Eight years ago, Claudia Schattman and her kids signed up for a week of camp at a friend’s mosaic studio in Ridgefield.
Claudia quickly fell in love with the art form.
No surface was safe. In short order she’d mosaic-ed her kitchen backsplash, flower pots and mirror frames.
She embellished patios with rocks collected from the beach, and pressed them into concrete.
Working with mosaic artist friend Cathleen Newsham, Claudia helped design sinks, light fixtures, garden stepping stones, fireplace surrounds and rugs.
Less than 3 years ago, she moved to Compo Cove. Her 1st project was a kitchen backsplash made from a mix of found shells, sea glass, china, buttons and pearls.
Then she saw the garages.
Located on the edge of Sherwood Mill Pond — accessible through an alley from the Old Mill parking lot — they look like a throwback to the 1920s. I’ve always thought they mar the beauty of one of my favorite parts of town.
Claudia thought: What a canvas!
With the water as her inspiration, she sketched mirror waves along the sides of her garage. The mirror catches the light and makes it dance, just as water reflects sunlight.
Claudia incorporated found items from beach walks: a child’s pink flip-flop, an outdoor thermometer, mysterious rusted items, barnacled shells and sea glass.
She mixed them with mismatched plates, tiles she’d made in her pottery studio, watch faces and figurines.
Each piece is cut by hand, and affixed to the garage trim. When all the spaces are filled, she’ll grout it.
“It has been so gratifying to work by the sea,” Claudia says. When she’s not ducking flying clams dropped by gulls, she describes her art to intrigued neighbors who stop to gawk.
They also leave goody bags, filled with treasures, for Claudia to incorporate in her work. She never knows what she’ll find, the next time she stops by her garage.
Claudia’s dream is to grow a business designing custom mosaics for people to enjoy in their homes.
Meanwhile, she’s delighted people with a gorgeous mosaic, in the most unlikely place: a grim, gray garage.