This piece, the Roy Family Birdhouse was entered into the third annual Bridgeport Art Center...It was selected and one of 80 finalists...
Upcoming Classes
Val's Pizza and Grinder
Chesterton, IN
Saturday, Oct. 8th
Saturday, Oct. 15th
12:30 until 4:30

Alsip Nursery
Frankfort, IL
October 22nd,
October 29th
noon until 4pm

Arlington Heights Garden Club,
October 23rd

Alsip Nursery,
St John's, Indiana
October 16th,
October 30th
noon until 4pm

Upcoming Art Shows:

Villa Park
November 17th - 20th

Renegade Craft Show,
Bridgeport Art Center
December 3rd - 4th
Mosaic Whimsies

I create mosaic art pieces in a style referred to as picassiette, which means "broken plates" in French.  This art form can utilize anything from colored glass, ceramic and clay dishware to old vintage china and porcelain.  Additionally, mosaic art incorporates antique vintage jewelry, pearls, beads, buttons as well as the array of nature’s bounty such as small polished pebbles, crystals and rusty artifacts found along the edges of beach shore lines.  

I create playful outdoor garden art pieces as small as a turtle and as large as birdhouses reaching 3 feet in height.  I also refurbish old, rundown furniture pieces giving new life to them in the form of lovely, captivating new table tops and drawer facades.  Many of my art pieces are custom-designed and tailored to the recipient.  This might be in the color schemes used or representations of their unique tastes and characteristics.  

My greatest love of this art form is in teaching it to others.  As a master's educated teacher, I have the ability to convey the basic techniques I have learned and mastered to the students who experience one of my many classes.  Take a minute to peruse my products and see the how beautiful this art form can be.  Challenge yourself to attempt this very approachable art form by taking one of the classes I, too will be hooked! 


Mosaic Christmas Trees
Saturday, December 10th
11:30 until 3:30
This is a 3 to 4 hour introductory class where students mosaic a 14 inch tall wooden Christmas tree that sits on a wooden base.  Topics such as cutting and placement of tiles and shards; how to use the adhesive and grout.  Students also learn how to incorporate jewelry, bead and crystals to enhance their tree.  Use of tools are included and an instructional guide is available after class.

Introduction to Mosaics


In this 3 to 4 hour class, I briefly explains the art of mosaic and the history behind this ancient art form. I demonstrate how to cut different types of china, ceramic and glass as well as various layout strategies. I discuss the types of adhesives and how to apply them.Students are encouraged to experiment with color, texture and shape to discover the possibilities of mosaic. Finally, I explain the different types of grout available, my preferences and how to prepare the grout for the look we trying to achieve. It seems like a lot of information, which is why I also provide a thorough instructional guide that details all of the topics discussed. This, of course, affords you the ability to refer to my handout when you continue to create mosaic art pieces on your own after taking my class!

I provide everything necessary to take part in my mosaic class. This includes use of all tools, adhesives and grout as well as an overwhelming variety of china, porcelain and ceramic shards. Also, I provide assorted colorful glass balls, rectangles, squares and other shapes, colored and iridescent glass tiles and ceramic tiles. Students are encouraged to bring their own china or ceramic dishes as well as old jewelry or other baubles to enhance your piece.

You are welcome to bring your own base piece if you have something specific in mind...Feel free to visit my website at for more ideas!

*Students can choose an outdoor your piece - stepping stone or a terra cotta pot - 8" diameter; or an indoor piece - picture frame, decorative bowl or decorative plate

Checks can be mailed to my studio to secure your space in class:
Bridgeport Art Center, Attn: Lisa Tolbert, 1200 W 35th Street, Chicago, IL 60609

Mosaic Pumpkin Classes!!!

These mosaic pumpkins will introduce you to the art of picassiette, mosaics using china and glass shards. Choose a three-dimensional pumpkin or a pumpkin hanging plaque. This class includes all materials, supplies, and tools. You can also bring any dishes or old jewelry you’d like to include on your piece.

Mosaic Jewelry
This evening mosaic jewelry class is a new and exciting 2 1/2 hour workshop, held ONLY in our FRANKFORT, IL location. You can make something unique that will express your personal, one-of-a-kind sense of style. Students will make two mosaic jewelry pendants** and embellish them with all kinds of materials such as broken china, pottery, sea glass, stained glass, broken vintage jewelry, crystals, rhinestones, charms and found and re-purposed vintage treasures. Students are encouraged to go through their jewelry box and find broken or castaway pieces and give them new life. You will receive a quick lesson on mosaic, glue instructions and grouting techniques. All jewelry supplies, tools and mosaic materials provided. No prior mosaic experience is necessary. Great for all ages. This class is a fun opportunity to make something lasting and special. Great gifts for you or a friend. This will be a time to kick back and enjoy the time, we will have the music on and have snacks. Register early to hold your spot in this fun and creative class!

The cost of this class is $ 35.... Students can make additional jewelry pieces such as earrings, bracelets, belt buckles, or rings for nominal cost.
Glass on Glass Mosaics

Special glass on glass techniques and methods will be introduced in this four hour class as you design and construct a mosaic on a framed 5 X 5 clear sheet of glass. Students will take advantage of the unique effects that transparency, light and color create that convey the same beauty and qualities of stained glass.  Information will be provided prior to the first class to assist each student with ideas for individual designs. Students should plan on coming to the first class with rough sketches and ideas. Students will learn how to score glass and use nippers to form shapes with great detail allowing for intricate designs. Use of adhesive and the grouting process will also be taught in class.

My Mermaid Dress
The second annual Bridgeport Art Competition awards ceremony was held on March 8th, 2014.  There were over 230 artists who participated and 70 of those were selected as finalists.  This was a juried competition with a total of $3,0000 given to the winners in various categories.  Amongst those awards, a special designation for the popular favorite which was determined by voting conducted during the evening of the awards ceremony.  My mosaic piece, The Mermaid Dress was the winner of this popular vote, with a $500 monetary designation.  This was my first art competition and to have one such a distinguished award, I am eternally grateful to those that voted for me!  I have completed a number of new pieces that I am similarly proud of and hope that you enjoy the compilation of photos that I am presenting to reflect the ongoing progress that I feel I have made in my pursuit of excellence.  Please feel free to comment on the pieces that you see, and I look forward to your opinions regarding your thoughts on my work.
The back side of the mermaid dress....equally as pretty....
Yet another view of my piece from the side....
My Retro Dress
I guess it's fair to say that I've acquired a taste for creating various dress forms done in mosaic...I find that with the variety of patterned china and ceramic shards available, it's quite easy to emulate the beauty of textiles utilizing the endless selections of shards created in their lovely prints...I only wish that these dresses actually existed in textile form, because needless to say, you'd see me sporting these little numbers as soon as weather permits!!  Anyone know a good seamstress?
The back side of my Retro Dress is a great view as she walks special attention to bow cinching her at the waist....I actually cut this away from an Easter Bunny plate created by Fitz and Floyd....who knew ceramic bows could be cut and pasted onto a dress form...and actually looks like the bow was made for the dress!!!
Custom-Designed Mosaic Pieces
One of the most exciting aspects of this art form is the ability to create mosaic pieces that tell a story.  Sometimes referred to as memoryware, this type of mosaic incorporates a collection of significant objects that are unique to the recipient.  The base used to display these "trinkets" can also represent an aspect of the recipient's world making it that much more symbolic.  I absolutely love these challenging pieces and jump at any opportunity to create these custom pieces.  Here are some of the pieces that I have done:

At the passing of my friend's grandmother, she gathered a collection of the costume jewelry she wore often and asked me to create a keepsake piece utilizing that jewelry.  I created this picture frame.  She presented it to her mom on Mother's Day with a photo of her grandmother in the frame.  Needless to say, there wasn't a dry eye in the room....



I have finally finished moving my studio to its new location at the Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 West 35th Street, Chicago, IL 60609 (I can actually see the lights of the White Sox ballpark from my studio windows!).   This location is actually the old Spiegel warehouse, home to myself and many other resident artists.  I encourage all of you to visit this new venue and they offer a great monthly event to do so.


Every third Friday of the month, all of the artists meet with building visitors to discuss their artistic process in an intimate setting.  Meet painters, sculptors, photographers, designers, and more.  Take a tour of individual workspaces, purchase one-of-a-kind artwork, and build new connections with local artists.  Snack on light refreshments as you visit our individual studios in the basement, third and fourth floors, as well as the Gallery on the fourth floor and Fashion Design Center on the fifth.

Admission is free and doors open at 6:00PM.   Parking is available on the north side of the building.  Check out their website, for more details about this event and this fabulous venue.