Interview with Margaret Almon

Galaxy Swirl Mandala ©Margaret Almon - dichroic glass center, gold & iridized smalti, stained glass, glass tile

This month’s interview (OK, I ran it a little early since February is a short month!) is with mosaic artist, Margaret Almon.  She is also a member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and I’ve known her (online) for awhile now.

1. How did you get started in your craft?

The first time I saw a mosaic in person, Hildreth Meiere’s work at the Jesuit Spiritual Center in Wernersville, PA, I knew I wanted to make mosaics.  At the time I was living in an apartment and doing collages at the dining room table.  Cutting glass was not a possibility.  But then my husband Wayne and I bought a house 6 years ago, a “1-bedroom-2-studio” house, as he calls it, I started with pebble mosaic stepping stones for the garden and then took a class in basic glass mosaic techniques at the Main Line Art Center, and once I knew how to nip glass and grout, I was flying!

Green Paisley Garden Gazing Ball ©Margaret Almon - Bowling ball covered in stained glass, ceramic, smalti, glass tile, and millefiori

2. What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?

Wayne is a science teacher and I recently did a Helix Nebula Mandala inspired by the astronomy class he’s teaching.  Traditional quilt patterns always inspire me, as do new types of tesserae, like dichroic glass scraps and millefiori beads from Italy.

3. Who are your favorite artists in your field?

Hildreth Meiere was my first inspiration.  Lucio Orsoni, of the Orsoni smalti factory, does wonderful things with color and texture and abstract design.  I find a lot of compelling visual ideas in other media, like the Roycroft tradition of handcrafted ceramics and metalwork.

Film Noir Spiral Mandala Mosaic by Margaret Almon

4. What is your favorite customer quote or story?

I was very honored to have someone purchase one of my spiral mandalas to put in her prayer space.  She says she sees new things every time she looks at it.

5. What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?

My husband and I collect Scherenschnitte, Pennsylvania German paper cuttings.  We have a willow tree paper cut from Clifford Nevin, with paper stained with coffee for a warm earthy glow.

You can find Margaret and her work all over the web.  To find out more about her visit her Facebook page, buy her work online at Margaret Almon’s Etsy shop or Margaret Almon Mosaics at Big Cartel, or check out her blog.

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