Thursday, April 28, 2011

81: One Done! (almost)

Today we started work on the fourth panel, Winter, and essentially completed laying tile on the first panel, Spring. You can see all four mosaics in progress here.

To save on costs and waste, the students share gloves. Hand sanitizer is how we keep it clean. We tried cheaper vinyl and latex, but these heavier duty gloves can handle more shifts. I've been amazed at the span of hand sizes, from the teeniest tiniest that barely fill the gloves to third graders with hands bigger than my own who can't fit squeeze into them!

Spring, complete. Well, except for adhering the sun in place and grouting. I'm so pleased with the final result, but especially the effect of the sky. I was feeling so nervous about it, but in the end I think it reads successfully as a sunrise.

Spring detail. How darling is that caterpillar??

Fall at the end of its fifth day. For several reasons, both practical and aesthetic, we decided to alter the horizon line from the original flat, straight one. This panel will represent sunset, and I'm feeling much more confident about creating a second gradient with a crowd of elementary students. I find color gradients to be more challenging in mosaic than in other mediums.

Fall detail. The ponds will link across two panels each, Spring to Summer and Fall to Winter.

Summer at the end of Day 3 with details below. As appropriate, lots of insects in this piece!

The circled X is a space saver for a hole by which the mosaics can be hung. There is one in each corner, and I expect the bolts to be used will be huge. These pieces are heavy.


Winter at the end of its very first day with details below. This piece was an incomplete sketch  this morning.


To honor the goal of this project, I have included here only photos that contain blue in them. If you would like to see more, you can find them here. To see the day-by-day of each panel, check this out.


  1. It looks amazing, Johannah! What a rewarding set of artwork for the students to have at their school -- something so beautiful, that they all helped to create.

  2. All the adults involved have talked quite a bit about that very idea with the students, and the fact that they can come back years from now to see these beautiful murals, maybe even point out to their kids which tiles they made, or glazed, or adhered in place.

  3. Late comment, having been out of town for a week or so. I love everything about this project and I'm glad it worked out as well as it did.

    One thing that you may or may not like: When I saw the spring panel, I thought the rain was falling, turning into flowers as it it hit the ground. Reading it's a sunrise makes that jump out at me now, but I like my first impression too.

  4. I love that reading, Charles!