Starting with an old shelf or piece of a cabinet, Metchosin artist Jennifer Kivari readies herself to create a work of art.
Always on her mind is recycling items by adding them into her creations. Kivari’s medium is mosaic and she spends much of her time gathering materials and odds and ends that some day will be glued onto one of her masterpieces.
From old toilet seats to stale macaroni noodles, Kivari finds inspiration everywhere and in everything. “I start with a (wood) base and inspiration,” Kivari says.
As Kivari stands in her studio, a gutted and remodelled hay loft in her barn, she is surrounded by her mosaics.
“My art is definitely my journey. They are my voice,” she says, explaining that each piece reminds her of her life and looking back on past work is similar to reading old journals.
While Kivari is the primary artist in the home, she gets help from her family along the way. Her two teenagers often help gather materials and spend hours grouting pieces.
Kivari first dabbled in mosaic art using pottery clay tiles in 2005. “I found I was very limited (just using tiles),” she says.
It was then Kivari began introducing other items into her work, such as automotive glass and old lamps and feathers.
“If I have to buy items, I try to get them from second hand stores that put money back into the community.”
After all the items are gathered, Kivari lays them out on her wood base until she finds an arrangement she likes.
To seal in the items and fill in any empty spaces and cracks, Kivari covers her art with grout. Working quickly, Kivari cleans the grout off the glass and other items on the pieces before it dries.
“I use a magnifying glass to see if I have missed any,” she said.
Over the years Kivari has gotten creative with materials and how she creates images. One piece has pennies flattened on railroad tracks, and arranged in the shape of a mermaid’s tail.
Kivari’s studio is a part of this summer’s Stinking Fish Studio Tour, July 23 to August 1.
There are 19 studios participating in the tour from East Sooke and Metchosin. The studios are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
On the tour’s launch date on July 23, Kivari and her family are hosting a “Celebration of Gratitude” from 11:30 to 4 p.m. with live music, dancing and lemonade.
Kivari’s studio is located at 941 Arden Rd. in Metchosin. For more information on the Stinking Fish Studio Tour go to www.stinkingfishstudiotour.com.