Work by more than 100 Artisans inside new Carmel more

Stained Glass Mosaic Mirrors
Ashland Gallery, Broad Ripple
Judge Stone House, Noblesville
Sullivan Munce Cultural Center, Zionsville
DeMaris Gaunt

“Every piece of glass has a quality and potential that is just waiting to become something larger than itself.”

The exacting work of creating the right mix of shapes, patterns and colors is key to mosaic glasswork, and it sounds like attention to detail is in DeMaris Gaunt’s genes. “My mother always looked as though she stepped out of a fashion catalog,” the mosaic artist says. “She had the most beautiful handwriting, she could ice a cake flawlessly, she could draw anything, and she even cut coupons right down the middle of the dotted line!”

DeMaris says everything her mother did was done carefully, neatly, and perfectly. “I learned from her how important it is to get it right, every detail, whatever it was. And if your name was going to be attached to it, it better be your very best work. That’s how I’ve approached my life as an artist.”

For well over 20 years, DeMaris has been a full-time artist. Today, as owner of Mud Horse Art, she says her work began with an apprenticeship in a stained glass studio in 1994. “I had a friend whose parents owned a small shop that offered classes, supplies and custom stained glass creations such as windows, lampshades and kaleidoscopes,” she said. “Due to their success, they needed an apprentice willing to learn the trade, and I was at the right place at the right time.”

DeMaris is clear about being self-taught because mosaic art was not part of her training, “but I could not have become so successful if I hadn’t learned the fundamental skills of handling, cutting and grinding this amazing medium,” she said.

“Every piece of glass has a quality and potential that is just waiting to become something larger than itself. I love that a bland looking sheet of glass can become a stunning piece of art when it’s cut up and arranged just right around a mirror.”

The native Hoosier doing this work also is proud that her glass comes from a Hoosier company, the oldest glass manufacturer in the United States – Kokomo Opalescent Glass Co. “Twice a year I make the trip north to Kokomo and bring home a truckload of new glass,” she says with a smile. “It makes me smile just to think of it. Those are probably my two most anticipated days of the year.”

Like so many who have been honored with the state’s Indiana Artisan designation, DeMaris said she applied because she wanted to know if her work was as good as she thought it was. “I knew that once I was able to display the Indiana Artisan logo on my work, more doors would be opened to me,” she said. “The honor is profound. This group of artists is Indiana’s finest, and I am so proud and humbled to be among them.”

DeMaris demonstrates how much she enjoys her work, the creativity she expresses through it and the value she wants her clients to place on it. “I feel grateful everyday that my talents are used and enjoyed,” she said. “One of the things I hope my work can accomplish, in addition to adding color and joy to a home, is contribute to the appreciation of art and fine craft in general. The fact that homes can be decorated cheaply through mass-produced items is a truth that artists compete with every day. I want people to see things created so well and with such exquisite craftsmanship that they’ll choose quality every time.” Her mother would be proud.