Open Workshops Offer More Than Mosaic

In addition to our directed studies and visiting artist workshops, Piece by Piece has a weekly Open Workshop. These classes are designed to provide a venue for both new and experienced participants to come together to learn, find inspiration, share ideas, and get one-on-one time with instructors.  On any given week, there are 25 to 30 artists in attendance.

Luz class

Instructor Luz Mack Durini works with a young artist (L). Instructor Ivan DeAvy advises artist (R).

Everyone works at a difference pace and at different levels. Here, participants can grout their pieces and finish them by polishing, painting and adding hanging hardware.


Participant artists Juan and Guadalupe grout their pieces.

Every workshop is filled with high energy and enthusiasm as participant artists work on their projects and show their finished pieces. Sharing techniques and ideas, artists are in a nurturing environment that fosters camaraderie.


Young artist Brandi shares her finished piece, and artists Donald, Linda and Wacola work on projects.

bea 2

Instructor Bea Jones shares some of her work.

We also have some very young talent:

young man

Our workshops could not function without our amazing volunteers, who help with everything from preparing materials to advising artists on their artwork to set-up and clean-up tasks.


 The wonderful Belinda gives a bright smile to everyone she sees. Her energy is inspiring!


Volunteer Gale advises artist Jose M. on materials. Her kindness and supportive nature is welcoming.

Chris and Ninive

Volunteer Chris (on right) helps sort donated glass with participant artist Ninive. We are grateful for her time and generosity.

The workshops are also an opportunity for participants to give back and volunteer their time. Recently, we received a large donation from Lighthouse Stained Glass in Los Angeles. Everyone jumped in to wash and sort the materials.

glass sort

Instructor Leigh Adams sorting donation.

Piece by Piece is a micro-enterprise, and once participants have completed a series of classes, we offer them the opportunity to sell their work. But, it is also a community, full of support for all things mosaic and more. We share our stories, talk about our families, our triumphs and our tragedies, at these workshops. It is where we learn from each other, listen to ideas and collaborate. It is a time for everyone to come together, and the reason we have come to call ourselves the Piece by Piece family.


Dawn Mendelson

Dawn Mendelson has provided leadership in the development of Piece by Piece since 2007. She has over time built an arts curriculum for participants that fosters learning in design, drawing, creativity and collage mosaic technique. As Piece by Piece Artistic Director, she steers the vision for workshops held at a variety of locations. Dawn specializes in pique assiette, a style of mosaic which uses recycled materials. She has been featured on HGTV and Dawn was twice selected as Educator with the Mayor's Gang Reduction Program. Her passion is working with people, especially those who are new to art, and enjoying their moments of self-discovery.