10" x 10" mosaics on wooden boxes

I was approached last fall by our administration to teach an after school art class for some of our migrant children.  A migrant child lives in a household supported by migratory agricultural employment and usually moves with frequency.  Our school has a large number of migrant children and our administration works closely with a variety of government agencies to see that these children get a quality education.

I decided to teach a mosaic workshop.  I have wanted to work with mosaics but the supplies can be expensive.  I have a long term goal to create a community, public art mosaic in our town but knew I needed to get some hands on experience before I tackled a large scale project.  I've done small mosaics in the past and I've had a few students do mosaics as independent projects.  This was my first attempt to teach a full class and to work with tiles and small children.

I was fortunate to have five of my high school students volunteer to help me.  I purchased 10" x 10" wooden boxes to use as the support for our mosaics.  We painted the sides of the boxes and let each child design their own mosaic pattern.  My philosophy with children's art is that they get to create what they want, how they want.  We had some unusual images but everyone had a great time.

Here are a few of the completed mosaics waiting for grouting.  I have had black grout under my nails for about two weeks as my high school students and I did that step for the children.  We polished each, individual tile with newspaper and varnished them before the kids got to take them home.  The ultimate compliment came when the kids said, "This class rocks."

My Finished, Sunflower Mosaic


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