Mythology and Mosaics


Until she was in her early 30s, stained-glass mosaic artist Tatiana Isotov had never considered a career in art. “I started doing mosaics when I shared a yard with someone who was making them,” says Isotov. “She taught me how, and then I kept on doing it by myself.”

Isotov was raised in Eugene, Ore., with a German mother and a Russian father, who taught at the University of Oregon. “I grew up in a very formal European family where we were pushed to excel in academics, languages and music, but I never took a single art class,” she says. After studying sociology and anthropology at the University of Oregon and earning a master’s degree in university administration, she taught English overseas, did public relations for the American Red Cross and worked in academia before becoming a full-time artist.

When Isotov began selling her art, she sold it at the Saturday Market in Portland. “The first time I went to the Saturday Market to see if I could sell my works, I made $600,” she says. “I realized I’d finally found something I was passionate about.” Isotov estimates that she’s made more than 7,000 pieces of stained-glass art.

Today Isotov works out of a studio behind her house in West Linn, Ore. She specializes in three types of mosaics: fireplace surrounds, decorative art mirrors and wall hangings based on myths, folklore and other spiritual images. The wallhanging(right) is an interpretation of a famous Buddha sculpture in Japan, known as the gentle Buddha. To create her wall hangings, she lays out the pieces of glass on a prepared wooden surface and, once she completes the design, her husband, who helps her in the studio, adds the grout and copper beading. “I’ve done a lot of custom spiritual mosaics, such as Krishnas or Virgin Mary triptychs,” she says. “I really enjoy the planning and all the research that goes into creating these pieces.” The 24-inch by 36-inch mosaic costs $750.

Contact stained-glass mosaic artist Tatiana Isotov at 503-839-9421. Her work is also at Heart and Hands (255 E. Main St., 541-488-3576) in Ashland, Ore.