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strait hairMy name is Corinne McKeown.  I have long been attracted to shiny objects and I seem to naturally hone in on them from a distance. Lets just say that if you were a piece of jewelry on the sidewalk or a coin on the ground – there isn’t a chance I won’t spot you and claim you with delight!  An old friend called me a Bower Bird. I’ve been gathering supplies and hording found objects forEVER.

It wasn’t until 2012 that I felt I would explode if I did not begin to learn this incredible art form.  I’d watch videos endlessly on YouTube. I collected more supplies, and began to research Instructors as close to the Berkshires as possible.  To learn, I have traveled an hour and a half, minimally, each way – two times in a weekend (well worth the trip Cindy Fischer, Big Bang Mosaics); and have hired an Instructor to come to my home from out of state to give me private tutelage (Thank you Debora Aldo, Pietre Dure Design!).  I’m hugely grateful for teacher Sharra Frank, award winning mosaicist and teacher from Minneapolis. who  shared important words of wisdom in instructing: “don’t get hung up on the individual piece”.  See Sharra’s terrific online learning opportunities here: SharrasMosaicSecrets.

I have always felt aligned with my highest purpose when creating something beautiful – especially with something that, by itself, would otherwise not be.  Mosaics is the perfect form of expression for this passion; it is about transformation. Mosaics offers the opportunity for discarded or neglected treasures to become part of something whole and meaningful. I know just how the tesserae feel.

Perhaps the most important transformational aspect of mosaics I can point to is that becoming a mosaic artist has transformed me into the best possible version of myself.  It is how I have felt most alive, most accomplished, most spiritually balanced.
Mosaics is not just a ‘feel good’ activity. Designing my pieces has helped me develop problem solving skills and critical thinking. In Mosaics one negotiates, for each piece set, the best possible outcome.  It is also a very forgiving art where imperfections can not only be embraced, but add interest and texture and highlight other parts of the work by reflecting light.

Oprah said: “Your real job in life is to find out what you are supposed to be doing and to find a way to do that thing”.

I feel like a girl in love. It has taken me 52 years to become obsessed with something healthy. One might say I replaced one addiction with another – for endless tiny, shiny baubles.  Glass, I have found, is my new drug of choice.  Combine this my love of animals and we have Natural Passion.