Magical Stone Mosaics
Artist Theresa Rizzo handcrafts her work using materials she finds in the great outdoors
Stone mosaic artist Theresa Rizzo of Rizzo Custom Creations loves bringing the beauty of nature inside. When her Michigan-rooted family purchased a second home in Snowmass in her early childhood, Rizzo’s love for the great outdoors blossomed. Her artwork acts to incorporate the soothing, positive energy of crystals while depicting mountain landscapes.
It was in using a friend’s wet tile saw that Rizzo discovered her passion for creating mosaics. The tile saw didn’t require intense strength like crimpers would, which meant less pressure on the artists’ hands. Rizzo started off cutting leaves and slowly progressed to more difficult shapes, like animals. This medium combined her affinity for beautiful stones with her passion for creating.
When it comes to materials, textured natural stone is Rizzo’s go-to, despite it being difficult to come by. Taking more than just inspiration from the outdoors, Rizzo has been known to source pieces while hiking. As she works to waste as little as possible, Rizzo often times ends up gluing thin pieces back together to repurpose. With delicate materials such as travertine, sandstone and phyllite, patience is key.
Upon beginning a custom piece, Rizzo follows a very visual process. Clients send in photos and she creates a digital mockup. Once she’s imagined the art, she knows immediately what materials she’d like to source for which elements of the piece. From then on, each piece gets cut and placed together, similarly to a jigsaw puzzle.
“My most memorable work remains to be Hummingbirds and Columbines,” says Rizzo. The 24″ x 28″ piece weighs a whopping 28lbs. The hummingbirds themselves were crafted out of an iridescent tile that reflects light beautifully. Once this custom piece was completed, the job wasn’t over. Because of the 3D nature of this piece, the grout was done delicately and slowly.