Pat Higgins

After working as a middle school librarian for many years, I retired and have since been ticking things off my bucket list. One of those things was to publish a book of my historical writings on Maine history and another was to return to my art school roots. 

My book of Maine Stories, Hidden History of Midcoast Maine, was published in 2014 by History Press. There are eight stories covering historical topics between 1620 and World War I. All the photographs that are not historical were done by my husband David Higgins, and I made my own maps. It is available at Saltwater Artists and local bookstores as well as online.

When it comes to my art, I’m a dilettante.  I’ve been doing some drawing and some printmaking and a little bookmaking. This year, for the first time, I will be hanging some of my prints. I take a mixed medium approach and add watercolor and ink to my woodcut and linoleum prints.

A few years back I took a shine to mosaics. Making them is not so different from appliqué quilting and a few other needlework endeavors that I still do occasionally. The mosaic idea began with a vintage table that needed a new top. At the time Dave and I were working with PVC plastic cut outs for whirligigs. PVC and table sparked an idea that came together as a mosaic top. 

I cut my figurative pieces either on a scroll saw or with a CNC router, but filler and smaller pieces are cut on a band saw or by hand with an assortment of nippers. Pieces are then painted with multiple layers of acrylic paint and glazes before being glued to a backer which might be wood or a PVC panel or sometimes metal. Originally I made traditional grouted mosaics. Then I moved on to an epoxy resin “grout” which looked nice on a copper backer but was also fraught with the danger of spoiling the whole piece with chemical mixing problems. Now I use acrylic poured finishes for grout-less mosaics that do not have the issues of resins. It’s all a time-consuming and fiddly exploration process. 

Visit my website at MaineStory.info for a look at some of my other endeavors.

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