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Artist couple creates "tchotchke heaven" mosaic house

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 02:12

A vibrant and whimsical mosaic house in the seaside Los Angeles neighborhood of Venice stands as a monument to the 20-year collaboration between two artists. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: With a cacophony of thrift store china, humorous souvenirs and handmade tile adorning its walls and floors, the Mosaic Tile House in Venice, California stands as a monument to the 20-year collaboration between artists Cheri Pann and her husband Gonzalo Duran. "It's tchotchke heaven," says Pann of her kaleidoscopic bungalow. "It's turned out to be a an homage to putting everything possible into cement. Just everything." By "everything," she means figurines of poodles and hula girls, commemorative china baseball gloves and and a sweeping arch of coffee cups, their handles pointing skyward. Smashed pottery and shards of mirror make up the more traditional mosaic patterns on the house's interior and exterior surfaces. But this is no museum to mosaic, it's the place Pann and Duran call home. The story started when they bought the house in 1994 and began constructing a studio in the extensive back yard. "After we built the studio my wife made some tiles for the bathroom. And that's where all the mosaic started -- in the bathroom. It was so much fun doing it, we just kept on going," says Duran. Every suface in the bathroom is covered with the couple's art. Plastic palm trees, empty soda bottles and toy soldiers hang from the ceiling, while toothbrushes are housed in a pot embedded in the wall, covered with multicolored golf tees. A tiny doll's head peeks out from behind the faucet. In the kitchen, crockery made by Pann is barely distinguishable from decorative plates and mugs concreted to the walls. Tiles in the shape of butterflies, camels and giraffes surround the sink. Even the kitchen appliances are decorated with paint or tile. A ceramic cockerel sits proudly atop the breakfast bar. The collaboration is, Pann says, the ultimate "honey do" project. She makes the tiles, he lays them. But the teamwork doesn't stop there. "He's busy working, working, working and then I'll come along and say, hon, mmm, there is something wrong and I won't know what it is. And then he'll take a look back and he'll say, ah, I know what it is and then he'll fix it," Pann says. "We work together on these things totally," she says. "With a lot of kissing."

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Artist couple creates "tchotchke heaven" mosaic house

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 02:12