NEWARK, NJ (April 16, 2018) — Sandra Charlap’s job requires her to come up with new and creative uses for broken glass, and to teach kids to do the same.
“Showing kids how to create glass mosaics provides many ‘teachable moments’, beyond safety lessons. When students are working on a large mosaic as a team they have the chance to learn a craft, but it also encourages them to think of the larger picture – that making art could become a career.”
As the newly appointed Lead Flat Shop Instructor for GlassRoots’, a seventeen year old non-profit arts-education studio in Newark, Ms. Charlap is taking an ancient art-form in a few, new and novel directions.
“I’m a curious artist. I’m trained as a painter but I utilize lots of different materials as if they were paint, including glass. Any material with a wide range of color can function like paint.”
“Flat-work” is the term used to describe functional pieces or works of art made with cut-glass that is fused together, or glued together then grouted as a mosaic. In fused-glass projects, separate pieces of glass are heated together in a kiln. This method has been around for about 2000 years.1 Mosaics date back as far as the 3rd century in Mesopotamia.
Sandra’s new portrait series at GlassRoots utilizes fused-glass, and focuses on everyone’s two favorite subjects; their pets, and themselves. These glass portraits can range from sweet and whimsical, to elegant and impressive, depending upon the skill of the student.
“Ten years ago I began doing Pet Portraits in watercolor. When I started here at GlassRoots I immediately thought of translating them into glass. I’m happy to teach anyone how to create a portrait in glass, from beginners to established artists who already work in glass, or any other form.”
Initially trained in illustration at Parsons School of Design, Sandra went on to earn her MFA at Montclair State University with a concentration in printmaking, and initially opened her own design business, designing and creating custom tabletop ceramics for Barney’s, Henri Bendel, Neiman Marcus and ABC Carpet and Home. Over the course of her career Sandra added mastery in watercolor, acrylic, oils, print collage and mosaics to her skill set. For five years Sandra was the primary art teacher for grades 6 to 12 at Golda Och Academy in West Orange, NJ.
In her new mosaic series, Sandra takes the ubiquitous smiley-face emoji and teaches workshop attendees how to turn them into permanent statements in glass tile, which can be framed and hung, or displayed on an easel. “I call them emoj-aics”. It’s a great way to connect with students in a language they already speak, while getting them to expand their range of self-expression. There really is no limit as to what you can do with glass.”
Sandra continues to show and sell her work to a wide audience while she brings her artistic and entrepreneurial spirit to GlassRoots.
1. Source: SAMA Society of American Mosaic Art www.americanmosaics.org
About GlassRootsGlassRoots is a Newark-based 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for achievement to youth and young adults by engaging them in the creation of glass art and the development of entrepreneurial and life skills. GlassRoots programs are STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), and are offered as in-school residencies, after-school and summer arts programs, workforce development programs, and as workshops for teens and adults, using competency in handling molten glass as a pathway to personal development. For more information, please call 973.353.9555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission of GlassRoots is to ignite and build the creative and economic vitality of greater Newark, with a focus on under-served youth and young adults, through the transformative power of the glass art experience.