Reflections

A Magazine of Theological and Ethical Inquiry from Yale Divinity School

Mosaic of Faith

Kathy Thaden, whose work “Passion” is featured on the cover of this Reflections, is a mosaic artist who finds beauty in what was once broken. She finds art in what was once discarded.

“Working with stone or glass is transforming,” she says. “The pieces are broken, change shape, fit together, and then made whole again.”

There’s a theology at work here amid the vivid array of vitreous glass, ceramic tile, stained glass, and other materials she uses.

“My work is informed by my faith – expressing awe at creation and the Creator. I love to find meaning in things that would go to waste, and give them purpose.”

Thaden is a full-time mosaicist living in Colorado with her husband, an Episcopal priest. Before the transition to mosaic artwork 13 years ago, she was an Emmy-winning TV art director and graphic designer.

With mosaic she discovered a tactile creative outlet and a new vocation.

“Exploring it, I was soon hooked. It took my breath away.”

Today she leads mosaic-making retreats at churches and abbeys, inviting participants to open their creativity to God’s presence.

She returns often to a quote from the late Henri Nouwen as a kind of cornerstone.

“A mosaic consists of thousands of little stones,” Nouwen wrote in Bread for the Journey. “Some are blue, some are green, some are yellow, some are gold. When we bring our faces close to the mosaic, we can admire the beauty of each stone. But as we step back from it, we can see that all these little stones reveal to us a beautiful picture, telling a story that none of these stones can tell by itself. That is what our life in community is about. Each of us is like a little stone, but together we reveal the face of God to the world.”

See more at thadenmosaics.com.

Issue Title: 
New Voyages: Church Today and Tomorrow
Issue Year: 
2016