A Throne Fit for a Queen
In honor of Mother's Day, the Wadsworth Atheneum will be holding an event called "In My Mother's Garden." The museum has invited local designers to fill the air with plants and flowers in celebration of spring and Mom. Artist, Karen Rossi, collaborated with Kim and Jim Chipello of Terra Gardens to create a spectacular white birch and mosaic chair to be showcased amidst a garden design by Jim.

The Story Begins....
It all started when Kay, a member of the Wadsworth Board asked Kim to be a participant in the Mother's Day event. Kim, wanting to include Karen, called her immediately thinking, "We want to highlight her work." Karen quickly agreed, creative ideas soaring in her mind. Soon after, the idea of a mother's throne with a birch frame was put into motion. Natural white birch was chosen to keep a mother-nature theme. Kim and Jim set forth building the frame and Karen started creating a mosaic seat and back.

Mosaic Making
Karen, always open to a new challenge, went out and purchased mosaic kits, nippers, tiles, dishes, glass beads, and grout. She utilized iridescent glass tiles, crashed her designer and antique plates, and found sea glass, wine bottles, and pieces of mirror for her very first mosaic. Creating mosaics was always something that Karen wanted to do, but she had never had the opportunity. We all learned a lot in the next few weeks about laying and clipping tiles, grouting, gluing, and buffing. From Karen's fiancé to her employees at the studio, we all lent a hand. The finished product was amazing! Light bounced and played off of the opalescent beads and glass. The back of the chair exhibits the words "Moms are Love," and the seat is comprised of the word "Life." The words come alive through a multitude of colors, shapes, and sizes.

Karen would like to offer one piece of advice to any of her adventurous fans who try their hand at mosaics. If you set out to create a chair of your own, make sure that the materials you are using are all the same thickness. Using a variety of thin and thick tiles could result in a rather uncomfortable place to sit! Also, an excellent resource for anyone creating mosaics is a book we found called Mosaics by Kaffe Fasset and Candance Bahouth. The pictures are fantastic, and they have some wonderful, unique ideas for mosaic projects.

The Finale
With the chair now finished, it is clear that Kim, Jim, and Karen have done it again! Their joint effort looks fantastic! To see it for yourself, visit the Wadsworth Atheneum between Thursday, May 5th and Sunday, May 8th. We are all very excited about this piece, but Kim and Jim have a special love for the creation. They describe the panorama as an "exquisite piece of art that celebrates Mother Nature and Motherhood. The artwork represents the love and creativity each mother offers to her children and the love and creativity each child offers back, with nature serving to surround and protect as we admire."

If you are unable to see the throne on display at the Wadsworth, stop by Terra Gardens on Route 83 in Vernon, CT. Kim will display the chair as a centerpiece in the Terra Garden landscape design for all to view over the summer months. For more information about Terra Gardens, contact Kim and Jim Chipello at 860-871-9477.