Friday, December 15, 2017
News Roundup

Dunedin artist couple lives in mosaic-covered cottage

DUNEDIN

Carol Sackman comes from a family of creative people — painters, seamstresses, haberdashers. She took her first mosaic class at age 10 and worried about the project colors clashing. Her mother, Rose, said all colors worked together, to just look at the flowers growing outside the window.

Sackman took those words to heart and grew up to become an artist.

She and her mosaic artist husband, Blake White, live in a house of many hues. The mosaic-covered cottage they live and work in is a canvas to express their love of art and life. It glistens in the Florida sunshine and beckons casual observers to step up and take a closer look.

"People come by all the time," Sackman said. "We've been on Studio Waltz every year for about 10 years. We've had tours, garden clubs and schools come through.

"But one morning, I woke up and said, 'I know what we need — an arch.' Our friend Bruce made an archway for us from wood."

That eight-foot wooden arch was soon covered by colorful tiles, figurines, names and the splendor of 12 mosaic panels.

One side showcases a female figure fashioned in green hues, the other a male of mostly reds and oranges. At the top, male and female energy merge and the words "Changes Make Waves" appear.

Sackman's side of the arch has smooth pink letters naming her mother, girlfriends and other female family and friends. Pets, too, are honored in name and with small sculptures.

"My side stresses the masculine," said White, 60. "I have geishas with broken heads and above it, the statement 'Men care.' In today's society, where women get abused and mistreated, it was my vignette to say men really do care. On the other side is Ganesh, an elephant, the Hindu deity about starting over and protection. Inside, facing Carol's reflection on female friends and loved ones living and dead, is my reflection on males in my life. I've added skulls and crossbones for the dead."

Beyond the archway, mosaic panels wrap the house in shimmering colors from bits of broken bottles, Florida souvenirs, shells, tiny mirrored tiles, chips of china, and delicate handmade flowers that Sackman propagates in her kiln.

Follow the path around the corner and panels cover the fence and the house's south-facing wall.

Look down at the decorative mosaic stepping stones, another work of art both Sackman and White have created.

"We work together on a lot of things," said Sackman, who has a master's degree in fine art. "A lot of people comment on our stepping stones and I've been teaching classes on making them. We set up long tables in the driveway and have about 17 people at one time. It doesn't take a lot of artistic talent. It's just so much fun."

While Sackman and White produce art together, their work and approach are different.

"I plan everything," Sackman said. "I work a lot slower than Blake and I'm a complete realist. If I can't see it, I don't believe it. Blake is more philosophical. He has more of an ethereal sense. He is totally self-taught. It's amazing what he does."

While White didn't begin life as an artist, he has always worked with his hands as a carpenter and painter. He still works full time as a painting contractor. He says creating mosaics came easily to him because of that, but he likes using his imagination.

In 1998, he spent 18 months learning to create stained glass.

"I love stained glass, but it was always so pricey," White said.

His stained glass pieces hang in the windows. He has no plans to ever sell them.

"It's personal to me," he said. "People ask to buy it, but it's not for sale."

He's got two favorite mosaic pieces: a panel about corporate greed called "Brother Can You Spare a Dime," which he created for the St. Petersburg Folk Fest, and the vestibule floor he walks on every time he comes home. It's a colorful mosaic of a male and female holding hands.

"I like looking down and seeing it," White said. "The colors are vibrant. It's going to outlast me."

The artists get the supplies for their mosaics from a variety of sources. When Sackman ran out of Capa de Monte flowers, she crafted her own delicate flowers in her kiln. She and White get shells from the beach. People also stop by with pieces of broken china.

Sackman has taught a variety of artistic media in college and other venues, from paintings to painted furniture, from earrings to mosaic mirrors. Now she's focusing on creating fiber art. She adds unique embellishments and words of wisdom to each piece.

Spools of multicolored thread stand on the table of her light-filled studio overlooking mosaic panels in the courtyard that cover the walls of White's studio. Bright colors stimulate the senses inside and outside the house, but both artists' studio walls are distinctly color-free.

"I don't like to be distracted," said Sackman, "which is why the studio walls are white. We're not just creating an environment. We are working artists making, selling and teaching art."

Together Sackman and White create art that adds beauty to their environment, to the art world and to the relationship they have shared and nurtured for more than 30 years.

"It's great to work with Carol, to bounce ideas off one another," White said, "someone to say 'try this or that' and to share content and advice. She can conceive of ideas and then translate those ideas into any medium. Carol is a true artist."

     
Comments
Forecast: Morning clouds yield to bright, warm weekend sunshine across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Morning clouds yield to bright, warm weekend sunshine across Tampa Bay

Early clouds and possible morning sprinkles will yield to increasing sunshine later in the day, setting the stage for a pleasant and warmer weekend across Tampa Bay.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area Temperatures are starti...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Missing Child Alert issued for Port St. Lucie girl, 17

Missing Child Alert issued for Port St. Lucie girl, 17

A Florida Missing Child Alert has been issued for a 17-year-old Port St. Lucie girl who was last seen on Thursday.Heaven Flores was last seen near the 1400 block of SW Cashmere Boulevard in Port St. Lucie, according to the Florida Department of Law E...
Updated: 20 minutes ago

Bicyclist killed in Seminole Heights crash; portion of E Hillsborough Avenue closed

TAMPA — A bicyclist was killed early Friday morning in a crash in Seminole Heights.Tampa Police say the bicyclist was struck by a car just after 12:15 a.m.Eastbound E Hillsborough Avenue is closed from N Florida Avenue to N Central Avenue while polic...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Focus on free speech in colleges; Rays trades may still be coming; Katy Perry tonight in Tampa; remembering ‘The Fight Doctor’

The Daystarter: Focus on free speech in colleges; Rays trades may still be coming; Katy Perry tonight in Tampa; remembering ‘The Fight Doctor’

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• A stray shower is possible today as another cold front moves through, according to 10Weather WTSP. Luckily, the front only depresses temperatures into the lower 70s. The week...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, under construction since 2015, is scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2019.The five-story, 137,100-square-foot building will house businessman and collector Rudy Ciccarello’s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ybor City remembers Ferdie Pacheco, a true ‘Tampaiño’

Ybor City remembers Ferdie Pacheco, a true ‘Tampaiño’

TAMPA — The speakers at Dr. Ferdie Pacheco’s memorial on Thursday evening were asked to keep their remarks to under 10 minutes, and to refrain from using profanity.They all thought that was pretty funny, of course."Like Ferdie ever spoke for less tha...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Howard Altman: Military-themed gifts for your holiday shopping needs

Howard Altman: Military-themed gifts for your holiday shopping needs

The season of giving is upon us, so here’s a selection of military-themed gifts for the folks on your Christmas and Hannukah lists.Drink up: American Freedom Distillery is a veteran-owned maker of artisan whiskeys, rums, vodkas and gins located in St...
Published: 12/15/17
Gain time: For many lifers sentenced as juveniles, it means they’ve done their time

Gain time: For many lifers sentenced as juveniles, it means they’ve done their time

When she was 15, Chantay Clark shot and killed a woman while trying to steal a car. Later, she took a man’s truck at gunpoint, forcing him to take cover inside a drain pipe.Circuit Judge Michael Andrews knew all about her.On Nov. 3, she stood shackle...
Published: 12/15/17
Clearwater down to two finalists for CRA director

Clearwater down to two finalists for CRA director

CLEARWATER — The next Community Redevelopment Agency director who will be tasked with trying to revive the long-struggling downtown has come down to two women, narrowed from a pool of 40 applicants. Emily A. Colon, 31, a Pasco County budget analyst a...
Published: 12/15/17
Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

GLENDALE, Ariz. — As much as the Lightning has been rolling, it remembered how it lost twice last season to the Coyotes.That included blowing a one-goal third-period lead at home down the stretch, with Tampa Bay missing the playoffs by a point."You l...
Updated: 5 hours ago