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Aboriginal Art Mosaic Shower

Aboriginal Art Mosaic Shower

Aboriginal Art Mosaic Shower

West Hartford, Connecticut

The client Sara Knight standing in front of a Wandjina, a generic term for a group of ancestral beings in the Kimberley area who the Aboriginal people believed controlled the elements, bringing rains to the land and fertility to the people. Wandjina would be described as mahi-mahi, which means special, pure and sacred among the spirit beings of folklore.  The radiating lines indicate lightning, which the Wandjina controls.

Designer, Mosaic Artist and Installer:  Cathleen Newsham

Mosaic Artists:  Beth Klingher, Richard Youngstrom, John Mansfield

Mosaic Installers:   John Pope, John Mansfield

Client:  Sara Knight

Contractor:  Patriot Builders

Sara Knight, a private homeowner and world traveler living in West Hartford Connecticut, contacted Modern Mosaic Arts in 2020 about creating a shower mosaic inspired by her travels in the Kimberly region of western Australia.  She and her husband spent many years exploring caves in the region that were adorned with Aboriginal paintings (or petroglyphs) that were thousands of years old.   After reading and studying Sara’s books on the subject, Cathleen began designing her modern and colorful take on the 4,000 year old drawings.  The final product is a masterful mosaic that brings history and art to life.  To see the rock art inspiration for the mosaics visit Rock Art Australia’s website.

The Design Process

The process began by taking measurements and photos of the existing shower, which had not been renovated since the 1970’s.  Seeing the possibilites to tie the mosaic shower in with other architectural elements in the bathroom, an custom made window cornice and built-in medicine cabinet were the perfect design elements.

Resource Material

With client supplied books and printed art, Cathleen also began extensive research online and found a weatlth of information about Aboriginal art including a website that explains the meaning of the rock art symbols and ghostly figures.

Designing the Mosaic

Taking ideas from several different caves and experiementing with placement of the various design elements, Cathleen quickly determined that she needed to add more color and pattern to the overall design.  

Custom architectural and fine art mosaics for residential and commercial clients.

Serving New York, Connecticut, New Jersey. Worldwide shipping.
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Pebble & Glass Tile Mosaic Shower

Pebble & Glass Tile Mosaic Shower

Pebble Mosaic Spa Shower

Mt. Kisco, N.Y.

Designer, Mosaic Artist and Installer:  Cathleen Newsham

Client:  Jill & Philip Lawrence

The master bathroom shower in a beautiful home in Mt. Kisco, New York. Created with white pebbles and glass tiles, Newsham designed, fabricated and installed this shower mosaic by adhering the tile to mesh with thin-set, then transporting to the home in small sections for installation.   Creating texture with various shapes and sizes of pebbles, Newsham created a serene and unique space with a minimal palette and flowing andamento.  Circular bursts of tile surround the shower to create a sense of whimsy for these unique clients.

Mosaic Details

The Design Process

Custom architectural and fine art mosaics for residential and commercial clients.

Serving New York, Connecticut, New Jersey. Worldwide shipping.
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Coney Island Bathroom

Coney Island Bathroom

Coney Island Inspired Bathroom Mosaics

New York, N.Y.

Creative Director, Mosaic Artist and Installer:  Cathleen Newsham

Installer:  Daisy Korpics

Installer:  John Pope

Client:  Beth Michaelson

Interior Designer:   Sarah Vail

The Coney Island mosaic is an example of a project that is both creative and functional. Mosaic artist Cathleen Newsham designed and fabricated this unique piece of art for a Manhattan family with a passion for roller coasters. Inspired by the mosaics that decorate the walls of New York’s subway stations, Newsham created and installed a “subway” sign above the double sinks. A much larger mosaic (which depicts the likenesses of family members in the first cars of the coaster) was installed on the back wall of the shower-bathtub. The homeowners, wishing to stay true to the fabrication standards of the many mosaics adorning New York City subway platforms, chose to use Italian smalti, a durable, richly colored glass, as the material for the design. The smalti tiles were adhered to mesh, shipped to the jobsite; then finally installed.  Mounting tile to mesh makes it easy to ship mosaics to clients all over the world.

Do you have a passion that you would like to see interpreted as functional or decorative art? We would be happy to listen to your ideas and collaborate to create a unique and personal work of art. Using our CONTACT US page, let us know what projects you are dreaming of, and we will help make them a reality!

The Mosaic Process

These mosaics were created using a combination of mesh and tile tape.  Since there was no Coney Island subway signage Newsham designed a sign for the area above the sinks with a ferris wheel motif behind a serif font.  Testing the design in the architectural drawing gave the client and architect a clear idea of what the final mosaic would look like once completed.  Once the color choices were determined Cathleen sourced the smalti tile and created a palette for final approval.
After researching new and vintage of the Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster, Newsham submitted design ideas for the mosaic that would be going behind the shower area.  Showing the client various pencil sketches, a design was chosen, refined, then dropped into the architectural drawings.
Installing the signage over the sinks.  Modern Mosaic Arts supplied the architect and tile installer with a template of the mosaic so when Newsham and her team of installers arrived, the wall had a recessed area that was perfectly sized for the mosaic to drop right in.  The white subway tiles that surround the mosaic were cut ahead of time by another tile installer using the template supplied so everything fit perfectly and the mosaic and subway tiles were flush with no height difference.
The shower mosaic was installed after the signage.  As you can see in the photo below, the mosaic was cut into pieces for easier handling and transport, then were re-fit together like a puzzle for the installation.

Custom architectural and fine art mosaics for residential and commercial clients.

Serving New York, Connecticut, New Jersey. Worldwide shipping.
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10,000 Leagues Under The Sea Bathroom

10,000 Leagues Under The Sea Bathroom

10,000 Leagues Under The Sea Bathroom

  Waccabuc, N.Y.

Creative Director, Mosaic Artist and Installer:  Cathleen Newsham

Mosaic Artist:  Melissa Smith

Client:  Private Homeowner, Waccabuc, New York

 The whimsical mosaic walls shown here can be found in the homeowner’s children’s bathroom. Intending only to create a mosaic backsplash, the client was so enthralled with the potential of the mosaic that she decided to cover the blank walls of the bathroom. Playfully adorned with bits and pieces of favorite plates, treasured toys and ceramic kindergarten art projects, the mosaic artists transformed empty bathroom walls into a distinctive work of art. The homeowner claims her kids love to bring guests to the bathroom and show them the lighthearted mural. Is there a wall in your home you would like to transform? CONTACT US. We look forward to consulting with you.

Custom architectural and fine art mosaics for residential and commercial clients.

Serving New York, Connecticut, New Jersey. Worldwide shipping.
Back To Main Portfolio Page