When I viewed Caren Zane Fishman’s colorful mosaics at a gallery show, the first thought I had was that they’d make fantastic gifts. With wedding season just around the corner, I’ve checked in with her to find out more about her art and how to choose just the right present.

created at: 2013-04-08I first tried my hand at mosaics in Latin class in high school, and I soon realized I didn’t have the patience for the intricate work. How long does a piece tend to take you?

Each piece is different as far as a timeframe. It depends on size and the complexity of the design. Generally, one of my 5×5 inch pieces of fruit can take up to eight hours.

When I saw your work, I had no idea that you had a ceramics background. Were you a potter? How did you end up making mosaics?

When I discovered mosaics I was a professional potter, making mostly handmade dinnerware, such as sushi sets. I love pottery, but when I saw a mosaic artist’s work, it just resonated with me. I was able to translate my three-dimensional experience, along with my color and design sense, into one medium.

You offer workshops at your studio in Allston. Do you need an arts background to take a class?

I teach in my studio at 119 Braintree St. No experience is needed! Everyone is an artist, and there has yet to be a student of mine who has not created a piece that I have been inspired by. I can teach anyone, from a beginner to someone experienced, in any one of my classes.

Any suggestions for buying a unique piece of craft as a present for someone?

When buying a piece of art for someone as a gift, I feel you have to take certain things into consideration: Do they like functional art? Do they like lots of color or something more subtle? Do they collect anything like pears or pomegranates? And, of course, price has to play into the decision.
created at: 2013-04-01
Four Questions is a weekly interview column featuring interesting people connected with the Greater Boston Jewish community. Find past columns here. Have an idea of someone we should interview? 
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