Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bingen Park Mosaic

The summer started with a week-long mosaic project with the children of Bingen, Washington.  A new, and much needed, water fountain was scheduled to be added to the city park which provided a great opportunity for a new mosaic.  I spent the week with about 60 kids from the community.  They helped make the mosaic by breaking tile and laying the pieces in place.

Pratt and Larson donated the tile for this project.  They have a wonderful outlet center in the back of their showroom with very affordable tile.  Check them out if you are in Portland!

The space that was designated for the new water fountain used to be a water feature years ago.  We were able to start with a clean canvas and decided to pour a new slab of concrete in a circle, 14 feet in diameter.

I came up with a handful of designs, but decided to create a scene with the river, flowers in the grass, sky and sun.

I did my best to estimate the amount of tile we needed by drawing a circle in chalk on my driveway.  I laid out the black tile just to be on the safe side and knew I had enough for the project.
Once the new slab of concrete was poured, and the water foundation was installed, we were ready to transfer the design to the concrete.

Day One
We just completed the border and outline for the waves on the first day.  Kids from age 3- 14 helped with the project. Two high school students even volunteered each day.

Day Two
The process was a bit slower that I anticipated.  We were almost able to finish the water on the second day.

The kids LOVED breaking the tile!  The kids were given safety glasses, a recycled piece of billboard to use as their mat, a hammer, a demonstration and then were on their own to break the tile.

There was some unlevel concrete near the center of the piece so my husband helped patch and level it.  This dictated how the project was done.  It would have worked out better if we had started in the center and moved outward.

Day Three
The flowers were designed by the kids and the grass was started on day three.  The week we worked on this project happened to be extremely hot!  We were thankful for the small amount of shade a nearby tree gave us in the afternoon.

Day Four
We finished the grass and started in on the clouds.  By this point in the project, we were running out of tile colors and needed to be creative about how we used our remaining tile.

Day 5
We finished laying the tile.  In one week, we were able to create a beautiful mosaic!

Day 6
My husband and I spent 6 hours in the hot sun grouting the mosaic.  Grouting on a hot day is not a good idea since the grout dries so quickly, but that was the day we were available, so we went ahead and grouted anyway.

Here I am.  Hot, tired, sore, sun burnt, but DONE!

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