A Glimmer of Light

I wanted to savor this moment and reflect on the past few months…that all began in late fall.  A project.  A custom order that is finally being sent off this week.

The project between two very busy parties, me and the client.

Honestly, I have never had a small custom order last as long as this did.  Through my busiest time of the year, we worked together bit by bit to see it completed.  (Remind me never to take a mural order again in October).

So I wanted to document and share the process from beginning to (my) end.

It is a mural that will be installed in a home in California.  But this project actually has 2 parts to it.  One is a mural that will be installed behind an oven. It’s the oven back splash.  The other part is 5 sculpted 3- D tiles installed on the kitchen island pony wall.

Of coarse it starts with a sketch….a loose sketch.

Ventura Project


two trees back splash mural

This is the whole mural together. I call it Two Tree Mural.  Can anyone guess where this  might be inspired from?  I have already given a clue. The image is of rolling hills with two trees at the top hill together.  The foreground is of  white Matilda poppies, blue lupine spikes, black-eyed susans ,a bumble bee and butterfly. Two lemon trees frame the scene with 3-D lemons and birds  with leaves and citrus flowers.  Full of nature and beauty.   God’s country!

whole two tree mural

Once all the pieces are put into place like a puzzle, I divided it into 3 sections, then glue it onto a flexible grid backed with plastic wrap so it doesn’t stick to the back boards.  Then I send the three panels to UPS to have them professionally wrapped and shipped.

This is my first time tackling a mural this way to ship out.  Normally, something this large either gets a frame and shipped in one piece OR  I usually do the install myself or I oversee the project while installers do the work.  But because of the miles between us, this is the best and cheapest way to go.


The second phase of the kitchen project is the 3-D tiles to be installed on the kitchen island.  I can’t wait to see it all installed. I will be giving you an update once completed and pictures sent to me


So, now I am able to see a glimmer of light,  light at the end of the tunnel.  I love making custom orders. This one made me get out of my box.  As you can see by the Two Tree mural, I don’t normally make tiled murals that fit together like a puzzle.  Why?  Mainly because the larger tiles can warp, or may not quite fit together after the firings.  My style is more free style.  Anyway, it was a challenge and I am glad it’s complete.  I am thankful for the opportunity.

On to newer projects from the heart:

A Custom order Mosaic with Quail Shadow Box and their adorable kitty.  This was a fun Welcome Plaque to put together. Very gardeny and whimsical.

Custom Welcome Plaque, mosaic tile in a frame, 15″ Square, Made to Order



“Through the Thicket” 3-D Bird and Citrus Mosaic.  A fun little wall art piece.  Click for here for more detail.

highlighted bird mosaic
Through the Thicket


This weekend is the annual SACA Ceramics and Pottery show at Tohono Chul Park, February 28 & 29.  Free admission into the park for these days.  Come on by if you’re in town. You won’t be disappointed!

heart pocket group shot
Heart Pockets of Owls, Bobcat, Cow and Chicken















Classes and Workshops:

I’m still offering mosaic workshops.   These ladies had a wonderful time in the February workshop.  Go here for more info and to sign up for May 23rd.

Feb. Group photo of mosaic wksp


Published by robinchladdesigns

I have been doodling, coloring, drawing, cutting, sculpting, painting, sewing, writing and everything in between since I could hold a crayon in my hand. My first art projects were filling up a big, fat coloring book of bridal dresses. I boldly ventured into new territory with paint-by-number sets. I graduated to luxurious and decadent velvet (paint-by-number) sets. Eventually, I mastered the art of Spirogragh. Originally from upstate New York I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1986. Back then I was a single mom and found myself in the job market. I went to Pima Community College for training. Instead of diving into my academics I kept hanging around the pottery studio. Some people lived there and if I didn’t have two little girls at home I would have ended up living there as well. Joking aside, I fell in love with clay and all its possibilities. Being in a position to care for my kids, in 1989 I created a very marketable, creative, and functional item. It was a simple concept that took me into new heights of the craft world and I became an entrepreneur. Creating and selling became my passion. I had achieved success for many years. I loved being my own boss and living the artist’s dream. Life moved real fast and before I knew it my girls were all grown up, moving out, getting married and having kids of there own. Hey, wait a minute… I am a Gramma at 40? No sweat, I handled it gracefully. Fast forward to the present: I have been on a journey led by God. I took a sabbatical for the last 6 years learning new people skills in real estate, retail and care giving to the elderly. But my natural instincts kept leading me back to what my soul cannot deny. New visions, new risks, and a stronger faith has lead me to this point. Have I arrived? It’s like my life is all mapped out and a red arrow points to You Are Here! But the road keeps going and I have learned to listen to that still small voice. My days are filled with a little bit of art, a little bit of caring for my grandchildren, care giving to the elderly and volunteering at Sunday school. I am currently working on sculpting with clay in a tile mosaic setting, like my Seed Pod series or House of Fruit Trios. Some of my pieces are a mixture of individual 3-D tiles, shadow box shrines, and ornaments. The work that’s being created is inspirational, whimsical, and contemporary. Even though life can be very serious and intense I hope to achieve simply bringing joy or even a smile to someone’s face though my creations. I am also designing and developing my%2

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