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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Spring Mosaic Workshop - Kids class

On Friday March 27, we held a Children mosaic workshop at the Wiregrass Museum of Art.

I believe Artists have a responsibility to help others be creative. Too many kids are being told they cannot be creative, that Art is useless and for weirdoes,  that they should rather concentrate on having a real job... And making money.

And there is nothing wrong in making money. Without entrepreneurs, few things would be achieved in this world, and Art could not flourish. 

But guess what ? Do you remember the names of those people who were making money 500 years ago? Take the Italian Renaissance, the 16th century. They invented modern banking. Entrepreneurs from Genoa and Venice invented financial instruments such as the letter of credit, and this really was the beginning of the finance industry. Do you remember these guys names ? I don't ! 

But you probably know the artists they helped finance: Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, etc...

This why Art is important. Art is what you SEE. And tomorrow's Art will be done by today's children. 

That is why I teach mosaics ! 

For a few weeks I prepaired the class. My goal was simply to get people to realize how mosaics were done. Technique rather than the creative aspect, so I had pre-designed some models.

And we would use square tiles we would not need to cut !

Material for the 6' Solomon Knot mosaics

The models were square variations of a classic Roman mosaic pattern : the Solomon knot.

Aquileia Basilica, Italy

At 9:00, all 9 students were presents, most of them chaperoned by an adult helper, and after a short introduction, we proceeded with the actual work.

I had decided to use laminated models for this projects, so the students built their mosaics on a fiberglass mesh, which would be later transferred onto a wooden piece.

Mosaic is a work of patience and accuracy, we were using 3/8" glass tiles glued on the mesh with regular white glue.

The students ranged from 7 to 13 years old. Most of them were accompanied by an adult. Who seemed to enjoy the class as much as their kids !

It is amazing how you can at such a young age already see great differences of personality in the way children organize - or not - their works, prioritize certain tasks or simply go for it !

We had 2 different models of Solomon knot, and used 6 different colours of tiles.

It took most students a little more than 2 hours to complete the project. At the end, the pieces were warmed up with a Hair-dryer to speed up the gluing process.

After they were complete, I collected the 9 pieces on their laminated support .

9 complete mosaics on their models.

and transferred them on their wooden support. 

9 complete mosaics on wood.

Some students had modified the designs, and it is a good thing ! Life would be boring if everyone would look the same ! Moreover, the point of such a class is not to realize a perfect piece, but to get the student to enjoy themselves. If you insist too much on the end result, you will probably lose all pleasure at doing anything. And the key to doing things well is to enjoy doing them...

I am a modern mosaic artist inspired by the Arts of Classical Rome and French and Italian Renaissance. I design and realize my mosaics in Headland, Alabama, and St Valery sur Somme, France. I hope this kind of action can help young people realize they too can be creative and that art is not some far away thing, only accessible in Museums but that they too can be artists and enjoy it.

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