Artist Spotlight: Mary Trahanovsky

Artist Spotlight: Mary Trahanovsky

Me in my studio space aka my “glass wheelhouse” with hanging fused glass pendants and mosaics in shadow box frames from ACR hanging in the back.


Each month, we feature incredible reuse artists in the Austin community! We’re happy to highlight mosaic artist and long-time ACR customer, Mary Trahanovksy. Keep your eyes on our event calendar – Mary may be teaching a workshop in the near future!


When did you start creating art?

I think we all start as toddlers, right?  I was never discouraged from making things and I remember really enjoying making art in middle school.  I had an amazing high school art teacher, Ms. Gugel, and I went on to earn an art degree in college working under another amazing teacher, Ms. Lilligren.. I later worked fixing copiers, doing construction, then studying engineering (mechanical and materials science), which I see as a very compatible group of experiences toward learning how things work and how to make stuff.


What is your preferred medium?

I love making multi media mosaics.  I’ve always been drawn to ceramics, even as an engineer, and I enjoy incorporating glass and metal pieces.  


Mosaic with bike chain, shells, and architectural tiles from ACR.  6” x 6”

Mosaic with bike gears and glass baubles from ACR


What drives your creative spirit?

I’m inspired by found materials and fascinated by how materials behave and can be manipulated through processing.  Opening a kiln to see what resulted from my crafty experiments is one of the most wondrous experiences.  


How does reuse play a part in your art?

I enjoy making art led by the serendipity of found objects, whether found in trash, from people getting rid of stuff, or from reuse stores.  Used and discarded materials often have such an aesthetic richness and material quality that can’t be found in new materials. Plus, I was raised to not waste a thing.  Art made from reused materials often makes us reconsider how we think about the original use of a material.  The preciousness of reused materials is derived more from their uniqueness rather than monetary value, which I find more interesting.  I also enjoy supporting people or organizations that aid in material reuse, making materials more accessible to all artists and helping save the world.


These three were all made with the little shadow boxes from ACR:


 How has your art adapted during the pandemic?

I built a kiln shed to organize my tesserae and glass supplies and to get them out of the house that my family is all hunkered down in.  With kids in school at home, I no longer have chunks of time to focus on larger pieces so I’m currently making more small pieces, such as pendants and garden jewelry. 


Small bowl made of fused crash glass (broken car window glass)


Where can we find out more about your art?

I have an Instagram account @mmmosaics that will be the main location of my artwork until the end of the pandemic allows more gallery and studio visits. I have four pieces in the Austin Mosaic Guild Show at the Hive Gallery in Bee Cave, open now until July 30th.


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2005 Wheless Lane, Austin, TX 78723
Tel: (512) 375-3041