I was challenged, because like many art centers, the budget was tight, yet I wanted to offer something beyond the usual budget-friendly pasta or paper mosaics. Much of the glass was paid for by the center, but I still found myself providing quite a bit of glass and other materials from things I had in my studio, and doing a LOT of prep work at home, so I can't provide an accurate per head cost, which would have been helpful to me for future classes.
Many of these projects were grouted, or at least had multiple steps, so at times, we may have had three things going on at once. My goal was for each child to have a take home project for each of the class periods by the end of the two sessions. I wanted to share some photos of the projects. A few of these were mentioned in an earlier post, but this post has photos from the entire 15 weeks. There aren't any tutorials, but if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through this website.
Our first project was a tray from Oriental Trading Company. We used pennies, which allowed for subtle patterns using both shiny new pennies and weathered and worn pennies. These were grouted and then the kids added their initial with a pre-cut wooden letter.
Our next project was a sun catcher made from CD’s and crushed shells, no grout. These were pre-cut with a tiny hole, and then strung with wire and beads for hanging.
I love this little project, which I’ve done before. Substrate is a 4x4 tile. The turtles are made with glass gems (I cut them), and a vitreous,stained glass, shell, or rock background. The vitreous projects were grouted, and then I twisted a little hanger for them out of Dollar Tree floral wire.
We also did garden stones using thinset as the adhesive, and shells, glass gems, and Mardi Gras beads as the tess.
We did these ladybugs. I saw this tutorial on Pinterest. We used a thinset mold, thinset as the adhesive and added the glass. The photo below is of my sample project which was grouted. Theirs were not.
I introduced the students to working on mesh. This was with hopes of doing a class mural project during the next session of classes. So, even though we could have adhered the tess directly to the trays, I wanted to get their brains used to the concept of mesh first, then thinset, then grout. We used Dollar Tree silver plate trays which added a nice "framed" look.
Our next session of classes began with another mesh project. I let the kids create a mosaic for the class mural and one for themselves to be put on a substrate in a later class.
The kids asked for a Halloween project. This turned out to be one of the more costly projects. Candy is expensive! You can see how this project demonstrated the varying skill levels of the different ages, but they all turned out great, and the kids loved the fact that they were edible.
The project below is my favorite project out of all of them. I saw a very simple painted owl shape come through my Pinterest feed. I knew it would be a perfect base for my kids to mosaic. The substrate is merely a board. This is great for a budget if you have, or know someone, with some shop cutting skills. Thanks go out to my husband for providing the wood from his stash and for cutting the arc out of the top. We used leftover pennies from Class 1, Mardi Gras beads which are basically free from anyone’s stored stash here on the Gulf Coast, and glass gems from Dollar Tree. I added branch wood from my yard and cut glass gems for the claws. I angle drilled the back so that the owls can hang on the wall or a dowel rod can prop them up to display on a shelf.
I started saving my eggshells early on so that we could do these little sailboats on canvas. I experimented with different dye methods-thinned paint, food coloring, and Tints All. Sorry, I can't remember which method I decided worked the best. Sailboats were made of sea glass and shells.
Next, we used the same method we used for our ladybug project to make these jellyfish. These were grouted.
This may be my second favorite project. I noticed that the leftover scrap semi-circle from the owl project resembled a boat. So, a boat it became. Purchased wood circles made a a great base for a glass gem ocean, and dowel rods and scrap burlap became the mast and sail.
Tempered glass, paint, glitter, and mirrors on a 6x6 tile were used for our next project. The kids then stamped air dry clay with a word that they felt described themselves, though the photo below was taken prior to adding that step.
Our last project used dyed rice. I didn't get a chance to create a sample project for the class, so I had to wing it. The plan had been to mosaic background, clothes, and faces, but I decided they looked a lot better if the skin on the face was left without the mosaic.
We returned to our mesh mural project, which turned out to be a little too ambitious for this small class and age range, and the fact that I did not have an assistant. So, I sent them home with their mesh, a background tile, and the skills to adhere it (I hope). I may try to resurrect the mural idea in the future for a teen workshop.
Despite the fact that we didn’t get to the mural, these kids amazed me. I set my expectations high and they met them every time. A small class size was also a bonus, and there were no behavior issues, aside from an occassional eagerness to begin a project without fully listening to the instructions. I've done camp classes that had 20+ students in them, but with those classes I also had the "luxury" of an assistant to help prep, assist, and cleanup.
All of these projects provided a creative outlet in which these kids took pride, and rightly so. I was impressed by their imaginations, and though there were instructions and sample projects, the kids were guided by their own creativity. Aside from the initial grouting sessions, they honestly required very little hands-on help from me. This whole experience was great fun and I am hopeful that I have planted the seeds for a few future mosaic artists to find the therapeutic joy that comes from creating mosaic art.
Thanks for stopping by,