Broken glass makes beautiful art – Rochester Minnesota news, weather, sports

Damaged glass in the alley isn’t normally witnessed as artwork, but local mosaic artist Debra DSouza has employed damaged glass to generate lovely mandalas gracing just one of Rochester’s downtown alleys. If anyone glanced up at the next tale in the alley at the rear of The Castle, 121 N. Broadway, they could possibly detect a selection of shining and boldly colored circular mosaics coated in intricate repeating styles.

Working with Threshold Arts and numerous previous learners, DSouza concluded 12 glass mandalas that were set up as section of the Alley Activation Undertaking in 2020. Some of the mandalas are as massive as 3 toes in diameter, and they are scattered in the course of the alley corridor at places like the Bleu Duck Kitchen area.

DSouza’s really like of glass artwork stretches back to the 1970s when she took conventional stained glass-making lessons from Mike and Stephanie Podulke and even started to make some commissioned windows and instruct her own classes.

“Once my sons obtained a bit older, I went off on a various route, but saved my glass with the intentions of returning to it a single working day,” she states.

In 2012, DSouza returned to her adore of glass in a a bit distinct sort when she produced her first mosaic.

“Once I built my first few projects on my possess,” she clarifies, “I was hooked and started using classes and workshops with mosaic people any place I could go.”

DSouza from time to time utilizes the conventional Italian smalti system of making mosaics. This approach includes slicing irregular glass with a hammer and a exclusive chisel identified as a hardi. She also works by using hand equipment like a glass cutter, a wheeled nipper, glass pliers and tweezers.

“I adore the full course of action of operating with the glass and the tools that assist make the illustrations or photos,” she says.

With a Bachelor of Wonderful Arts degree in Studio Art concentrating on painting, DSouza generally thinks of her mosaic perform as painting with glass.

“Painting with glass is no distinct than mixing the paint and laying it onto the surface,” she claims. “I have just replaced paint with glass.”

From planets to pears, DSouza’s mosaics depict a assortment of topics, but they all have to have her awareness to element and focus. They can array in measurement from little micro mosaics that could be worn as jewellery to operates that are numerous feet extended.

DSouza says she requires to maintain a massive provide of glass on hand to nourish her creative imagination. Some of her glass will come all the way from Venice. Right after she attended a workshop there, she shipped household 300 lbs of Italian smalti glass which is frequently characterised by attractive irregularities like bubbles, shade variants and altering textures.

Neighborhood projects have been a central component of DSouza’s mosaic creations. For example, this yr she has been operating on a “50 by 50+” task that is at the moment remaining exhibited at the Rochester Art Middle. It will be on exhibit right until Jan. 30. The undertaking resulted from a grant and associated DSouza teaching 50 grown ups who have been 50 decades outdated or older in 7 mosaic workshops. Just about every of DSouza’s 50 pupils created and designed their possess glass mosaic mandala.

DSouza has her operates for sale at Threshold Arts and other regional art galleries.

In addition, her mosaic function “Transitions” is presently on display at the Rochester Airport as element of the Arts Elevated System. “Transitions” is a circular function 4 ft in diameter that functions both stained glass and fused glass, glass that has been melted in a kiln.

Numerous hospitals have commissioned DSouza’s works.

She just lately done nine unique mosaics, some featuring landscapes and some showcasing mandala patterns for the Penn Point out Hospital’s ALS clinic.

“This undertaking has exclusive meaning for me as a person of my close mates is currently living with this disease,” she suggests.

A substantial “Solar System” mosaic is a project she finished for the Stanford College Children’s Hospital. DSouza offers her commissions by her web site



Debra DSouza employs the hammer and hardie strategy to slash tile as she performs on a mosaic challenge Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at her residence in Austin. Traci Westcott / Article Bulletin

Traci Westcott

Element of the rationale DSouza is drawn to generating mosaic artwork is that the medium keeps the attractiveness of glass whilst averting its fragility. She notes that there has been a renaissance of mosaic works in airports and subways.

DSouza claims she will hardly ever tire of the mosaic medium for the reason that there are so lots of factors and examples of the artwork variety. When she’s located her best medium, she wishes the exact same pleasure for other individuals.

“Everyone is an artist,” she suggests, “it just normally takes the ideal spark to mild that fireplace and fascination to generate.”


Debra DSouza, a mosaic artist Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at her house in Austin. Traci Westcott / Publish Bulletin

Traci Westcott


Debra DSouza operates on a mosaic task Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at her residence in Austin. Traci Westcott / Submit Bulletin

Traci Westcott


Debra DSouza works on a mosaic undertaking Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at her household in Austin. Traci Westcott / Publish Bulletin

Traci Westcott

Kenneth Proto

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