Imagine yourself a grasshopper, or better yet, a caterpillar, moving along the garden floor, up flower stems and over leaves. The whole intimate garden world opens before you- pinwheeling petals, spiraling green tendrils, a breath of white flowers dance rhythmically along your path. That’s the feeling you get when you gaze at one of Carrie Bejarano’s beautiful garden tables. Carrie joined our Tile Making I class last April and has been wowing us ever since. Her fantastical flowers and inventive color combinations have inspired us to begin our spring workshop series with a “Focus on Flowers” table workshop. In fact, we’ve been so delighted to have Carrie in our creative family, we thought we’d introduce her to you. We’re sure she’ll inspire you, as much as she has inspired us. Thanks Carrie!!
What brought you to Santa Theresa Tile Works?
I’ve admired Santa Theresa tile for a long while. Last April there was finally a Tile Making 1 class that fit with my schedule. Signing up for that class was one of the best decisions I made in 2014.
What inspires your work?
Nature inspires my work. Biodiversity and all the quirky creatures on the planet are a source of inspiration. When I lay out my flower tiles for a new table, there’s a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that often comes to mind, “The earth laughs in flowers.”
What other crafts or arts do you enjoy?
I went through a jewelry making phase. I enjoy gardening, and still browse The Tree Center for new gardening ideas every once in a while. I’ve got a long list of creative endeavors I’d like to try, but right now I’m firmly enmeshed in the world of hand cut, hand glazed tile.
How do you approach design and color decisions?
I haven’t had any formal training. My approach to design involves lots of trial and error, experimenting with different shapes and sizes of tile, trying different glaze combinations, and asking myself the question, “Do you like what you see?” As I’ve gotten older, my color choices have become bolder and brighter. I’m drawn to greens mixed with reds, oranges, yellows, and purples. The colors in my tile are similar to the colors I enjoy seeing in gardens. Since I started my tile-making journey, I’ve noticed myself being more observant of colors and shapes in nature. I take lots of photographs. My iPad has been a magnificent tool for capturing ideas.
How are you finding time and space with your busy work schedule.
As a high school biology teacher, it is extremely easy to become totally engulfed in school related activities. Teaching is not a career that lends itself to a balanced lifestyle. With that understanding, every now and then I get to a point where I realize I need to step away from the work focus and try something new. I started small, with the Tile Making 1 class last April and loved every minute of it. When that class was over, I wasn’t ready to quit! Fortunately Santa Theresa offers an ongoing Tile Making 2 class that has allowed me to continue dabbling in the world of clay and glazes. I’ve also started doing quite a bit of work at home. The table tops in my house are covered with tile and my glaze collection continues to grow. I think I see a kiln in my future!