Recycled Materials Are the Focus for April’s Workshops

At the core of Piece by Piece’s mission is making use of recycled materials. Broken plates, scrap glass, chipped ceramics are all discarded elements destined for landfill. But not in mosaic art. These precious materials are celebrated at Piece by Piece.

In April, Program & Artistic Director Dawn Mendelson led a series of workshops focused on pique assiette, a form of mosaic making use of a myriad of rejected materials that have found their ultimate purpose in the hands of artists. The term loosely translates to “stolen plate” in French and is named after Raymond Isidore, a Frenchman who covered his home inside and out with bit of materials he found on his way home from work between 1938 and 1968 in Chartres, France.

Mosaic flowers


Starting with how to break a plate (upside down so you don’t break the glaze) and moving to design techniques that incorporate texture and color into a piece, participants created individual pieces making use of a great variety of materials. Many started with a focal point—a teapot lid or an image from an old plate—and added shards of both ceramic and glass into both whimsical and meditative artworks.


“Pique assiette is magical in that it invites both the artist and the viewer to envision new ideas in common materials,” said Dawn Mendelson. “A broken green plate becomes the leaves on a tree; a chipped vintage teacup holds a bouquet of ceramic flowers. The narrative is shifted from things unwanted to pieces that are celebrated.” The creativity of the artists in April’s workshops reflects this philosophy.

Sign up for our newsletter

0 comments

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Read More Stories

  • January Directed Studies - Working with Clay with Ellen Dinerman

    January Directed Studies - Working with Clay with Ellen Dinerman

    To kick off the new year, instructor Ellen Dinerman led a workshop on making clay reliefs, experimenting in particular with texture and glazes. “Participants really enjoyed the clay relief project. The studio was so quiet with everyone working away; learning to carve clay and making various textures,” said instructor Ellen.
  • In Honor of Black History Month: Celebrating Mosaics Created by Black Artists at Piece by Piece

    In Honor of Black History Month: Celebrating Mosaics Created by Black Artists at Piece by Piece

    This Black History Month, we take a moment to celebrate the stories, art, and resilience of Black artists within the Piece by Piece community. This vibrant collective, comprising both current members and alumni, showcases the transformative power of mosaic art.
  • Poppies and Lupine Mosaic Mural Installed in LA Family Housing's Newest Veteran Housing

    Poppies and Lupine Mosaic Mural Installed in LA Family Housing's Newest Veteran Housing

    A vibrant mosaic mural has been installed in the courtyard of the newly constructed My Angel apartments by L.A. Family Housing The space is designated for veterans and individuals transitioning out of homelessness. This project is a testament to the power of art in transforming spaces and lives.