The Scoop: Barbra Stewart/Mosaics Artist
If you ever venture down the Kerrytown aisle, I am sure you have bumped into some amazing tiled tables. Local artist, Barbra Stewart would be the one sitting serenely behind her booth, with one of her dogs. Barbra owns Heavy Artwork, and does mosaics on unique rocks in addition to her hand crafted tables. Check out her interview below.
Brief intro to who you are / what you do:
I’m a widow with 2 teenagers living in an old house in the Old West Side of Ann Arbor. I have 4 rescue dogs and 2 canaries. I have a long scientific history and retired happily 10 yrs ago. During those 10 yrs I’ve found myself in the unlikely role of caregiver and have tried to adapt accordingly. I’ve converted my garage into a studio and it’s my favorite place to do mosaic art. I like to use stained glass or tile on stone or wood. Stained glass labyrinths & spirals on stone or tiled pedestal tables would be my trademarks.
What’s your favorite piece of work that you have created?
Currently my favorite piece is a 32” pedestal table featuring the vine & berries tile by Motawi Tileworks. Anyone expecting this to serve as a plant stand would be grossly underestimating its potential. I view it as an ornate lectern you could do a handstand on. Stability such as this doesn’t come light (or cheap).
Do you have a funny/inspiring story about a piece you made?Please share…
Not about a piece but the motivation behind the name of my website: www.heavyartwork.com. Seems like everything I do, no matter how it starts out, ends up heavy because of tiles or rocks or grout or all of the above. My biceps have become admirable
What are you working on at the moment?
A refurbished $12 skinny pedestal table w a warped top; a gorgeous cherry pedestal table (made by Peter) w part of a Motawi treescape mural on top surface
What are your goals for the future, both work wise and life?
Keeping it real. Just here, just now, just this.
What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies do you have?
I love dogs. I love to travel. I love to watch the water.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I have a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences & worked in Big Pharma for 12 yrs.
Do you have any favorite blogs you read?
No but I will when you write yours.
3 items or designs that you love from other Sunday Artisan Market vendors.
Peter’s hardwoodwork, Bob’s spoons, take your pick for jewelry.
Where else do you sell your work?
BackRoom Antiques & More, Tawas Bay Yarn Co., Domaci Gallery
Where else can we find you?
What else should we know about you and your work?
This is very different from any work I’ve done before; however, since coming to the Sunday Artisan Market, I’ve discovered comraderie, inspiration, wisdom and teamwork the likes of which I hadn’t experienced since Drug Discovery teams in industry. It helps ease the isolation of the art.
Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others?
I believe in expression through art. Sometimes what the doctor’s ordered isn’t up to the task; but sometimes, crossing eyes over a stained glass mosaic project is just what was needed. Art makes life better, especially for the person doing it. Whether you are shouting for joy or struggling with your own grief, that’s the place to start.