The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

One piece at a time: Student mosaic maker creates beauty from broken glass

Anna Barth
Dawson Hobbs, a DePaul junior, sits at his workspace in his Chicago apartment on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. When creating a custom piece, Hobbs often listens to Grouplove, one of his favorite bands.

Dawson Hobbs sits in his studio apartment in Chicago, using tiles and glue to showcase his passion for art. As the DePaul junior pieces each detail together, a mosaic emerges, telling a story through its intricate patterns. 

“Capturing images in shiny tiles allows you to see them in a new lens and appreciate them differently, frozen on a frame,” he said. 

Hobbs’ mosaics range from displays of floral arrangements to customized tabletops, each a unique work of their own. His love for the art began years ago, after he found a mosaic kit at a garage sale. He began experimenting by creating works of art for his friends and family. 

“The lower stakes really helped me experiment and find my groove,” he said. “I found people taking interest and appreciating the pieces.”

He has turned his passion into a job. Through his Etsy shop, he takes custom requests and transforms others’ ideas into artistic masterpieces.

“I took a leap in hoping people would trust me to make them mosaics,” Hobbs said. “The freedom of having broken glass still be beautiful allows me to be bolder and more autonomous.”

While in his Chicago apartment, Dawson Hobbs works on a custom piece for his Etsy shop on Tuesday, April 23, 2024. He started his shop in July 2023 after realizing he had a knack for mosaics. (Anna Barth)


Dawson Hobbs lays out tiles for a custom mosaic on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, in his apartment in Chicago, which also serves as his art studio. He says he starts each piece by playing around with color combinations and dimensions. (Anna Barth)


Dawson Hobbs holds a handmade mosaic heart that he made previously in his hands on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, in his Chicago apartment. He says every cut on his finger, every drop of blood, was a cut towards achievement. (Anna Barth)


Dawson Hobbs stays focused while grouting a piece on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at his Chicago apartment. He says he couldn’t be happier with the progress he’s made, and can’t wait to keep making mosaics. (Anna Barth)


Tiles sit on Dawson Hobbs’ mosaic as he works on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, in Chicago. He organizes and breaks the pieces to his liking before making their placement permanent. (Anna Barth)


This photo provided by Dawson Hobbs shows a floral mosaic he made. He says he enjoys making and gifting pieces to others. (Anna Barth)

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