Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Creating Mosaics with Children

Poppy - Seahorse (7 years old)

I love mosaics.  We have several around our house that I have made and I'm always wishing I had time to create more.  When children come around they often admire the mosaics.  Many are quite simple and even childlike in their design.  The wonderful thing about mosaics is that they are a piece of artwork that will last a very long time.

People often shy away from creating mosaics with children for obvious reasons, its messy, involves some sharp pieces, the use of cement and grout, can be fiddly and requires children to concentrate for a long period of time.  Yet if you do persist and take precautions where necessary the results are wonderful.

tiles on table and finished ungrouted mosaics
Our school holidays were very busy with the preparation and running of three Mosaic Workshops.  We worked with ceramic tiles and children could create either an inside piece (using normal ply and Weldbond glue to attach the tiles) or an outside piece (using marine ply and cement to attach the tiles).  I cut, primed and attached hooks to all wood prior to the workshops.  Tiles were also precut into pieces (some children were allowed to break a tile using a hammer whilst wearing safety glasses).  Some of the internal ply was also cut into shapes. Our panels were approx 30cm by 40cm which is quite large yet it meant the children could work with larger pieces of tile.

Ailsa - my rabbit (7 years old)
I had approximately 10 children attend each day and many took up the option of attending two sessions so they could grout the pieces themselves (a very messy yet enjoyable task according to the kids).   After grouting I had other art activities available to the children and they created mosaic glass sun catchers (click here for a post on this), mosaic tiles, paper mosaics and had a play with some clay.  The children were aged 5 to 10 years old and we had a couple of Mum's attend or stay to help as well.

It was loads of fun and the results speak for themselves. There were some very proud children afterwards!!  All the hard work (there was a lot of prep) is worth it when you see the children thrilled with what they have created.  Often they would go back several times to give their finished mosaic another polish. In the flurry of people leaving I forgot to take photos of some pieces yet I have managed to get some emailed to me which is why the picture quality varies below.

Pela - Midnight tree (7 years old)

Jordyn - Butterfly (7 years old)

Brianna - Heart (9 years old)
Leo - Rocket (6 years old)

Poppy - our chicken (7 years old)
Summer - snowman (7 years old)

Ada - Heart (5 years old)

Rebecca - Butterfly (8 years old)
Olivia - Butterfly (6 years old)

Immy - Cupcake (7 years old)
Isabella - Butterfly (7 years old)
Bella - Cat (5 years old)

Remi - Seahorse (8 years old) UN GROUTED
Piper - Butterfly (10 years old) UN GROUTED
Mosaic tiles
Mosaic sun catchers

Paper Mosaics

P.S Happy to answer any questions via email if people are thinking of doing mosaics with children.  I found there wasn't a lot of information available on the Internet.  We had no injuries and the children really enjoyed it.  It was a little difficult for the younger children yet with a some help they were fine.  To make it easier for younger children I would recommend they create indoor mosaics using glue and a precut shape.

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