MosaicBlues: Community Mosaic Workshop .entry-content { font-size:25px !important; }

Monday, May 5, 2014

Community Mosaic Workshop

Our goal was to get a number of kids together to realize a mosaic at the Wiregrass Museum of Art in Dothan, Alabama.

The design is a traditional decorative pattern used in many Roman mosaics, usually as a border for more figurative parts. It is generally called a "guilloche". You can see below an example of Guilloche around a hunting scene on a Roman Mosaic.

Roman mosaic : Hunting Scene with Guilloche Border.

The artwork is  60 x 18" (1.5 x 0.5 m) in size and contains about 1,500 ceramic tile pieces (tesserae). All the preparation was done beforehand so that children could take part in the workshop by sticking the pieces down to the board (the direct method).

I first designed the pattern on a piece of backing board.

Only basic drawing tools are needed : Pencil, Permanent Marker, Eraser, Compass, Ruler.

Once the drawing complete, I cut the backing board to the final dimensioin of the mosaic and mounted it on a wooden frame to increase its rigidity. 

Here you can see the 5 colors of tiles used on this project.

I had glued a few tiles onto the board so people would know which color tile was going where. (Some still did not get it though...)

I had precut all tiles to fit the dimensions of the drawing.

I brought the board, tiles and a few tools from my workshop to the Museum. We had planned to work outside. However heavy rain was threatening and we moved the workshop inside.

The tiles were glued to the board using a regular white tile glue. The setting time is around 1 hour.

I had to adjust the cut of some tesserae. I had brought a diamond blade saw which was really to noisy inside the room. So that I finally only used the nippers. 

We had some very focussed participants...

And Sticky Fingers...

Not only did the kids enjoy it !

But their parents also got their fingers dirty !
Et voila !

It took a little less than 3 hours to complete the work. Several families participated, children and parents had a great time. 

I took the piece back to my workshop to grout it. I waited several days to clean up the glue. That was  mistake, it had seriously hardened and it took lots of time and energy to remove it. 

Make sure the glue is removed during the actual laying of the tesserae. It is very easy to wipe it out with a wet sponge or rag before it dries up, after that, it sticks very strongly to everything !

The Mosaic in display at the Wiregrass Museum of Art

If you are interested in my work, would like to acquire an existing piece or commission a mosaic, or if you would simply like to learn more and about mosaic, please contact me by email at , or by phone at (334) 798 1639.

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