“Have you ever done mosaics before,” asked Crystal. “I’ve never done art before,” I replied. I’ve always wanted to be crafty. I’ve always wanted to be one of those lovely people who makes handmade gifts for my friends and family. I kind of get the obsession people have with Martha Stewart. Unfortunately I am the opposite of artistic. I couldn’t even color inside the lines, so I don’t know how I made it out of elementary school with the skills I never developed. Shame on my teachers!
I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered an island art class in St. John where the teacher said “Whatever you do will look perfect. You can’t mess up.” Of course I was sure I would be the first to show her a really messed up version of what was supposed to look like art.
Crystal explained the technique- how to hold the tweezers, how to dip the tile into the glue, how to space the pieces, and I was off! I quickly found that mosaics is addictive. I love instant gratification, so I simply can’t work on a piece over a long period of time like my friend Veronica who is creating a beautiful mermaid with an intricate design that would stress me out in about two seconds! I like to finish a project so I can move on to my next one.
But like everything on the island of St. John, mosaic art class teaches me patience. Once you finish tiling your piece, you have to let it dry, and then grout it. Sometimes you even need to paint the sides and the back for a more finished look.
One thing I love about these bracelets I make is they don’t require grouting, so once you get all of the pieces glued down you are ready to go!
I’ve invited friends to join me at mosaic class on St. John, and my island twin obliged. I think Tiffany enjoyed it even more than she was expecting and brought her mom when she was in town. We all had a blast. And it wasn’t just because we sipped Prosecco while we tiled!
I don’t think I’ll ever make anything quite as spectacular as Crystal’s turtle but who knows!
Sometimes I surprise myself on the island! Heck I even hammered out this masterpiece in one day.
Maybe there’s a business opportunity in my future??? I think Martha Stewart would be proud… or at least not completely terrified???
If you live on St. John or are visiting and are interested in joining us for an island art class, call Crystal at 340-228-4977 and be sure to visit her website.
Ashley Cates, St. John USVI blogger.