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Prospector Theater Fireplace Mosaic

Prospector Theater Fireplace Mosaic

Prospector Theater Fireplace Mosaic

Ridgefield, CT

Designer, Mosaic Artist and Installer:  Cathleen Newsham

Designer, Mosaic Artist and Installer:  Claudia Schattman

Client:  The Prospector Theater, Valerie Jensen, Founder

Architects:  Doyle | Coffin Architecture

Architectural Awards:  2016 HGTV Faces of Design Finalist: Posh Public Spaces, 2015 CODA Award Top 100, 2017 ACEC Merit Award, 2015 AIA Connecticut Design Award, 2016 AIA Connecticut Business Architecture Award

Cathleen Newsham teamed up with fellow artist Claudia Schattman in 2014 for a commission by Prospector Theater founder, Valerie Jensen, to create a mosaic for the theater’s freestanding fireplace. The theater, which opened in Ridgefield in November 2014, delivers a unique movie-going experience and honors its mission to provide vocational training and employment for adults with disabilities. Jensen requested two things of Newsham and Schattman: that they create a mosaic around the theme of “infinite possibility” and that they incorporate in the work dozens of Special Olympic medals that had been donated by athletes. Newsham and Schattman decided to create the mosaic using the French “Pique Assiette” method, which combines broken ceramics with found objects, a perfect style for the eclectic project.  The artists used the medals to represent stars – a literal nod to Hollywood, as well as a figurative reference to the theater’s mission: to reach for the stars. Color fields of blues and greens are made from hand cut glass, pottery, and ceramic tiles (made by the pair in their studio), while found objects and other treasures build the story.  Scattered throughout the work are words and phrases that convey the theater’s philosophy. The result is a giant “I Spy” experience.


“Creativity, conversation and continual discovery are the results of the stunning fireplace mosaic crafted by the talented ladies of Modern Mosaic Arts.  This interactive artwork inspires all who engage with it.  It is a stunning up-cycled mission based treasure!”     

Valerie Jensen, founder of The Prospector Theater

Enchanted Forest Fireplace

Enchanted Forest Fireplace

Enchanted Forest Mosaic Fireplace

Ridgefield, CT

Creative Director, Mosaic Artist and Installer:  Cathleen Newsham

Mosaic Artist: Cindy Quitt 

Mosaic Artist: Cassia Moreira Lago

Client:  Private Homeowner, Ridgefield, Connecticut

This fireplace mosaic was inspired by the change of seasons, winter to spring. Two trees embrace either side of the fireplace surround while layers of colorful leaves blanket the hearth. Hundreds of shapes cut by hand from brilliantly colored glass create the design.
Newsham sketched the design for this project directly onto a paper template then fabricated the mosaic in her studio using the indirect method.  Hand cut glass tile was adhered to tile mesh, and once completed, cut into puzzle-like pieces , transported to the home, then fitted back together and adhered to the fireplace surround.  Grouting was the final step in creating a stunning focal point in this Ridgefield home.
The fireplace surround is an ideal surface to mosaic. The options are limitless. The design can come from a fabric swatch, a piece of vintage or contemporary wallpaper, a favorite china pattern, or the china itself can be featured.  The mosaic design can be bold and bright, or muted and natural. Collections, new and old, can inspire the design: pebbles and shells, reminders of a favorite venue; old glass bottles; watch faces and watch parts; keys; coins…whatever holds meaning for you.  And don’t forget the hearth.  Mosaic the hearth with a repeated pattern or element from the surround. The hearth mosaic, unlike the fireplace surround, would have to be flat to avoid stubbed toes and falls.  CONTACT US to explore the many options for creating your fantasy fireplace surround!