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Shelly Hamill has always been fascinated by the beauty found in the things most of us fail to notice: faces passed on the sidewalk, the light reflected by the dew on leaves, the movement of fabric in a lady’s skirt. As a child, her maternal grandmother, an artist herself, guided Shelly’s artistic eye and talent.
Shelly began experimenting with photographic mosaics, cutting up photographs and putting them back together to create a new image. Moving on to traditional mosaics, applying the tiles face down in the indirect method, Shelly began to explore color, form and texture with tile. Changing to the direct method, applying the tiles face up and grouting from the top, she began to see the possibility of creating fluidity with materials that are hard and rigid.
“My challenge is to create something that is feminine and flirty, with softness and drape like fabric, using ceramic, glass and stone. I work to create flow and gracefulness. My hope is that the viewer is willing to touch the pieces, experience the rigidity of them, and appreciate seeing something in an entirely new way.”
Continuing her mosaic training through masters classes at the Orsoni School in Venice, Italy, Shelly expanded her work to portraits, harkening back to her origins with photographic mosaics. Now, instead of using photographs, she utilizes the highly prized Orsoni smalti tile to create lifelike portraits. This smalti tiles come in a range of colors unmatched by any other type of tile, allowing Shelly to create fabulously accurate portraits.
shelly hamill original art