Thursday, February 20, 2014

technology, math, art, and selfies

I've been doing some afterschool sessions with the Communities In Schools Of Orange County, and this week made some great connections with Middle School students in regards to technology, math, and art. 
Lately I've had many students mention that mosaics are like a popular game called Minecraft.  It's basically a 3d game in worlds built with cubes.  For old timers, think square legos that can be animated.  For some students, this connection to their technology experiences, helps everything click together (literally).  This student was not particularly engaged until we hit upon the things that he likes, basketball and Minecraft.

He first planned his designs on graph paper, to help with scale, but preferred to access his laptop to recreate Lebron James and Kevin Durant (NBA players).  This middle school is a 1-1 laptop school, and students are used to most of their lessons on the computer.  When the students were finished, I handed them my digital camera (and many of them took their own phone photos) to let them document their own work.

*** Important programming note, when you hand your camera to 13 yr olds, expect some hilarious selfies...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

oh yes, I do commissions too

Reminding myself that I do private commissions too....  I've been working with a Chapel Hill client who is in the middle of a kitchen remodel.  Planning to do their focal wall backsplash too... but need to finalize the construction measurements first.  This is the kitchen island front, which is open to the living room/dining room area.  Funky colors and organic flowing design will bring this great space some energy and zest....
 Overview in my studio, before face mounting tape, cutting/labeling sections, and delivering to contractor.  Can't wait to see this installed!  Let me know if you're planning a kitchen or bathroom remodel and would like some custom tile work!  This mosaic has unglazed porcelain, and recycled glass tile.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

value of process

Many of the mosaic residencies that I facilitate focus on the end product, translation: what it will look like up on the wall.  I get that because often it's a permanent installation and more costly than the average paper or paint project.  And, I do love when a gorgeous visual concept comes to life in mosaic.....

However, there's much to be said about the value of the process of creating, without the pressure of resulting in the ultimate masterpiece.  Expecting anyone doing something for the first time, with new materials and vocabulary, in a one hour class period, to have perfect results is asking a lot.  

The school I was working at this week was gracious in this gift to their 5th graders.

They were allowed to have the freedom to experiment with pattern and color, inspired by Navajo weaving patterns (which will connect with their upcoming social studies curriculum).  They were asked to think about balancing cool and warm color families, and geometric patterning inspired by some printed examples of Navajo design.  Some students worked individually, some with a partner to create 16  samplers of 49 tiles each, so that each of the four classes would have one 2x2' artwork to hang in their hallway as a legacy project for their school.

Thank you Washington Elementary School for embracing the process of creating, enjoy your mosaics!