My name is Catherine Hennessy Gamble. I was fortunate to move to Long Beach, a unique haven for artists, around 15 years ago. I have always considered myself an artist from an early age (in third grade the teacher had me do a mural depicting the settlement of Jamestown using pastels) and have dabbled in various mediums. In high school and college it was oil painting. Then the pottery wheel and making sculptures in clay. Always working with wood and fabric. However, because my parents were eminently practical, I got a degree in Bacteriology from UCLA and alway did art as more of a hobby until recent years.
My beginning as a mosaic artist started after taking a two day workshop at the Laguna Sawdust Festival using broken ceramics. I had found my perfect medium – tactile and full of variety. I soon started adding other materials that I’d collected through recycling, which has always been a passion for me. This included anything from discarded old wood, jewelry, metals including hardware and wire, seashells and stones, broken mirror, glass and more. I have always loved working with wood and have used recycled wood in the frames for many of my pieces.
One of my trademarks was making scuptural relief mosaics with various shapes and sizes of ceramic and tile and adding decorative embellishments using a range of materials like those mentioned above. They are definitely not your traditional flat mosaics using small uniform pieces like the old Roman style (though I still want to do one like that!)
I have made things like three dimensional fountains and windows with sills – bringing the piece into the space of the observer, adding just a little more of a sense of immediacy and intimacy.
Later I got interested in using stained glass in my grouted mosaics after teaching a class at Beveldine. I made individual 6” stained glass tiles, some of which were sold at Ferns Garden.
I also explored making ungrouted pieces, which led me to doing “glass on glass” pieces using old windows as well as old picture and art frames to create a sort of “glass painting” or composition.
This is what I have been doing most recently.
I still like to play around with other mediums and two of my favorites materials are wire and hardware which I have formed into birdcages and birds or combined with crystal beads from old jewelry to make mobiles and ornaments.
I come from a large extended family, live in Belmont Shore with my husband and daughter and two cats. I have another daughter who lives in Long Beach with her two cats and a son who lives in Hollywood. I’m an Anglophile (just got back from a month in England) who loves cool rainy weather and likes to garden, take walks in my neighborhood and just get cozy and read a good book with a cup of tea.