On Broken Glass

Mosaic artist Ariel Finelt Shoemaker knows the value of risk

The terror attacks of September 11, 2001 shattered many people’s worlds. All these years later, many are still picking up the pieces.

On Friday, March 2, 2002, Ariel Finelt Shoemaker used those broken pieces to begin her true life. Despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that she was single and broke, Ariel left a job in the C-suite of a major international technology firm and went back to her childhood love- art.

“Basically, I took a leap,” she explains, “and landed in the thick of the art I loved so much.”

Thus was born AFS Mosaics.

“I began breaking glass as an outlet to distract me from what I was experiencing post 9/11,” she reasons. “From the moment I began tinkering…I was hooked!.... I did mosaic whenever I could…. I was obsessed!”

During the past 15 years, Ariel has turned this obsession into an impassioned career and has been commissioned to create one-of-a-kind pieces for corporate, residential, and public art clients. 

“I create work for people with whom I connect with personally and spiritually,” she suggests, “and for those who just truly want the unique and undiscovered.” 

And while she admits that the world of creative art was “not at all what I expected,” Ariel has been able to find satisfaction amidst the creative chaos of independent entrepreneurial existence.

“It turns out that being creative and a people-person has created the perfect storm for the daily tricks of my work,” she says, describing days spent collaborating with interior designers, meeting with homeowners and other commissioners and producing original, vibrant work that excites and entrances wherever it is displayed.

Despite the fact that she may not have seen herself as having much to lose at the time, Ariel realizes that her leaving a cushy corporate gig to follow her muse was a considerable risk. That is why she is careful to get to know her clients before embarking on a new project.

“I provide products that pop, that inspire, that force the eye to discover materials anew with each change of light & perspective,” she observes, adding the good-natured warning that, “you do not want my work if you dwell in the land of the predictable and settled.”


Comments Join The Discussion