Also our first session in Age UK this week. we were starting to think this work might never happen as we’ve been looking for funding for a year. The members at the day club are looking for an activity that offers the opportunity to make something as a group and create an identity for the club.
In consultation meetings mosaic has emerged as a technique that the members were most interested in and felt they could learn. Maybe this is because its going to be new to everybody with no preconceived ideas about capabilities.
This week was about getting to know people and place, having a go at mosaic making and starting a dialogue about what might be possible.
This is a rather retrospective post as we’ve had a summer holiday offline.
In July the Bury Wolf Trail opened with twenty six wolves to discover in locations around the town centre. Five of the wolves were made by Rojo artists and we’ve added some photos below. Most of these photos were taken from Twitter as we’ve really enjoyed following the images of public interaction with the wolves and reading the numerous blog posts about the trail.
Abbotts Hall mosaic was finally unveiled at the official opening of the new reception lodge. We’ve been really impressed by the way the school has involved the children and staff in the long building process.
And as a special extra touch the children noticed blue tits nesting in the built in bird box in the lodge building. I feel we might have to update the mosaic as the school family expands.
As if we haven’t spent enough time making mosaics this spring I’d also decided to use this technique as a colour exploration exercise at art club. In a previous post I talked about how we explored contrast. The second session was very much about learning technique and the children used their colour contrast initials as mosaic designs. The results were quite regimented but I felt we all learnt a lot. For the last session I brought along some slates, mosaic tiles and found objects, talked about what we’d learnt last week then gave the children free rein to experiment.
They created some beautiful and fascinating art which would be impossible to finish with grouting. I have a lot of questions about mosaic: about where it stands in the art v craft debate and why it’s still such a popular medium for public art. By the end of this summer I should be able to answer a few of them.
Abbotts Hall appears to be out of chronological order now but we couldn’t miss out on sharing the children’s design work for the mosaic. It was really obvious that the children had been drawing from life as the chickens, guinea pigs and birds were carefully observed drawings of those living in the playground. Even the racing pigeon recently rescued was included in the school family. We had the difficult task of choosing a few drawings to work with and the children took the decisions over colours and how to lay the tiles. These are mosaics created in reverse method still in their upside down state on brown paper ready to be glued to the outside wall.
Abbots Hall School asked us for a large mosaic artwork to be sited on the wall of a new lodge for Reception children. They are about to welcome Year 6’s into the school and wanted an artwork that celebrated the school family including guinea pigs, rescued racing pigeon, chickens and the neighbouring windmill. We worked with the children for three days enabling them to create the huge windmill and the detailed glass mosaics. This week we’ve started the installation process with a huge audience of spectators at break times. Grand opening is May 22nd so we’ll have more project photos by then.
Last week we were in a school making mosaics with children for the entire week. We’re always looking for ways to give children more creative decision making and control when using this process so I decided to explore some ideas with art club this term.
In this first session the children worked as a group to create their own colour wheel and think about colour mixing. They placed a selection of glass tiles where they felt they should sit on the colour wheel. Then, to think about the idea of contrast which is really important in mosaic, they took sheets of coloured paper and looked for tiles that really stood out against the background colour. Interestingly a lot of children automatically tried to match the colours so I probably need to think about how I explain the concept of contrast. As a group we talked about the colour choices.
The children used what they had learnt to plan some very simple mosaics which they’ll start work on next week.