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TriBeCa Mosaic Studio Transforms Broken Glass Into Art

By Irene Plagianos | February 23, 2015 7:35am
 Cheryl Hazan and her team have been piecing together custom mosaics for more than 13 years.
Cheryl Hazan Mosaic Studio
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TRIBECA — There’s broken glass all over Cheryl Hazan’s studio — and every piece is in its right place.

For more than 13 years, Hazan and her team of artisans have been crafting custom glass mosaics out of her 466 Washington St. workshop.

From large sheets of shimmery, handmade glass, the crew of about 12 cut and carve each piece, made to fit perfectly into intricate designs. The swaths of patterns and colors usually end up on the walls of someone’s home — often in the bathroom or kitchen — or for commercial and corporate spaces.

“Creating mosaics is one of the oldest art forms,” said Hazan, who also owns a modern art gallery on North Moore Street. “I love our whole process, from designing the concept to laying each piece into just the right spot.”

Her client list has encompasses some major celebrities. She crafted a massive cherry blossom mosaic design for the bathroom in actress Gwyneth Paltrow's Hamptons home — a concept Hazan came up with to match the cherry blossom tree outside the window.

For rapper 50 Cent, she came up with a design that was even more challenging.

“He wanted something for his huge home disco, and he wanted a lot of guns in the design,” Hazan said. “We talked him down to just a couple guns — and a beautiful design that looked like graffiti.”

The majority of her clients aren’t stars, though — they’re just people who want something beautiful and unique in their homes.

“If I create a custom piece for you, I’ll never make that same design again,” she said. “People in TriBeCa, and New Yorkers in general, want something that no one else has in their homes.”

Hazan, originally from Flatbush, Brooklyn, has been crafting mosaics for decades. She once owned a larger mosaic business on Franklin Street, but decided more than 13 years ago that she wanted to get back to a smaller shop for a more hands-on approach.

The team works with clients to come up with a concept — sometimes it's just a pattern of colors, other times it’s more literal, like waves, trees or fish, she said.

The artisans in her studio will craft the entire mosaic in the workshop, laying each piece of hand-cut glass onto netting to keep its shape and design.

Then the mosaic is delicately cut up into large sections and sent to the installer with a map of how to lay the pattern into the wall.

Her studio is filled with glass in all hues, bright yellows to muted ivory. Sometimes the team cuts each piece of glass into intricate shapes, like little flowers, before placing them into the larger design.

Hazan also has a slate of pre-designed patterns that customers can purchase, which is the cheaper way to go for mosaics. Prices for all her mosaics range from about $50 a square foot to more than $500, depending on the intricacy of the work.

Along with home interiors, Hazan will also custom design mosaics for furniture, like tabletops, or create stand-alone pieces to be hung on walls, like a painting.

These days, she’s also started using her workshop’s entrance as a gallery space, including some of the modern artists that she works with at her North Moore gallery, along with displaying her mosaics.

Visitors can pop into the workspace, on a cobblestoned block just south of Canal Street, from about 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, if they want to see the crafting of the mosaic firsthand, she said.

“I want more people to see mosaics as a real art form,” Hazan said recently, amid the glinting glass pieces in her studio. “They look beautiful on their own, like a painting on a wall.”

For more information about the workshop, visit the website.