March 24, 2012 | Claudine Blackwell

Claudine's Mosaic Spheres


BY Mira Advani Honeycutt

In the beautifully landscaped garden of Clautiere Vineyard, Claudine’s artistic touches are visible everywhere, including the giant mosaic sphere standing guard under the majestic oak tree. This visual could well be a still from a Tim Burton movie.

It all started with a bowling ball and it took off from there,” muses Claudine. When visitors enter the serene garden, they are mesmerized by the colorful “Gaudi-esque” mosaic pillars and spheres, and the mosaic theme follows them inside the tasting room. Yes, Claudine even mosaic’d the dump buckets and are among the most unique buckets you will find in any of the local tasting rooms.

The artistic process begins with a large sheet of glass that Claudine deftly scores and then cuts into triangular shapes. She prefers using glass instead of ceramic chips for her appliqué. “Glass gives me a wider choice of color and texture, and my favorite is the iridescence glass”. To attach these pieces the artist slathers on the adhesive “like frosting on a cake.” The adhesive used is pliable and one that dries slowly. As she explains it, the object responds to the varying temperature, “It can expand with hot and contract with cold temperatures”. The large sphere is six and a half feet in diameter, took about two weeks to make, and with the help of a forklift was installed in its place.
As far as what material the sphere is made of, it will continue to remain a Clautiere mystery as only a handful of people have managed to squeeze the secret from Claudine, usually after a couple of wonderful glasses of Clautiere wines.

“We feel as though angels are smiling down on Clautiere because there’s so much fun and laughter here. The minute you get out of your car, the magic begins.”




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