Plan A (There is no Plan B)

Johannah’s most recent mosaic series celebrates the beauty of the natural world, continuing a theme from the earlier Nature and Endangered Flowers series.

We are thrilled to be showing these three mosaics among  a selection of Johannah’s work at Gallery at 23 for the month of April. Located just across the street from the Maggie Walker statue on Broad St. in Richmond, this gallery features artwork exhibitions by new and established Virginia artists.  “Take Care” features Johannah’s mosaic artwork about environmental and social justice .

Join us for the First Fridays opening in the Broad St. Arts District on Friday April 5, 5 pm to 9 pm. We’d love to see you there!


Each of the mosaics in this series is inspired by the sense of awe I feel looking out at our world, at the waters, mountains, and forests on this beautiful and singular planet we get to call home. And that’s just it, it’s the only one on which we know we can survive and thrive. If we continue to mess it up as we have been, if we don’t clean it up so it can continue to be a viable, healthy place for plants and animals to live, there is no plan B. (Or as I’ve seen on signs at environmental demonstrations, “No Planet B.”) So I see these works as a celebration of our world, and a call to reawaken our connection to our home.

The first piece I completed in this series is “River Journey.” This piece is comprised of several lengths of blue and green mosaic laid out side by side. “River Journey” is inspired by the James River, the river we love running through the center of the city we live in. Drinkable water represents a tiny portion of water on earth, yet much of that water is poisoned by human activity. The panels in this piece represents the legs of the human journey in our relationship with water. As we travel this journey, the health and quantity of the water and the landscape around us may change, and different periods of crisis or improvement may last for different lengths. We don’t know in advance how many different legs this legs journey will encounter, but like a river, history carries us ever onward.

“In the Mountain’s Shadow” was the second piece in this series. This one consists of a rugged mountain silhouette in white with black shadows below and a tiny moon and stars above. “Mountain’s Shadow” was inspired by rocky mountain ranges like the Himalayas of south Asia and the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, so different from our own ancient and softly rolling Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. This piece is meant to represent those dark periods of life that feel inescapable in the moment. Right now, the health of our world is in a very dark place that often feels hopeless. The moon and stars represent the hope of light and a different future.

The last piece in this series is “Such a Perfect Day.” This piece consists of a horizontal triptych, a series of three pieces meant to work together to create a whole image. Puffy white clouds float against a blue sky over a line of evergreen trees and a golden field. “Perfect Day” is inspired by early summer days, golden days when the sun feels warm and perfect and a soft breeze stirs the trees. The title comes from the Lou Reed song of the same name, a song used frequently in soundtracks to add a touch of foreboding to those similar golden days. With climate change already wreaking havoc in our world, those beautiful perfect days now come with a sense of foreboding in real life. How much longer can we expect to experience such perfect weather? Let’s savor those days while we can, and work towards the hope of more in the future.

Large bathroom vanity mirror

Late last spring Johannah was commissioned to create a large 36”H x 50”W mosaic mirror frame for a bathroom vanity. The client provided photos of the vanity and artwork in the bathroom for color inspiration, and Johannah set to work!

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Kyle created the custom wood frame for the mirror, then Johannah stained the edges black. Mosaic is a slow, meticulous media, so covering this large surface in tiny glass tesserae took several weeks. Once the mosaic was completed and the glue dry, the frame was grouted and the mirror installed. We constructed a sturdy giant box for shipping and off it went to its new home!

We have several mosaic mirror options in our Etsy shop. Some are ready to ship and some are custom mirrors made to order. We also have a couple in the studio showroom that haven’t made it onto Etsy yet. If you’re local and would like to check out any of these mirrors in person, reach out to make an appointment. We’d love to show you around!

Large mosaic bathroom vanity mirror PH2018.JPG

A few table bases

Here are a few commissioned tables Kyle designed and created with his assistant Kallen over the last few months.

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This table was created for a couple that needed a base to go with their existing butcher block top. Kyle created a hefty design to visually and physically support the thick top. The feet rest on casters so it can be easily moved about the kitchen as needed. You can see the finished table with the top installed below.

Butcher block table PH2018.JPG

Next up are a pair of large coffee tables for a hotel in the Washington, DC area. The client for these tables requested designs inspired by gears. Kyle had a lot of fun creating these two coordinating tables. These are some seriously substantial tables! They weigh in at about 300 lbs each. Good thing the hotel won’t need to move them often once installed.

Below are a few work-in-process shots of each table, as well as photos of the finished tables and detail shots of each table.

If you have a custom table or base idea you’ve been wanting to bring to life, feel free to reach out to us! And if you’re new to custom work, never fear. We’ll walk you through each step of the process.