Tag Archives: Claudia Schattman

Photo Challenge #264

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: “06880” readers are good.

I was sure that last week’s Photo Challenge would stump almost everyone. Susan Ross’ image showed a flip-flop, tea cup, cameo jewelry, and random other, less identifiable objects. (Click here for the photo.)

It was colorful. But how could anyone identify it?

Almost immediately, Seth Schachter did.

He was followed, rapid-fire, by Jennifer Kobetitsch, Betsy Kahn, Sarah Halevi, India Penney, Julie McMahon, Tina Green, Luke Garvey, Michelle Vitulich, Leslie Petersen, Polly Temple, Darcy Sledge and J. Seideman.

All nailed it: The mosaic surrounding one of the parking garages behind the houses on Old Mill Beach. It’s just to the left of the first footbridge heading to Compo Cove.

I know the bridges and walking paths between Sherwood Mill Pond and Long Island Sound are a popular — if hidden — Westport gem.

But the parking garages are off to the side, little noticed, even obscure. And the mosaic is at the end of the lot. Most people’s attention is focused on the water.

At least, that’s what I thought.

Congratulations to our eagle-eyed readers. A special shout-out to Betsy Kahn — a gifted photographer herself — who added this information about the artist, Claudia Schattman:

“She is one of the coolest artists in town. And people can hire her for special mosaics, pottery and photography. She does installations with all mediums and sizes.”

This week’s Photo Challenge is far less colorful. Will it be as easy? If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Mark Mathias)

1 Mosaic, 100 Trees

Visitors to the Sherwood Island pavilion know Claudia Schattman’s artwork.

Now her many fans can do more than admire her next project. They can donate funds — not to her “tree” mosaic-in-the-making, but to help plant them.

Friends of Sherwood Island is sponsoring a “100 Trees for 100 Years” drive. The goal is to help purchase trees, shrubs and grasses to replace the dozens of mature trees lost to Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, and mitigate significant habitat loss.

The mosaic is a collection of plates, teapots, stained glass and knickknacks Schattman collected at tag sales, flea markets, even local beaches.

Donor names will be placed around the perimeter (minimum donation: $275). To donate, click here.

Claudia Schattman’s tree mosaic.

Down By The Old Mill Art Show

Two of Westport’s identities — arts town and beach town — meet this Saturday and Sunday (August 29-30). Clark Hanford presents his annual Old Mill Beach Art Show.

Westport is also a hedge fund town. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a billionaire to buy some great art at this show.

It’s a wonderful, funky event. There’s a neighborhood feel, but everyone is welcome.

Clark — a 1962 Staples High School graduate — is a very talented artist. (If you’ve ever wandered by his house — the yellow gingerbread-style home bordering the Old Mill path to Compo cove — you’ve probably admired some of his work, in and around his yard. You’ve also seen his old-time electric car, but that’s another “06880” post.)

Clark Hanford advertises his art show, in front of his gingerbread-style house.

Clark Hanford advertises his art show, in front of his gingerbread-style house.

This year, Clark’s added a few others to his show. There’s noted designer (and 1965 Staples grad) Miggs Burroughs; whimsical clockmaker Steve Lunt; Westporter Ade Van Duyn; Compo Cove artist Greg Puhy; Old Mill artist Isaac Sonsino, and Claudia Schattman, whose mosaics decorate (among other things) the old-time parking garage behind Old Mill. (Click here to see her very cool work.)

The works will be spread out on Clark’s lawn, and hung on his front and side gates and fence. Every piece is unique. It’s all for sale — including this great wooden doghouse advertisement Clark created just for the show:

Clark Hanford - Old Mill Art Show

(The Old Mill Beach Art show runs Saturday and Sunday, August 29 and 30, 10 a.m.-5  p.m. The address is 31 Old Mill. Of course, parking is very, very tight.) 

A Mosaic Grows By The Mill Pond

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!

Claudia Schattman's garage mosaic: a work in progress.

Claudia Schattman’s garage mosaic: a work in progress.

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.

A close-up of Claudia's creation.

A close-up of Claudia’s creation.

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.