A few years ago I looked at my kitchen walls - designed and unchanged since circa 1963 - and decided that those tacky old tiles had to go! “I’ll make a mosaic," I thought. Having worked as a ceramic artist for many years, I quickly felt at home with tile work and was able to make use of fragments of my own pottery and hand-made tiles, along with glass beads and bits of shell and glass. It was so exciting!
And so began my complete infatuation with mosaics and the endless possibilities they offer. The versatility and visual magic of mosaics, the richness of colours and diversity of materials, intrigues and fascinates me.
My life has taken many creative paths. Growing up in a very artsy family in a suburb north of Chicago, I have always loved art and have been drawing and painting, as well as teaching art to kids and adults, almost my entire life. After earning my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, I studied ceramics and clay at George Brown College and worked as a ceramic artist and ceramics teacher for many years. Over the years, my love of education led me to teaching English as a Second Language to newcomers to Canada, as well as pursuing my Master's Degree in adult education and community development at OISE at the University of Toronto.
These varied parts of my life inform, reflect and compliment one another.
I live in Toronto with my kids and partner, two cats, four chickens and our fantastic dog Kismet, and I still smile everyday when I stand in my kitchen surrounded by my mosaic! it is deeply joyful to have colour, light and playful design in your life every day! This is what I hope to bring to other people and other spaces – a sense of life and creativity to their kitchen, bathroom, workplace, community, even cottage…and beyond!
Yaya Padawer of Yaya Mosaics