Paper Under Glass-Momma Mosaics' Signature Style

Featured Artists

When Charity Stewart's mosaic mirror made of old Starbucks Gift Cards was posted to our Artist Gallery as part of our Recycled Arts Contest, I couldn't help but notice. Cheerily nicknamed "Momma Mosaics", Charity creates brightly colored art that is whimsical and playful. She has mastered the art of using paper under glass, and repurposing found objects. We caught up with her to ask her a few questions about her signature style.

How did you get started in glass?

I discovered the joy of glass at the age of 12, when I was introduced to stained glass art by my grandmother. She inspired me to explore my creative side as we worked side-by-side in her tiny basement studio, cutting and grinding pieces for a large window panel. Those lessons in creativity launched my interest in glass art and eventually led me to classes in fusing and mosaics.

Why mosaics?

Have you ever been obsessed with finishing a puzzle? Making a mosaic is similar, but unlike a puzzle where the end result is always the same, mosaics give you have the freedom to create the puzzle as you go. My designs are never really too preplanned, I enjoy the flow of the process and often find that the tessarae will tell me what to do. The end result may be completely different from what I originally envisioned, but it makes for an exciting journey along the way. I enjoy problem-solving, being surprised, and playing with texture and movement. All of these things I derive from the creative process of mosaic art.

How have your other interests/hobbies/career influenced your glass designs?

Scrapbooking was my former passion. I loved designing page layouts with colorful images and words, and I think that style has carried over into my mosaic art designs.

What inspires you?

Nature, coffee, wine... it's all good in the Pacific Northwest! I am most inspired by the beauty in nature that surrounds us. Trees, flowers, and birds are predominantly featured in my work, but coffee and wine themed items are always a big hit. My two little girls are also a huge inspiration. Although sometimes they drive me crazy, they touch my heart and make me smile every day. If I can touch others and bring a smile through my work, then my purpose as an artist has been fulfilled.

What makes your work unique from everyone elses?

What makes my work stand out is my signature style of scrapbook paper under glass. After much trial, error and tears, I have finally mastered this technique and love how it adds a new layer of interest. I also like to throw in whimsical or inspirational quotes and sayings here and there. I believe that art should speak to you, make you smile, or inspire you.

You use many found objects (i.e. Starbucks gift cards) in your work. Is recycling important to you?

I'm always treasure hunting at garage sales, salvage yards and glass bins for items that can be re-used or upcycled. I feel that each of us have a responsibility to take care of what God has given us. For me, transforming old and discarded items into something new, beautiful and unexpected is a fun way to go green.

Whos work, glass or otherwise, do you most admire?

I really admire the works of Laurel True, a phenomenal mosaic artist in the SF area. She not only creates gorgeous designs, but also devotes much of her time and energy facilitating community mosaic projects in underserved and developing areas like Kenya and Haiti.She is quite an inspiration, I hope to one day follow in her footsteps.

Do you sell your work? If so, where?

I sell and exhibit at local art shows, galleries, boutique gift shops and online through Etsy. I also plan to join ArtFire and explore the wholesale market later this year.

What are some upcoming exhibits/shows that you are excited about?

As a member of the Oregon Glass Guild I will be participating for the first time in their Spring Glass Gallery show later this month. Held at the Oregon Convention Center, this is the 11th annual event which will showcase the works of more than 100 glass artists from all over Oregon. There will be a hands-on mosaic community project this year, which will be a great opportunity for attendees and exhibitors to get their hands dirty for a good cause. The finished mosaic will be donated to Haven, a women's shelter located in the Gorge.

I would also love to be attend the national mosaic conference held by SAMA (Society of American Mosaic Artists). 500 members from around the world join together for a week- long event filled with workshops, presentations, inspiration and camaraderie. Oh, the dream!

What advice would you give other glass artists?

My advice is simple: Believe in You. Admire other artists and draw inspiration from their work, but try not to compare yourself to them. I sometimes struggle with feelings of inadequacy, but am reminded that we all have something special to share with the world. When you love what you do, and put your whole heart into it... it will show.

Pictured: 3 Little Birds (top right) made from reclaimed window pane, recycled stained glass, scrapbook paper, and wire; Song in My Heart (bottom left) made from vintage sheet music that belonged to Charity's grandmother, stained glass, cracked crystal beads, and a recycled gift bag; Coffee Collage (middle left) made from recycled stained glass, tinted mirror, slate, ball chain, miniature coffee cup and real beans (Starbucks discards); Starbucks Mirror (top left) made from recycled gift cards, IKEA mirror, ball chain and resin; Seaside (middle right) full length floor mirror from goodwill, tempered glass from a shattered shower door, stained glass, tinted mirror, beach pebbles and shells from the Oregon Coast.

You can contact Charity Stewart via her website at website:; her Etsy shop at: or through her Facebook (Search Momma Mosaics).

Looking for Mosaic Supplies? Check out our most popular Recycled Arts Supplies here.

Be the first to comment.
Julie Bedford

Julie Bedford

Julie graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Communications. She worked as a marketing director and graphic designer before coming to work for Delphi as social media manager. Her mother is an artist and inspired Julie's love for art and creativity at a young age. Her hobbies include writing, crafting and social networking.