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Master of Mosaics – Ilona Webster

May 26 will see a new gallery opening at the Fernie Arts Station.
Ilona Webster’s mosaic work will be on display at the Arts Station later this month.

May 26 will see a new gallery opening at the Fernie Arts Station. Ilona Webster along with Char Czech will have their work on exhibit through to June. Ilona will be bringing some of her mosaics for the show.

“My show is called 'Inside, outside, all around the house'. I will have mosaic pieces that will work anywhere in your home, deck and garden. I have used glass, china and found objects to create 'one of a kind pieces'. My mosaic artwork is whimsical and fun,” said Webster to The Free Press.

This will be the artist’s first official show. She has had her work on display in the past but this will be the first time her work is shown in the Arts Station. The anticipation for the show mixes anxiety with excitement according to the artist.

“I have not done a show at the Arts Station. This is the first time I have been asked to be there. I have done not necessarily showings, but have showed and sold my work in other places. This is my first official showing, it makes me feel a little stressed but excited,” she said.

She has been creating mosaics since the mid-1990s. The artist also practices in other mediums as well.

“I have been doing mosaics since 1993 or ‘94. I chose it because I thought it would be something different, I have been doing it forever so it is almost prolific for me, I just want to get it out there,” she said. “I do paint, press flower art and make some jewellery. I am retired so I have lots of time to try things.”

With just a pair of glass nippers, she creates her work. The nippers provide unique hard-lined shapes.

“The only thing I use is a glass nipper. A lot of my work has raw edges, different shapes that don’t have straight lines. I like the nippers, whatever shape comes out I like to work around it,” Webster said.

The motivation for her work is drawn from what the artist sees around her.

“I get my inspiration from the colours in glass, subject matter that I love. I also use china, so if I see a plate that has a really neat colour pattern on it I feel that I could possibly make something out of that pattern,” she said.

“I live in Elko, I have a studio in which I give classes in whatever people want to do, mosaics, jewellery, whatever. I usually end up taking my stuff somewhere. I always have finished product so if somebody asks where a certain piece went that was online I have it here in Elko,” she said. “It happens in my studio, I have a couple long tables there. It started when people started showing interest and wanted to do something. I have been doing classes since the first time I started in ‘93 or ’94.”