Reboot your Creativity & Discover your Artistic Voice
PO Box 1551, Vienna, VA 22183 - (703) 856-5160

Sacred Mandalas with Deb Aldo

Workshop Description

Workshop Location: Vienna Art Center, 115 Pleasant Street, NW, Vienna, VA

The experience of making a mandala is transformative. In this weekend workshop be prepared to have a fantastic time playing and experimenting , becoming creative in new ways and learning new techniques. To help get you into a creative mindset we'll be doing some right-brain creative warm up exercises that will have you moving, laughing and getting to know your fellow students. No mosaic experience is necessary, appropriate for all levels. This workshop is for anyone looking for a unique mosaic project incorporating mixed materials and a contemplative, fun personal, stress-free experience.

What is a Mandala and what are they for? The word Mandala is Sanskrit and translates to circle. These works are symbolic of the universe and evocative of being encompassed, inhabiting a safe place to explore creative you. A circle is an ancient and archetypal symbol of the cycle of life, the planets and seasons. Mandalas help to bring the creator to a sense of calm and an expansive connection with our world. They are contemplative tools for moving between the inner (self) and outer (daily reality) experiences. Mandalas are typically circular, with symmetrical patterns that radiate from the center. They can be square with a round center or a simple disc. They serve as path or journey to your deepest self and represent moving toward wholeness. Mandalas represent the layers of existence and the interconnectedness of everything. They are Macro and microcosms, infinity and impermanence. Patterns and symbols usually revolve around a fixed point at the center, then the elements radiate out from that center in patterns that can be seen as the elements, compass points, geometric and symmetrical and radial patterns.

THE PROCESS: Each student is responsible for bringing his or her own personal center element, something that resonates with you. It will set the tone for the rest of the mandala. We recommend the element measure no more than 2” around. This center element might be a round stone or piece of jewelry, or perhaps an interesting piece of glass or mineral. If unsure bring a few things to choose from. A 12" substrate and templates will be provided.

There will be a power-point demonstration and hands on demos for thinset texturing techniques, coloring thinset and examples on combining materials based on a pattern, using the direct-set method of mosaic making. Our adhesive is thin-set and works will not be grouted. Students are encouraged to create a radial pattern based on the materials they gather from options provided. Feel free to bring a small amount of your own material to use in your piece or to share with others.

Materials include ceramic, glass, vitreous tiles, Dalles (a transparent slab glass), shells, stone and pebbles and a small amount of metal detritus. Other suggested materials include smalti, stones, minerals and whatever other recycled materials you can think of. Jewelry, buttons, distressed hardware or other small-scale found objects can be incorporated.

A detailed supply list will be sent out a week in advance. Students should bring their favorite mosaic hand tools including glass and stone nippers, tweezers and positioning tools.

Skill level: All levels, from beginner to experienced are welcome.

About the Instructor:

Deb specializes in pebble mosaics and is perpetually exploring ways express herself in mosaic. This signature Mandala workshop is an extension of her personal work, combining pebble mosaics, up-cycled materials executed in traditional mosaic methods based on her art and design training. Deb previously worked as a landscape architect and has been teaching art for decades to all ages and is a certified teaching artist in the state of CT, a member of the New England Mosaic Society and has most recently completed a month long residency in Ireland. To see more visit Deb's website www.pietreduredesign.com

photo: Mandala by Deb Aldo


Workshop Details

Tuition:$345 plus $55 supply fee


Workshop Date/Time:

Weekend Workshop, June 25 & 26, 2016 10am to 5 pm both days