Monday, May 15, 2017

In the Art Room: A Legacy Mosaic Mural

So one day before the art show, we managed to pull together and pull off one of our biggest collaboratives to date: our Legacy Mosaic Mural!
This big honkin' mama-jama was created by my first thru third grade students. I knew that my kindergarten and fourths would need two weeks for their clay projects...and that my other kiddos would only need one. But when we work with clay, we ALL work with clay so I knew I'd need a project for that group which would carry us thru the second week. And that's when I got the idea for this big ole project. Here's the video I created months ago for the kids. Feel free to use in your art teacherin' world!
I'm a big fan of the artist and illustrator Galia Bernstein and this project was inspired both by her and by the book Who is the Beast? by Keith Baker. 
I know you can totally see the influence, can't you? I've always loved this book. When I came to my school so many years ago, I loved that a tiger was the mascot. It meant I could share this book even more with the kids!
So, who did we do it? Lemme tell ya.
First grade made the flowers, second grade made the butterflies and third grade made the birds. Everyone who finished their small piece then created a leaf or two. Before each piece was placed in the kiln, I placed the alphabet noodles of the kid's initials into the clay. These noodles burned off in the kiln and left behind the impression of the initials. 
Once each piece was out of the kiln, I created a diluted black glaze. Then I dunked just the surface of each piece in the glaze and then gave them a quick wipe on a damp sponge. This part was time-consuming (the entire thing was, honestly). But I just sat one day after school and dunked, swiped, dunked swiped until they were complete. 
These pieces were then returned to the students where they were tasked with glazing just the raised surface. I did limit the palette so that it wouldn't be too much of a sea of color. Flowers were yellow, pink and red, birds were blues, butterflies were purple, orange and yellow. Leaves were a variety of green. 
 After these were fired the second time, the workload was on me. I had acquired this huge frame last year and I'd been dreaming of a mosaic project since. I measured the inside of the frame which is 3' X 4'. I went to the local hardware store where they cut me a piece to size. I also picked up a jumbo bottle of Gorilla Glue and high gloss paint. My P.E. teacher buddy painted the board for me. From there my custodian friend glued and drilled the board into the frame.  
 I created the tiger. This literally took me 45 minutes to draw out, cut and texture-ize. With the art show looming, I was short on time which meant I was in hustle mode. That dried a matter of days. This past Sunday, I came in, laid out and glued each piece, glazed and fired the tiger. 
 In other news, does anyone know how to get Gorilla Glue off of skin? I've had it on my hands FOR DAYS now!
The tiger came out of the kiln this morning and was glued into place. This massive masterpiece will not be grouted. Before hanging it, it weighed in at 70 lbs. Grout would have only made it heavier.
 There were small empty spaces that were driving me nuts. I remembered I had a stash of decorative marbles and glued them in place. I LOVE them as they add a bit of sparkle to the piece. 
Stroke and Coat by Mayco is the best, y'all!
 This afternoon, my custodian friends worked tirelessly to get this beast up on the wall. It's drilled into the wall as well as supported by both a hanger and a beam underneath. 
 And the pieces are rock solid with that glue.
With the art show tomorrow, I'm so excited that we were able to pull this one off! It is my favorite collaborative to date!
 We do a lot of collaboratives and legacy projects. You can find out more about our chalked ceiling tiles, our You Be You mural and our JES selfies too! 
Because we do so many collaboratives, my students rarely are upset if they don't get to "take it home". I emphasize that this is their beautiful mark they are leaving behind...and for real, look how beautiful it is! I'm so happy with my sweet artists and this beast of a creation. Love to hear of any mosaics y'all have done like this! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

11 comments:

  1. Congratulation to you. I am happy after reading your post that you have posted in this blog. Thanks for this wonderful post and hoping to post more of this. I am looking for your next update.

    Operation Management Assignment Help

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is very beautiful, Im always looking for ideas for a group of children can make together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This one was a big time commitment...but so worth it, I think. We plan to keep it up for a very long time :) Thank you for your kind words!

      Delete
  3. What a Fabulous collaboration!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! This is excellent! All that effort paid off : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for saying so! I have finally gotten the glue off my fingers :)

      Delete
  5. I love it! And I always use coconut oil to get glue off my hands 😊

    ReplyDelete
  6. Absolutely beautiful!!!! Do you record all or most of your lessons and play the video for the students? I started recording my lessons and it has changed my life!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love this! It is super cute! I had my k-5 work on a 65 foot mosaic wall this year! Crazy, I know! They made all the clay pieces. Rolled and textured slabs, then broke them with hammers. They also used cookie cutters for whole shapes.glazed them and glued them. We used 3x5 foot panels then drilled them into the wall. If u r looking for an awesome glue use,loctite all purpose, seal and bond. U can get it at Home Depot in clear or white and it's in a tube, fairly cheap. Great for indoor and outdoor use! Keep up the amazing work, I love following ur blob and ur videos are great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gina, I would love to see your mosaic. Do you have a blog? FB? IG?

      Delete

Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)