After school art: mosaic experiments

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 Primary School Design Work

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.

 

After school art, Colour and mosaics

01c4d3104788be4af891eca00a8916951c5b31f65dLast 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.