To celebrate the first ever running of the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar, I was commissioned by the Breeders’ Cup Host Committee to design a life-sized artistic reproduction of the Torrie Horse. For my design I chose to represent the wreaths of flowers presented to winning horses. California happens to be the largest flower-producing state in the country, and this glass tile mosaic depicts many of the varieties of flowers grown in California some of which will be presented to this year’s winners.
The location of the artwork within a light well in this new residence drove the design of the linear mosaic. The concept was to create what would be the view if one were able to look through the wall to the outdoor setting. While mostly abstract, I worked from photos of the surrounding forest and included Douglas Fir, Oak and Old Growth Redwood. Interspersed throughout the design are ceramic tiles created from leaves from the site, which were pressed into wet clay and set within the overall mosaic.
2' x 18' Smalti Glass, handmade ceramic.
Photo: Bruce Damonte
Branch Library, Solana Beach, CA
My series of murals entitled “Community Knowledge” were inspired by a quotation taken from Albert Einstein that emphasizes the pleasure in work and the knowledge of the resulting value to the community. The murals draw on the contribution of the library to the success of the community and its students by showing through illustrated vignettes the categories of information found in the library. The images also depict within these larger themes details unique to the community of Solana Beach.
I designed a series of twelve colorful tile murals that were inspired by the traditional “cuerda seca” tile making method reminiscent of tiles produced many centuries ago in the Near and Middle East, North Africa, and Southern Spain. This style of tile was first introduced to the American public in San Diego at the Panama California Exposition in 1915. The aesthetic these tiles represented had an immediate appeal to architects and homeowners as they blended beautifully into the increasingly popular Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, a style that is iconic to California and has influenced the architecture of the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch. The murals range is size from 18” x 24” to 6’x12’ second story archway murals. Imagery used in the illustrations reflects the carmel valley setting and includes morning doves, poppies, and roosters from the original “ranch”.
"The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent onit, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do." — Galileo
Entryway medallion and archway niche for Mirmaonte winery in Temecula, CA.
Rancho Cucamonga California has served as a transportation hub throughout history, and is located where multiple paths cross including the iconic Route 66, colloquially known as the Main Street of America. The four bollards are faced with handmade tile illustrated with my original drawings using imagery from the states that line the route. The columns are organized with two sides of each bollard representing each of the eight states along this iconic highway.
My design for the Foothill Gold Line Operations Campus art overlay was inspired by the Califonia Poppy. The first Spanish explorers sailing the coast of California in the eighteenth century called the region “a land of fire” noting the deep orange colored hillsides. It was only after the ships landed that it became clear that poppies were the source of the golden color giving California its state flower and motto, “the golden state”. The lobby mosaic is composed of 140,000 glass tiles and includes four variations of white and gold leaf providing a vibrant and active surface for the two story entry.
My design for perimeter fence for the Foothill Gold Line Operations Campus was inspired by the Califonia Poppy. “Poppy Orange” can be seen on several major structures at the facility and is also present in the flowering drought tolerant ground cover planted in and around the facility. I designed the architectural lace fence for the public viewing area to provide security as well as an art component allowing visitors to sit and watch the campus operations from the plaza.
“Time Interwoven” is a Commissioned Award from the San Diego Airport Art Commission located in the Commuter Terminal Lobby. The artwork plays on these definitions:
Trav-el v. To move or go from one place or point to another.
Weave v. To move to and fro, to unite into a coherent whole.
The artwork presents a visual metaphor that weaves the act of travel with the notion of global patterns that we create as we crisscross the globe and each other daily. The glass panels are lit by two rows of LED lights that provide a constant, low illumination but are set on a 24-hour clock to move a higher illumination of light behind each color band on the face of the artwork.
Glass, synthetic resin, aluminum • 9’ x 15’
“Night Sky” is an original ceramic and glass tile mosaic representing the nine planets in the solar system as portrayed in their typical order. The constellation in the upper right shows the stars as they appear in the northern hemisphere in the fall, representing the opening date of the new wing of the hospital.
As a founding member of the Solana Beach Art Association we co-sponsored an art and literary event at Flower Hill Mall in Del Mar, CA. I created the design and template for a mosaic mural where all ages were able to participate in making the artwork. The design was based on the children’s book “The Tiny Seed” and featured drought tolerant plants found in our area of Southern California.
Solana Vista Elementary School, Solana Beach, CA
“Mr. Ludwiczak’s Quilt” was created as a permanent gift for a retiring principal. With only three weeks remaining in the school year, the PTA asked if I would create a mural to honor the much loved principal. I had each child’s classroom create their own design in glass tile using a tile grid with colors that represented their grade level. When the finished piece was assembled, the individual patterns provided a visual record of the retiring principals forty-year career, with each square representing a year and each individual tile representing the estimated 10,000 children he had taught. The finished mural was unveiled at an assembly the last day of school.
"Peace on Earth" is an original glass tile mosaic designed and fabricated for the entry lobby of Glendale Adventist Hospital, Glendale California.
The fountain design is based on the children’s nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” and shows a cow jumping over the moon. I referenced a period style of artwork, reminiscent of children’s book illustrations found during the early part of the 20th century, in keeping with the same time period as the Panama California Exposition. The fountain is a lithomosaic composed of hundreds of glass tiles surrounded by the complete text of the nursery rhyme. The fountain includes various water jets and special lighting and is designed to be an interactive and enjoyable experience for the youngest visitors to the Village.
Leichtag Foundation Critical Care Pavilion at Scripps Memorial Hospital, Encinitas, CA
For the design of this fountain, I chose the spiral to symbolize movement, energy and connection with nature. The triple spiral is often referred to as the spiral of life. It is associated with the phases of the moon (waxing, full and waning) as well as life and its cycle. In honor of Ellen Browning Scripps, each center of the spiral contains the three phases of the butterfly, an archetypal symbol of transformation, mystical rebirth and the transcendent soul. The mosaic is composed of hand made ceramic and glass and includes pieces of gold stained glass from the former church, which stood on the grounds of the new addition to the hospital.
This interior courtyard wall fountain was designed to illustrate the exterior view towards the San Elijo Lagoon and into the east county. Each tile for the interior as well as the surround was handmade using multiple glazes and interspersed with glass tile.
I designed these two seat wall benches to have an inset flowing across the top and sides revealing a glass mosaic that is composed of all natural materials. Highlights include individual crystals, polished minerals and gems, agate slices, fossils and petrified wood sourced and collected from around the world. This tactile mosaic provides an opportunity for discovery of these beautiful natural treasures.
"Peace to the Community" is an original mosaic that represents historical buildings in Glendale including City Hall, the High School, the Seventh Day Adventist Church and the original Sanitarium. Images of the surrounding geography include the Verdugo and San Gabriel Mountains, the Los Angeles River, California poppies and orange groves, a crop that was important in the early settlement of the area. Above all flies a dove with an olive branch symbolizing peace to our community and to the world.
This narrow courtyard serves as the entry for a spectacular ocean view home. The “pooling water” was created with a mosaic of hand made tile and tumbled glass set into a seeded aggregate which included sea shells, pieces of abalone and fossilized coral.
photos courtesy of Darren Edwards
A lithomosaic embedded with marble, glass and ceramic pieces representing the alignment of the five northern circumpolar constellations visible on the day Solana Beach was incorporated as a city in 1986.
Poiset Dental Office, San Diego, CA
“Under the Sea” is a series of mosaic murals for a California pediatric dental office. As a lifelong resident of San Diego, Dr. Poiset wanted to celebrate the relationship he has with the Ocean giving me a list of marine life he wanted portrayed in mosaic. The result was a series of mosaics composed of glass and ceramic tile reflecting the variety of sea life found off the coast of California.
Project: Design for a seating area.
I designed this bench to be the focal point for a home where multiple generations gather. With their youngest child off to college, I chose the theme of "seasons” to not only represent the natural setting but also the passing of time within families. The four seasons are reflected in the texture and natural patterns imprinted into the tiles as well as through a changing color palette.
Chromesthesia also known as sound-to-color synesthesia is a type of synesthesia in which heard sounds automatically and involuntarily evoke an experience of color. Using glass each musical note became a colorful mosaic created by beginner and experienced mosaic artists as a community art-making event.
The Currie family lost their home in the devastating Cedar Fire of 2003. The mosaic was created with shards of pottery and glass recovered from what was left of their home. Since the fire, the family has relocated to La Jolla where they have a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. The design is representative of tide pools and with their constant ebb and flow, the regeneration of life. This mosaic with its bits and pieces from their past is meant to convey that even with tragedy life goes on.
One of four signature places along the ¾ mile long HWY 101 Westside Improvement Project, this seating area includes a Lithomosaic of glass tile and seeded glass.
Though I trained as a fine artist, my background in graphic design has had
significant influence on the work that I create. The motivation to create
art has always been justified by making the work have a purpose or function.
Initially my work in clay was entirely functional tableware with the flat
areas of the form acting as a canvas for my decorative and narrative
designs. Most recently I have pursued forms that are not driven by specific
utility, but I have given these ceramic totems purpose by inserting symbols
and images so that they function as a new form of visual communication.
I worked with a landscape architect on this Award winning design for a plaza at Del Mar Highlands Town Center. The area features the quote “There’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple”. The vertical risers in the seating area reveal a lithomosaic of sea grass blowing in the wind and the fountain carries through the theme of wind and water creating a ripple effect.
Topiaries, Palm Desert, CA
Selected for the El Paseo Invitational Sculpture Exhibit, ³Topiaries²
represent man¹s intervention in nature, as without man¹s hand such shapes
could not exist. My colorful topiaries and their placement in the desert
symbolize the human drive to influence nature in what are sometimes
Sculpture was purchased by the City of Pasadena.
The metal fence was designed as a tribute to the retiring School Superintendent and her contribution to both the students of the School District and the children of California. The active, silhouetted figures spanning the local elementary school fence represent all young people and the children that we all once were. Designed with all of the figures headed towards the entrance to the School, they are meant to convey a sense of playfulness and enthusiasm for the start of the school day.
Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego, CA
I designed a continuous, large-scale mural spanning the lobby areas of four floors of the new Acute Care Pavilion for Rady Children’s Hospital. The ceramic and glass tile murals are based on my original illustrations depicting local plant and animal life including off shore fish, the Coronado Lighthouse and a Frisbee catching dog and define the themes for each floor: sea, beach, sky and space. The mosaic murals are designed for the smallest visitors and can be viewed from both inside and outside the building.
Solana Highlands School, San Diego, CA
The artwork contains symbols that represent Solana Highlands School including a large sun representing “Solana” which is of Spanish origin and means sunlight or sunny area, a dolphin which is the school mascot and waves representing the Pacific Ocean on the left and the low lying mountains representing the highlands on the right. Torrey Pines are present in this area and prominent on campus so are shown in the bottom corner. Hot air balloons are a familiar sight for children in this area, the colors chosen for the three balloons are from the character counts program: Blue- Trustworthiness, Yellow- Respect, Orange –Fairness, Red- Caring and Purple- Citizenship
Solana Pacific Elementary School, San Diego, CA
With a new school under construction in the district, I worked with the architect and project managers to integrate a permanent memorial to the retiring school superintendent. The library was the obvious choice as one of her major legacies as an educator was the establishment of the statewide “California Reads” program. I created a terrazzo design for the threshold entry to the reading room that was rich with symbolism of her 35-year career.
Open Border, Tempe, Arizona
"Open Border" addresses the blurred area where the university and the city
intersect. Thousands of vehicles pass by this area each day and "Open
Border" was designed to represent one of the most important aspects to a
public university, that it is open to all and that barriers to entrance are
minimized to encourage all to participate, there is no barrier to what a
person can learn or achieve through education. My piece is designed to
dispel the idea of a border between a community and a university a border
that does not actually exist. I involved two local community school groups
to help with the installation by selecting and stacking the individual
modules that compose the fence posts. By involving local students,
additional barriers are bridged those between the artist and the public
and between primary and higher education.
Urban Tree, San Diego, California
The Port of San Diego sponsors an ongoing sculpture exhibit "Urban Trees" to
showcase original sculptural work along the San Diego waterfront that will
provide site activation similar to planted trees. "Tree Rings" is my tribute
to the Port of San Diego's 40th Anniversary with each ring representing a
milestone in the history of the Port. The stacked ceramic rings are a visual
timeline that continues up to the tip which points to the future. "Tree
Rings" was also included in the "Suburban Tree" sculpture exhibition at the
William D. Cannon Gallery in Carlsbad, CA.