12” X 12”
Marble and Orsoni Smalti
It’s time again for our monthly featured artist! Our October artist is Dotti Stone from Southwestern Virginia. Dotti is a mosaic artist who has been practicing her art for 5 or 6 years, previously working in stained glass and as a portrait photographer. Along with her mosaic art, she teaches mosaic classes for adults, and workshops and art camps for youths.
Dotti chose this piece to be featured because it is a very different style from her representational works, which include landscapes and portraits. After taking a week-long workshop by Matteo Randi last year, she had been considering the use of marble and smalti and using more abstract design ideas.
Dotti says this piece pushed her outside her comfort zone. Although she had mosaiced other 3D forms such as a guitar, mannequin and spheres, this is the first piece for which she created the form from scratch. Not only was the form a part of her creative process, but when she began working on the form, she had no preconceived idea of what she wanted the end product to look like. Dotti says that her process began when a neighbor gave her some leftover fencing. Her intention was simply to create a somewhat abstract, organic looking form on which to apply the glass and marble. While shaping the wire form, she found that the fencing had some ideas of its own! The fencing wouldn’t hold tight folds, so the form began to take on the look of a piece of fabric.
As Dotti began shaping the wire, ideas for a title floated through her mind, mainly “tattered” and “remnant”. She came to the conclusion that tattered didn’t really fit, but remnant was perfect! Her artist statement for the piece explains what this piece has come to represent for her:
Remnant is like a scrap from the past – a little swatch of fabric from a special dress, coverlet or drapery from a bygone era – perhaps from a mother or grandmother. It’s that little connection with the past that is a storehouse of favorite stories and memories, and maybe a few mysteries. Though the materials are hard there is an overall softness about it with the folds and texture. Some discoloration, some silver threads…a keepsake from the past.
While Remnant stands out as a singular piece when compared to her other works, Dotti says she would love to do more projects in this vein in the future, particularly using smalti and marble. Perhaps even turning “Remnant” into a series!
Dotti feels that her work is moving in multiple directions. While she stretches her creativity with abstract, free form work, she still wants to produce representational works as well. Local scenery is often the subject of her mosaics, which she believes can strike a chord with viewers. Meanwhile, she has another mosaic portrait in progress and hopes to do more. Dotti says that for some time she had been nagged by the belief that she had not developed a “uniquely distinct” style. But she has come to realize that certain common threads run through all her work, for example the preciseness and detail inherent in all her pieces.