Monday, September 1, 2008

Karen Ami - The Real Deal

Karen Ami – Accept no Substitutes

Karen Ami is an award winning, classically trained sculptor and mosaic artist who is also founder and executive director of the first mosaic school in the United States, The Chicago Mosaic School.


Adhering to the highest standards, Karen has made sure that the faculty of The Chicago Mosaic School are all professional, exhibiting mosaic artists with degrees in fine arts educated in all areas of mosaics, from mosaic design to architectural installation. Hers is the only premier, not-for-profit Mosaic Art School in North America. The school does much to fill the void in mosaic arts education in this country and serves professional artists, designers, architects, as well as beginners and enthusiasts alike.

With impeccable credentials herself, Karen received her diploma and BFA from The Boston Museum School and Tufts University, and a MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited nationally and has won numerous grants and awards for her clay sculptures which appear in many prominent collections throughout the United States and Europe.



Please click here if you are unable to see the above-video on your computer screen.

Karen’s art encourages others to think “green”. She has twice been commissioned to create globes for the Coolglobes project, an arts project that helps bring awareness to global warming and its solutions. The globe, titled "Windy City Andamento" went on to represent the project at Bill Clintons Foundation in New York and onto San Francisco to launch Coolglobes there.


This globe represents wind movement and flow over the earth's surface, designed by Karen Ami to show how readily accessible wind power really is. By using ceramic and vitreous glass tiles, Ami contrasts land and water through a variety of textual patterns. The mosaic creates a visually unified whole that serves as a metaphor for the unity necessary in the fight to stop global warming.


For more information about Coolglobes, please click HERE.

This fireplace installation called, “Garden of Temptation” is a perfect example of Karen’s imaginative expertise as a mosaic artist.


The surround depicts Adam and Eve, the garden serpent …and at the center of it all, the irresistible apple! The figures and the serpent were built in sections in terra cotta clay, then fired and refired with low fire glazes. The mosaic is made of smalti glass, and Italian glass tile, and handmade clay tiles. The apple is made out of terra cotta and covered with an opaque art glass.



This graceful bowl is called, “Figureparty”. The bowl below features one of her signature spirals, iconography for hopes, dreams and aspirations,


Icons including hearts, eyes and swirls are symbols that can be seen in Karen’s work.
“Spiked Heart” was created with handmade clay tile, rocks, wire,
Venetian gemme tile.


Likewise, “Sewn Heart”, is another piece made with Karen’s hand made ceramic tile, but this one includes Venetian glass and hand-cut art glass on wood.



“Butterface” is a fabulous mosaic torso created by Karen in 2004.




Karen’s graceful creation entitled, “One” is created with smalti, 24 carat gold, piastrini, smalto



"Abbaccio" is one of Karen’s ceramic sculptures that twists and turns to show off the filati, glass and smalti.


Karen admitted to me that her Mudhouse Studio web site is currently being revamped, so be sure to check back soon to see newer work.


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