Thursday, September 21, 2017

Glenholme School, Rotorua, Young leaders Classroom number, mosaic project.

 We all had a lovely four days making these creative mosaic classroom numbers. 
The pupils were very hard working, well behaved and a credit to their school, Teachers and Principal.
 Here  are  photos to show how they did.
Twenty Questions.

1. Q. What do you think of mosaic making in my studio?

A.  " We loved it".

2.Q. How often do you need to stretch when you are making mosaics?

A. Every quarter of an hour

3.Q.  How important is it to focus and concentrate on mosaic making so that you get into a meditative  state while you create a rhythm called Andamento?
A. Essential, if you talk too much you miss the magic of the experience.

4.Q. How does making mosaics make you feel?
A. "Happy, we wish we could make them every morning".

5.Q . What did it smell of in the studio to make you feel calm and relaxed? 
A.  "Yes, and the nice music in the background, making art is great for relieving stress and hand and eye co-ordination".

6.Q. Was it hard to make the mosaics?
A. No but you need to use the right mosaic cutting tools, glue, substrate and grout and Resene paint or else it can fall off.
You also have to focus and apply yourself or the job won't get finished.
Mosaics are time consuming but the result is so lovely.

7.Q. How do you care for your mosaics and make them last a long time? 
A. Keep them out of the wet and cold, protected under eves because you don't want them to crack in frost.

8.Q. How important is it to get a professional mosaic artist  to teach you how to mosaic quickly and with minimum of mistakes?
A. Very important because if  you  don't know the right materials to use and the right cutting techniques especially for Rotorua conditions; they won't last very long.

9.Q. Why is it great for school students to make mosaics in a mosaic  studio and garden?
A. You can get to see all the beautiful creations that are in the studio and garden for inspiration.
 You can look at  books on mosaics and walk around  the sunken  wishing garden that lives beside a fresh spring stream.

10.Q. How many students can you fit into your studio at a time?  
A. Ten, this gives people room to work around the table and keeps the noise to a minimum.

11.Q. Do you like teaching school children how to make mosaics?
A. yes I love it.
 It is one of my favourite things to do because children are so enthusiastic, fresh and full of hope.

12.Q. Why do you recommend  Resene testpot paints to paint around the outside of your mosaics?
A. Because Resene testpots are made of lumbersider with a built in undercoat.
The paint is made for outside conditions.
Resene testpots come in lots of brilliant colours.

13.Q. How important is it for young people to have opportunities to use their hands in a creative way?
A. Vital. They pick up practical skills and can increase their confidence and competence with  hand eye co-ordination.

14. Q. Any surprises with teaching mosaics?
A. It's amazing how much time they take and how many people  ( always adults),  come to me and say they want to make a mosaic couch or giant concrete mosaicked garden sculpture, without having any experience.
My answer to them is start small with a manageable project like a mosaic paver and work your way up.
 I have attended two garden sculpture workshops and I would never attempt to teach it because of the  difficulty of doing it.
I have a concrete garden dog I made and a half finished concrete goat.  

15.  Q. What happens when children venture down to the sunken peace garden?
A. They love it because it is a wilderness.
 My husband made a little bridge that goes over a clear spring-fed stream, (complete with native crayfish- koura) and they go and touch the Buddha at the end of it and make a wish.
Two of my after school pupils came up with this idea so I pass it on to any children who visit.
 I like to think it is a place of magical possibilities.

 Q16. How important is it for an artist to have their own studio?
A. I think it's vital if you want to take yourself seriously as an artist. It's great to not have to clear everything away every night during a project.
Even if it's just a spare bedroom.  I encourage people even school children to set up their own mini art making area.
Always encouraging them to hang their wooden paints and mosaics up so that people can see how creative they are.

17.  Q. Are mosaics becoming more popular?
A. because of the internet and I think in particular Pinterest, it appears that there has been a resurgence of mosaic making world- wide.
It would be great if every single school in Rotorua had some mosaics around and even better, if they employed me to co-ordinate them.
Then I could record them all and promote Rotorua as being a  school mosaic  destination capital of  New Zealand.
I know the mosaics that I have made in schools  in Rotorua have certainly been an inspiration to other schools.  

18. Q. What do you think of the classroom number idea that Glenholme school came up with?
I think its absolutely excellent.
I'd love to do another one  for another group of students in my studio.  
It was fun designing the numbers and fun letting the pupils have a choice with their colours.
It was fun having ten at a time visiting and making because it saved time and let them see what it was like in a real artists studio.  I liked being with the teachers who came as well.

19. Q Is there anything you would have changed about this project?
A. Nothing, from my point of view it was pretty  perfect and stress free.
Everyone co-operated in a well organised manner.
The principal and teachers were a pleasure to deal with.
We could have maybe done with an extra day because the pupils had to work through their lunch, morning and afternoon teas with short quarter of an hour breaks. 
I had to grout a number of the pavers because we would have run out of time. But I enjoy grouting so it was fine
20. Q So what is next as far as future  mosaic projects with schools on Rotorua ?
A. At this stage I am not sure what is happening next year.
We will see what happens in 2018
Anything is possible.
School Mosaic Group Project Enquiries Welcome 
Phone 346-3435
Text 0273513887