December 13, 2011


In the spirit of the season, Studio Fresca will be hosting a Holiday Open Studio & Gallery Showing from 11am until 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday, December 17th & 18th, so stop by for a visit to see the art and meet the artist! The studio will have works in progress and demonstrations of various mosaic techniques while upstairs the Gallery at Heart Winds House will have completed works, prints and cards, and the latest jewelry pieces on display. Enjoy complimentary hot beverages and holiday treats prepared by Chef Dave from Hearty's, which tied for first place winner at the 2011 Chowder Cook-Off Contest at Burke Mountain Resort, will also have hot, homemade soup and fresh bread on the menu if you're looking for something a little "heartier" to eat!

To find us, look for the Studio Fresca signs posted along the road ways, or call ahead at 802-626-5105, or check us out on google places and tweet @heartysvt to find out what the soup of the day is.

Wishing you all the special joys of the season and hope to see you soon!

November 6, 2011


I got the tempered glass, which I used to create the chilly looking sky for this piece, from old refrigerator shelves and learned that some glass is better tempered than others! Other materials used in this piece include quartz slag and resin tile bars on 'environmental' MDF with sanded and non-sanded grout. Size ~ 5.5" x 10" (click image to enlarge)
Because it is free, facet-nating, versatile and found in so many places I tend to frequent, I use a fair amount of Tempered Glass — or "TG" — in my work. I have mostly used auto glass salvaged from the auto wrecking yards and am familiar with it's wide range of peculiarities and challenges. It comes in a variety of shades of blue, gray, green and occasionally black. It is many different thicknesses and some brands shatter in different patterns than others. Front windshields tend to be tempered AND laminated, which is not generally conducive to mosaic-making, and it's best to avoid windows with metallic automatic defroster filaments embedded in them unless you plan on making them part of the overall "look" of the finished piece. I can tell you from first hand experience, nipping those filaments out of the glass bits is t-i-m-e consuming. Shower doors are not too hard to find and can give a nice effect depending on what type of surface treatment the glass was originally given as a matter of "privacy decor". A few times I've been lucky enough to end up with someone's fabulous old TG plate glass window: they are clear and nearly colorless, usually break cleanly, are all one thickness and almost always have the advantage of NOT being covered in dirt, grease or soap scum. 

Because they were there (being there is half the game) and they were colorless (and colorless is not always easy for me to come by) and they were free (my favorite kind) and I thought they would be fun (fun is the other half of the game), I scavenged a few shelves out abandoned refrigerators in the discarded appliance yard at the recycling center. Part of the fun of using tempered glass, if you are fortunate enough to be getting an entire intact piece (like I had just scored with those shelves), rather than scraping it up off the ground or out of the back seats of junked cars, is the act of breaking it. There is something delicious about setting everything up just the way you want it then ceremoniously and oh-so-gently tapping the side of the glass with a hammer and watching it start to crackle and then spread, with a subtly satisfying little sound, from one side to the other until what was once a solid piece of transparent material with a strong specular reflection develops into randomly shaped and sized gem-like bits of pure sparkling goodness.

However, this is NOT what happened with my refrigerator shelves. I tried tapping them gently, then harder, then even harder — then so hard that they flew across the studio floor and landed, intact, under the big work table. I tried wrapping the whole thing up in a towel, putting it on my concrete studio floor and whacking it with a sledge hammer — the hammer bounced! The harder I hit it with the hammer, the harder the hammer bounced. I was flummoxed, I was fascinated...and I was growing frustrated. I climbed on my table and dropped the shelves. Stil wrapped in the towel, they bounced. I climbed onto the counter (a whole foot higher) and threw the shelves. They bounced and skittered, although one lost a sharp sliver of the corner — and it did NOT resemble safety glass. I gave up at that point, set them aside and began working on the parts of the piece pictured above, PERCH ON A BIRCH, that did not involve TG. 

A couple of weeks passed (I am, by nature, slow, and it was a tedious piece!) and then I really needed clear, colorless TG in order to finish that little cardinal's snowy realm. So I got out the refrigerator shelves and considered: a.) trying to use my big, wet scary tile saw on them; b.) put them on the concrete garage floor and run over them with the car; and c.) call my husband. But first I wanted to have one more go. I was going to video the awesome bounce of this TG for posterity's sake — who would believe it? And then I was going to double check to make sure the shelves really were composed of TG and not some sort of modern miracle plasti-glass product. To get warmed up, I wrapped one of the shelves in a towel again, put it on the concrete studio floor, grabbed my sledge hammer, stabilized my cell phone, started the little video camera on it and swung half-heartedly. Suddenly, the glass gave way! I could hear and feel it, and sure enough when I opened the towel, it revealed that the fridge shelves had cracked into REALLY tiny, absolutely separate pieces. No clinging clumps or larger bits to be laid onto the mosaic in interesting patterns, just teensy, tiny, nearly microscopic little pieces fit only for tweezers and magnifying glasses.

As I started to put the bits into their containers, mentally counting the hours I would spend laying those bits down to create the mosaic, I realized that underneath the shelf had been an old wing nut (and what's a good story without a good wing nut?), about the same color gray as the concrete floor, but fairly good sized. I can only surmise that the wing nut, by keeping the shelf from being flat against the floor, provided the extra stress needed to finally fracture the glass. So I did the exact same thing with the other shelf, which for some reason broke into the most beautiful, long thin strands of glass, some up to 3 or 4 inches long and only an 1/8th - 1/4" wide — not necessarily my idea of "safety" glass, but it looks super cool and I'm going to have some fun with those! And the next time I see some lovely, clear, colorless refrigerator shelves gleaming in the sun at the dump, I'm going in for them!

September 29, 2011


12" x 36"; discarded dishware, salvaged tile bits and mirror scraps on leftover 1/4" Hardi-backer board with thinset and sanded grout. Prepped and sealed for outdoor use in temperatures above freezing. By R. F. De Lorme, ©2011 (click image to enlarge)
Fall is fabulous in Vermont, but all too short so I made a tall tree to celebrate the season. This piece stands 3' tall and the trunk makes use of the backs (with the manufacturers stamps) as well as the fronts, of various shades of white, cream and grey plates. The leaves are hand-cut rounds, to give the piece a sense of fullness and volume. There are also a few slivers and bits of mirror in the trunk to give it a bit of twinkle when the light catches it. This panel was created on hardi-backer board with thinset and specially sealed so that it can be displayed outdoors in temperatures above freezing — or in a shower stall — or as a kitchen backsplash.

June 22, 2011


Me with A WILD NIGHT IN THE HUNDERTWASSER WOODS — We'll both be attending the National Mosaic Exhibition in Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod! I'm really pleased and honored to part of the exhibition, which features 55 works by mosaicists from across the US and Canada. The exhibition, held at Highfield Hall, opens on 20th July and closes on 4th September. The opening reception on Friday, 22cnd July features a presentation by the one and only Sonia King. Planned around the exhibit are some great workshops and fun tours offering a multitude of mosaic experiences! For a complete schedule of classes, workshops and activities, or for more info: NMECC and for a closer look at A WILD NIGHT IN THE HUNDERTWASSER WOODS

May 19, 2011


(Click image to enlarge for easier reading)
Vermont has a thing for the arts and one thing we do every year is open our studios up to the public for the annual Vermont State Open Studio Weekend.

I suspect it's partly the fact that we are finally reaching the end of our long winters that has us throwing open our doors and kicking up our heels — just like all those happy cows newly released from their barns in spring — that makes this event so welcome to both the artists and the visitors. I also think it's a peculiarly Vermont thing to be both resolutely independent and contentedly solitary while still maintaining a staunchly strong sentiment for the value of community and a consistent, but really rather inconspicuous, no-fuss, make yourself-right-at-home-we're-glad-to-see-you, warmth of hospitality. This attitudinal lifestyle makes a perfect fit for artisans, craftsmen — and farmers — who you'll find throwing open their doors, and maybe even kicking their heels up a bit, on Open Studio Weekend, Saturday 28th and Sunday, 29th of May throughout the entire state of Vermont.

You can download a booklet and map of the more than 200 artists participating here and consider this a personal invitation from me, to you, to stop by Studio Fresca to say hello, check out the works in progress, try out the tools yourself, enjoy fresh baked goods by Hearty's, hang out on the deck or stroll the paths on 5o lovely acres at Heart Winds House in East Burke, VT. We're definitely planning on kicking OUR heels up all in the name of art, community, visitors and spring and we'd be delighted to have you join us!

May 8, 2011



MOTHER LOVE - Mosaic jewlery piece created with love for my own wonderful mother. Recovered vintage china, scrap stained glass, italian millefiore, recycled metal findings, glass beads and faux pearls, silk wrapped wire cording on gold-plated pewter metal pendant blank with unsanded grout.

As a daughter, a mother and a "wanna be" grandmother, Mother's Day means something more to me than just another corporate created occasion to send a greeting card. Mother's Day has a somewhat convoluted history and owes it's inception to a number of women who, over several generations and in several geographic locations, originally established the concept of a "special day" for mothers everywhere to come together to variously remember their children, promote peace, work toward women's rights, fight family poverty, show appreciation and gratitude toward one's own mother and celebrate the timeless bonds of motherhood.

Although many of us may not recognize the original intentions of early Mother's Day concepts in today's commercialized version, we have only to look toward our own mothers — and mothers all around the world — to see that the real reasons for celebrating Mother's Day have not changed. Mothers provide constant care for their children, they work to support them, they fight to protect them, they delight in their accomplishments, they strive to provide a better world for them. And it is my experience and strong conviction that, by and large, they do this not only for their own children, but for all the children of the world and that one does not necessarily have ever to have given birth to provide the mothering the world so desperately needs.

The old adage has it that, "A Mother's Work is Never Done" and I believe this is true. We have such high ideals, expectations and hopes for what our mothers will provide. Once you are a mother, you are a mother forever. Given all they do for their individual children, and collectively for the world, mothers certainly do have a lot to answer for and for that reason I am delighted to take this opportunty to be grateful for, and appreciative of, all that my own mother, and mothers everywhere, have done for me. So in celebration of women yesterday, today and tomorrow, I wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day!

April 22, 2011


In recognition of Earth Day, a revisit of CHLOROPHYLIA, a piece created entirely from trash in celebration of chlorophyll — that magical, mystical material that works with sun, water and soil to make our planet green. Photosynthesis rocks my world!
CHLOROPHYLIA — Recycled slumped glass base with recovered dishware and vintage china with 22K gold trim; vintage recovered brooch; tempered glass salvaged from auto wrecking yard; fresh water pearls; iridescent glass paint; sanded and non-sanded grout.

My inspiration was the green vintage flower brooch on the corner, which was found in a bag of old jewelry. Using that as a beginning, I set out to make a piece that would convey the magic of chlorophyll as the life blood of green plants. The flowing tempered glass (from broken automobile windows) represents water flowing through the system and the dyed freshwater pearls (gathered from a broken necklace I found at a garage sale) are meant suggest chloroplasts, the cells responsible for photosynthesis. The vintage china with 22K gold trim is a reminder of the value of plants to keeping our environment "green".

April 6, 2011


The International Auction of Mosaic Art to Benefit Doctors Without borders / Médecins Sans Frontières is currently underway! View 127 amazing and diverse works of art created and donated by more than 100 mosaic artists from around the world. DWB/MSF is a truly remarkable organization and well deserving of our support so if you love art, this is a great opportunity to own an original piece and "do good". Click here to go directly to the auction site and behold all the wonderful works created in honor of the wonderful work that DWB/MSF does. Thank you and happy bidding!

A TREE FOR ALL SEASONS - my donation to the International Auction to Benefit Doctors Without Borders. For more details on the materials and meaning behind the design, please click here.