to your home and surround yourself with pictures of the things you love with the help of a custom mosaic artist.
Custom mosaics can be one-of-a-kind art to decorate a space with specific colors or patterns, or they can be a unique way to keep and display special memories. Mosaics are permanent in the sense that their colors and shapes never fade, but they are often formed in such a way that the owner can move them to new locations if needed. Lisa explains, “I very rarely set a mosaic straight to somebody’s wall. It’s usually in a frame, lit up. This is a piece of art they can pull out and take with them.”

Maybe you have certain plants, animals, places or symbols that are special to you. Consider displaying them in your home in a custom mosaic. Prices for mosaic art can vary greatly depending on materials, intricacy, framing, lighting and other factors. The artists mentioned above can be contacted personally through their websites. ■

Sources: tileletter.com, allisoneden.com, uniquemosaicsllc.com and custommosaiccreations.com.